27 July 2015
Bogan's Rant - With Michael McShane - July 2015
Riders on the Storm
Fellow Bogans - we live in interesting and highly volatile
times! The market is about as unpredictable as a baby's bum! We're
all experts and we all have our opinions, but what remains is that
the majority believe there are tough times ahead - there are storms
brewin'….. that's stating the obvious - like you know it's cold
outside when you go outside and it's cold! So where am I headed
with this? Not sure yet, so stick with me.
What can I rant about this month? What is really grinding my
gears? What's the hot topic discussed everywhere I go? What does
everyone ask me on the phone?
It all comes down to the market: where is it headed - when will
it improve - which clients have vacancies (where is the demand, if
any) - have salaries gone down - is there light at the end of the
The Bogan can tell you with ease the recent trends with flannies
(hipsters tie them around their waists), who won the recent F1 GP,
most popular tattoos (southern cross and Australian flag are still
up there), baby names (like Cruz, Haze, Holden, Caprice) etc. I can
also tell you that Bogans love to drink beer, Jack Daniels, Jim
Beam…none of those "girlie" drinks. We also like all things jeans,
mullets, goaties, long beards, flannos, AC/DC and desert boots
(although many of the hipster trendsetters are bringing them back
in!). But a few facts remain: Bogans don't start fights: Though
they always stand up for what they believe in and Bogans are
fiercely loyal: If they like something, they stick with it.
Bogans dislike dishonesty and getting unfairly screwed - it's
In dealing with the Bogan, you know you are getting the truth
and brutal honesty - many don't like that, but your insecurity
issues are not my problem! In fact, don't confuse my personality
with my attitude! My personality is who I am. My attitude depends
on who you are………
It seems many of us in the industry are becoming increasingly
despondent and aggressive. Times are tough. Many clients are
struggling to make ends meet and that transfers on to the service
providers - the drilling companies, consultancies, software,
catering & cleaning, transport & machinery
We all need to dig in to survive, but the latest trend by
clients is to reverse term their suppliers. Tell them the rate and
their terms - irrespective of how unreasonable they are - comply or
you're out! Do they know your costs? No. Do they care? No. Do they
understand the cost drivers behind your business? No and nor do
they care or understand. Remember, light travels faster than sound.
This is why some people appear bright until they speak! No
disrespect to Contracts departments (they have a job to do), but
many of them are likely to have eaten paint chips as kids.
We, as an industry, have let it happen. The never ending quest
to win business turns into a race to the bottom with costs and
margins being squeezed tighter and tighter.
Recruitment agency owners (for example) are, mostly, being
sucked into a vicious cycle of having to pitch ever-lower to win or
just maintain business while at the same time being asked to accept
even more risk, on behalf of the client and manage even more risk
within their own business.
I encourage you all to look very, very closely at what you are
conceding to in every client negotiation, agreement, and contract
and ask yourself whether it is fair or even remotely worth it!!
Are you undervaluing your service?
I suspect that what you thought about agreeing (conceding) to
might cost you much more than you stand to gain. Reminds me of how
you can never lose a homing pigeon - if your homing pigeon doesn't
come back, what you've lost is a pigeon.
Stand behind your value and don't be intimidated by clients
suggesting that your position is unreasonable or that 'other
providers aren't objecting'. Similar to my North Korean friend and
his response to how he was finding things back at home - he said he
couldn't complain……….and we all know how that's going!
Many of the recruiters that have caved on rates during the past
18 months are no longer operating…food for thought.
The industry cannot, and should not, tolerate margin erosion any
Are you being unfairly screwed? We would love to hear your
Bogan's Pet Hate: Autocorrect on mobile phones