Candidate feedback: How we’re tracking 


Planned Resources recruit across the niche markets of planning, engineering, architecture and design, property, and government support. We operate​ across private and public sectors in Melbourne, Victoria, and Australia. 

Planned Resources’ success has been built by working within niche parts of larger markets, where we’ve genuinely built a reputation over a long period of time. Initially this was solely in Planning, and we’ve since extended to Architecture, Engineering, Building Surveying and Government.

Working in niche markets means we’re acutely aware that every interaction with candidates and clients impacts our reputation. We believe that all candidates we interview can, and should, be left with a positive impression of Planned Resources.

We track and review our levels of service via monthly surveys which are sent to all candidates we interview during that period, we then collate these results into an annual report. Surveying all interviewed candidates allows us to gain an in-depth analysis of our service – and not just for the candidates we place (as some surveys track, where good results are expected) but also the satisfaction levels of candidates who we’ve interacted with but not placed. We understand that we can’t place everyone, but we can ensure that our consultants are acting in line with our company values of mutual respect, intelligence and maturity.

This feedback is used to ensure we’re continually improving our service and the experience of future candidates. Candidates can also rest assured that their feedback is never linked to their application or job search – it’s only used so we can continue to improve and grow.

2021/22 Satisfaction Survey

The results of our FY2021/22 Candidate Satisfaction Survey are very encouraging.  We aim to conduct our business through a set of people-led values – mutual respect, intelligence, maturity – so we’re thrilled to have maintained high levels of support, especially through some challenging times as employees and organisations continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the comments we received include:

“Knowledgeable, helpful, timely and provided me with regular updates. I would definitely recommend Planned Resources to others.”

“Out of all the agencies I’ve dealt with, Planned Resources has been the best. Not only in terms of personnel, but also overall aspects of looking for my next role in my professional career.”

“Great service and highly recommended.”


“Thank you!”

You can see a breakdown of the results, including more comments, below.

Overwhelmingly, respondents are happy with our services, but this doesn’t mean we now rest on our laurels. We recognise there’s (always) room for improvement. And great results mean we now must work harder to maintain our reputation. As such, this year we’re implementing a few process improvements, including updated candidate onboarding information and improving our backend finance systems. We’re looking forward to hearing feedback on these areas when they’re implemented.


1. Consultant rapport

Building rapport has become harder, but is more important than ever. With an increasing number of candidates preferring to conduct interviews via MS Teams it’s become harder for consultants to find a personal connection to build rapport. In a highly competitive market it’s increasingly important for consultants to build a connection, to be trusted by candidates so we’re their first port of call, and for them to trust our consultant’s judgment when considering offers.

We’re pleased that most candidates strongly agreed, or agreed, that they formed a rapport with their consultant. But there’s still work to be done; over the next 12 months we’re aiming to increase the number of our face-face interviews even if some of those interviews have to be off-site for us.

We’ve also recognised that that while we’re good at initial interactions, we need to ensure that we have ongoing relationships with our candidates, this includes better contact with those who we place to ensure they’re happy in their new roles.


“I really enjoy our chats and got along with my consultant well”

“Very helpful and compassionate.”

“Very approachable”

“I reached out in 2020 and ever since I feel like I’ve got a friend at Planned Resources that I can trust.” 


2. Consultant knowledge

Intelligence is one of our key values. If a candidiate contacts us as sector specialists, we should be able to add value to their search – regardless of if they’re placed in a role. We believe a consultant who spends their days interviewing candidates and talking to potential employers, should have a deep understanding of the sector’s career pathways (and potentially, paths candidates hadn’t thought about), cultures within relevant organisations, industry specific salary ranges, and the skills required to increase a salary.
The majority of candidates strongly agreed, and agreed, that we have good industry knowledge. There was a small minority of candidates who disagreed.

Over the next 12 months we’re aiming to further improve our knowledge of the sectors we operate within, this includes a greater budget for consultants to attend industry events so they can continue to build their knowledge and networks.


