Apr 22, 2021
Celebrating 45 years in business
Pictured: Bayside Group Directors Robert Blanche, the late Warwick Evans and John Wilson. Robert and John work in the business to this day.
Last month, the Bayside Group celebrated 45 years in business. In this time, it has grown to become one of Australia’s most trusted recruitment companies: the company now services hundreds of clients annually, and fills thousands of temporary and permanent positions each year across a range of specialist disciplines and industries.
As an organisation, the Bayside Group has survived recessions, economic downturns, candidate shortages and now a pandemic. Reflecting on progress helps us to understand what more we can do to continue providing expert advice and assistance to our clients, workforce and job seekers alike.
The early years
In 1976, three young draftsmen founded a company in a modest bungalow in Melbourne’s southern suburbs. Initially starting out life as Bayside Drafting Australia, the company grew quickly and developed recruitment capabilities to meet project deadlines. As a result, Bayside Personnel was established in 1978 to recruit engineering and technical professionals, and throughout the 80s built a strong reputation as a quality service provider. It was during this time that the group relocated to a more central office on St Kilda road in Melbourne, while also opening offices in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide.
Over the group’s history, it has expanded its industry recruitment offerings to meet demand, provide better service to our clients and offer unique industry insights and expertise. In 1991, Austra Health was established to service the health care sector, followed shortly by Baytech in 1994, specialising in industrial and trades recruitment.
Four years later, the group extended its brand offerings once again, launching CozWine, which is now a leading regional wine and agricultural recruiter. In this year, Baytech also opened an office in Queensland – the Bayside Group’s first office in this state.
2004 saw the acquisition of both Techstaff and Bridge Consulting, servicing the science and technical, and education and administration sectors, respectively. With the world of work undergoing radical digitisation, NineWire was launched to provide innovative IT solutions to our clients.
From then to now
A lot has changed in the workplace since 1976. During that time, standard working hours were from 9am to 5pm, there was no mandatory parental leave, discrimination was not unlawful and formal mechanisms for sexual harassment claims did not exist.
Over the decades, we have played an active role in ensuring Australian workplaces shift towards more fair and equal working environments: flexible and hybrid ways of working are increasingly common, the Equal Employment Act exists, and workplace safety and employee mental health are key priorities.
Much of this legislation has been designed to protect employees. Over the years, Australia’s business narrative has dramatically changed and there has never been significant regulation introduced in relation to the relationship between employer and employee. This can in-part be attributed to employment and economic uncertainty following multiple recessions – and the more recent Covid-19 pandemic – as well as the disruption posed by technology and the changing way we work.
“Things have evolved in a natural way over time because our society has different demands now,” says Bayside Group’s Workplace Relations Manager, Bob Venema. “There were societal norms back then that just aren’t relevant anymore. Our workforce looks very different, and the workplace relations landscape has needed to evolve to reflect these changes.
“With the continuing demands regarding work-life balance, flexible working hours, carer obligations, and a continuously diversifying workforce, there’s no doubt things will continue to shift and adapt accordingly.”
Projects and initiatives shaping Australia
Throughout the decades, the Bayside Group has been privileged to work with the organisations and people who have created products that are staples on our supermarket shelves and designed and built iconic infrastructure and Australian vehicles. We have supported the critical scientific and care advancements in pharmaceuticals and health and provided the people supporting the education and services sectors.
In 2000, the group’s engineering brand, Bayside Personnel, was directly involved in the construction of Sydney’s Olympic Park Stadium and its related buildings in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games. This was while simultaneously preparing structural steel fabrication drawings for the cutting-edge Exhibition Hall Dome – still the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. More recently, involvement in key projects, including Queensland’s Cross River Rail, Airport Link Tunnel and Brisbane Metro, have seen a valuable contribution to this crucial infrastructure.
During these years, the group was also expanding its reach, allowing us to support regional communities through our CozWine brand. Now one of the country’s leading wine and agriculture recruiters, CozWine provides the people bringing food from paddock to plate.
When Covid-19 reached Australian shores, the Bayside Group became an important part of supporting Australian organisations with Covid-based initiatives. From helping companies shift their product offerings to PPE, medical equipment and hospital bed mattresses, to providing telehealth professionals and scientists to assist in developing a three-minute Covid breath test, our workforce has been involved in the innovations keeping the community safe. We understood the impact travel restrictions would have on reducing the regional workforce and partnered with the Australian Government to become a Harvest Trail provider, connecting farmers with available workers.
Our lifetime focus on safety and best practice
Throughout its lifetime, Bayside Group has dedicated itself to protecting its clients and their workforces. In 1993, the group joined the newly formed Recruitment and Consulting Association (RCSA) and has been championing advancements across the recruitment industry at large ever since. In fact, in 2007, the RCSA named their annual award for Workplace Safety after the Bayside Group’s much-loved former OH&S Manager, the late Malcolm Maclean. During his time with the Bayside Group, Malcolm played a crucial role in working actively with the RCSA to raise the safety standards of the recruitment industry. During the 2000s, the group also joined the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and won an Award for People Management, received ISO certification from recruitment and a 457 labour agreement.
Since inception, the Bayside Group has been committed to fulfilling its corporate responsibility through best practice. We work in partnership with our clients, some of whom our relationship spans three or more decades, to provide innovative recruitment and workforce management solutions that help their business succeed within the constantly changing employment landscape.
Though the extended lockdown during 2020 was challenging for all, it provided us with the opportunity to reflect on our business and how we can simplify and enrich our services in the future. We look forward to sharing our new developments with you in the coming months.