APositive Workforce Finance Partnership Manager, Jonathan Corner, shares his expansive experience within the labour hire, finance and recruitment industry as well as insight to his role at APositive, where he’s leading the team to further develop partner relationships within the business. Jonathan also lets us in on the top skills required to be a partnership manager, and the pressing questions he’s often asked by clients and potential partners.
1. Tell us a little about your career background and your current role?
After spending 10 years in the automotive manufacturing industry, I was approached to enter the world of business development, starting out in the labour hire industry for UK’s number one driver and industrial casual workforce supplier.
I spent five years moving through the ranks to branch/area manager. Specifically, I was promoted from trainee consultant to branch manager in just 12 months and from a standing start, I successfully opened three North East of England branches. Whilst in this role, our branch in Middlesbrough was the highest performing branch in the United Kingdom out of over 100 branches. I worked with a fantastic team and together, we changed many processes from candidate onboarding and running a very successful 25-hour operation of high-level service offerings whilst maintaining the highest margins in the country.
In 2007, I was then propositioned to become a search consultant for a leading executive search company in Melbourne, Australia.
Since then, I have had senior sales roles in several industries and now I have entered the world of finance, and back into an industry I am passionate about, workforce and recruitment. At APositive, I am thrilled to bring together my skillset and expansive industry knowledge to help further develop partner relationships within the business.
2. What are the top three most valuable skills required to carry out your current role as Partnership Manager?
- Having a sound knowledge across all facets of the industry (workforce, labour hire and recruitment).
- Transparency, integrity, and honesty with everyone.
- Ability to value the time of each individual.
3. What is one question you’re often asked by clients and why do you think this is?
I am asked at least once a day: “Where are you from and what is that accent?” and this is because people generally think I am from Ireland or Scotland – it is neither.
From a business perspective, my clients and prospective partners often ask what others are doing to grow and why APositive is the trusted provider when it comes to workforce finance. And the answer is pretty simple, we have a deep understanding of the recruitment and labour hire verticals that is unparalleled in our local market. APositive was originally built to meet the needs of these businesses to accelerate growth, and this gives us a unique and highly tailored offering that delivers real business value, rather than cookie cutter options like many providers.
4. What would you say is the number one challenge across the workforce and recruitment industry today?
The number one challenge is Labour Hire. We are currently seeing a general skills shortage which is resulting in clients having to employ less experienced candidates. Recruiters in permanent recruitment are similarly facing the same challenge but are also finding they are being faced with counter offers upon offer for new employment.
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Greg Savage said in APositive’s recent Q&A session with Greg, “If we can build a recruitment company, with recruiters who have the skill to act as advisors, and thereby manage client and candidate’s expectations, we can turn a skill shortage into our biggest advantage…there is no magic switch you can flick, it’s all about credibility.”
5. What is the most rewarding aspect of working at APositive Workforce Finance?
APositive is an amazing place to work. The depth of knowledge around finance in the workforce industry amongst the team is second to none. Each day brings new learnings, new information and new questions. It is a place that I am continually challenged to grow, and where I can keep on expanding on my current skillset. We work hard but also have quite a lot of fun.
Thanks to vast industry experience and commitment to exceptional customer service, APositive is the trusted workforce finance expert, and I am proud to say that I am part of the team.
6. What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
It would have to be from my father. He looked at the clock and asked me what time it was, to which I said 10:32am. He waited a full minute and asked me the time again and I replied 10:33am – he said, “Do you see that minute that just past, you will never get that minute back again, so I suggest you make the most of every minute in your life.”
It’s something that has always stuck with me and is relatable to all aspects of life – work and personal.
7. When you are not at work, what would we find you doing?
Without a doubt, spending quality time with my eight-year-old son, Carter. Whether it is playing soccer, heading to the local skate park, or having a hit of golf. He keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another hobby (or possibly, guilty pleasure) is jumping on the PlayStation and battling it out on Call of Duty. It’s strangely very therapeutic.
8. Fave coffee shop, fave bar, fave restaurant?
We are spoilt for choices here in Melbourne when it comes to hospitality venues, but if I had to pick, my go-to places would be:
Cafe: The Bond Store, Southbank, Melbourne
Bar: Mitre Tavern, Melbourne CBD
Restaurant: San Telmo, Melbourne CBD