“Has a really strong sense of the types of work available”

“No better person to call to ask about how the industry is currently doing.”


3. Candidate best interest

We’re delighted that over 90% of respondents agree that we have their best interest at heart – because we do! This is not just a slogan for us, we’re committed to working one-on-one with candidates to understand who they are and their career goals as it aligns with our core value of mutual respect.

We’ll always represent our roles in the best possible light, but we understand that there’s times when candidates source roles via alternate sources that, quite frankly, are a better opportunity for them at that time. The majority of our consultants have worked and stayed in one sector, so they understand that karma comes back to you, and by doing the right thing in the short-term will mean returning candidates and referals down the track.


4. Response times

We understand that a person’s job search is time sensitive, especially when they’re juggling multiple opportunities from ourselves, direct applications, and potentially other sources.

Recruitment consultants walk a fine line between providing timely feedback to candidates and obtaining feedback from employers who may have other pressing priorities. We aim to ensure our consultants set realistic timeframes with candidates from the outset, rather than feeling ‘the need to please’ candidates by committing to unrealistic timeframes. We’re helped with this, as most clients we work with are repeat clients so we understand their recruitment processes and timeframes so we can inform candidates from the outset.

We’re exceptionally pleased with the results in this area. We believe these results are partly due to our consultants not having KPI’s on things like interview numbers and sales calls so they can focus on customer service.


“Aways at the other end of the phone if I need”

“Always prompt in updating me and following up with any issues I had during assignments”


5. Upfront in dealings

Our consultants should display maturity at all times, and this includes being comfortable in having difficult conversations with candidates – like, providing genuine feedback to candidates to why they didn’t get a role or included on a shortlist.

Due to a very candidate-short market over the past 12 months, a difficult component has been managing a candidates’ salary expectations and what they can realistically expect from employers in terms of working from home. On several occasions this has resulted in candidates preferring to work initially with other recruiters who have overpromised in this area; although typically, those candidates have returned to Planned Resources when they realise our upfront advice is to their benefit.

Our ability to have these upfront conversations is backed by factual market knowledge, and we’re helped by having experienced recruiters in this area.


“I’ve never felt like things were anything less than perfectly transparent”


6: Back-office functions (payroll/invoicing) 

Traditionally this area has let us down. This is primarily because we hadn’t invested in the resources that larger, more established agencies have access to.

Over the last 12 months we’ve made a number of improvements in this area with a dedicated payroll manager, migration to an online timesheet portal, and an overhaul of our processes.

While our score in this area is still below other areas, we believe this is due to a number of our candidates giving a ‘Neutral/NA’ score as they’ve either been placed into a permanent role or are not yet placed so haven’t used our back-office functions. We still feel that there are improvements to be made, especially in our on-boarding services which are still a bit cumbersome.


7: Overall satisfaction

Respondents are overwhelmingly happy with our services, but this doesn’t mean we now rest. Instead, we’ll work harder to maintain our reputation and continually improve for our future candidates.


“Out of all the agencies I’ve dealt with, Planned Resources has been the best. Not only in terms of personnel, but also overall aspects of looking for my next role in my professional career.”


8: Recommending Planned Resources

When working within niche sectors, a high proportion of our success in generating candidates (and clients) comes down to referrals.

We don’t take recommendations for granted, so we’re very grateful that the large majority of respondents would recommend Planned Resources above other recruitment agencies. Thank you!


“I had an excellent experience with Rebecca and appreciated her kind and positive attitude. She was knowledgeable, helpful, timely and provided me with regular updates. I would definitely recommend Planned Resources to others.”


“No doubt” 

What next? 

We understand that our reputation is as hard to keep as it is to earn, so we’ll continue to work hard to provide our candidates with great service. And if you have feedback, or want to get in touch with our team, we’d love to hear from you!


By: Russell Locke, Director

Russell established Planned Resources in 2010 and continues to work in the business as both Director and recruiter.


Connect with Russell on LinkedIn
Contact: 0407 111 364,


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