The Grounds

“When you’re looking for someone specific, you really have a very select group of people to choose from in Sydney. Placed Recruitment knows how to find them.”

As the former General Manager of The Grounds, a multiple outlet hospitality site in Alexandria which used to be the Four ‘n’ Twenty pie factory, Kelly Taylor had to have her own finger in lots of metaphoric pies! With three different food and beverage outlets plus event catering on a site that features 1800 square metres of kitchen gardens, markets and intriguing outdoor spaces, finding the right personnel is a significant ongoing challenge. When Executive Chef Paul McGrath suggested that Kelly talk with Geremy of Placed Recruitment, she soon found all her upper level recruitment solutions could be met.

Why an agency?

“Time is such a valuable commodity,” Kelly explains, “We chose to outsource this particular function to a recruitment agency because they have the expertise to do in a shorter space of time, what would take us much longer.” Kelly says recruitment is always a challenging task for any business. Though The Grounds employs a fulltime HR Manager, they found that for upper level positions, they needed a specialist recruitment service.

“When you’re looking for someone specific, you really have a
very select group of people to choose from in Sydney.
Placed Recruitment knows how to find them.”

“We’d get mountains of applicants and none would be suitable, therefore a waste of our time. Then, if someone amazing comes through but the process is handled by someone less senior, they may not be able to immediately identify those specific qualities and we could miss the opportunity to hire someone incredible.”

The difference between Placed Recruitment and other hospitality recruitment agencies

Kelly says they had used other agencies before but found them more concerned with quantity, than quality. “They were putting forward inappropriate candidates and this didn’t make for the best use of our time.” She says the first person Geremy and Placed Recruitment put forward was an “absolutely perfect fit”.

“Geremy and the Placed team put such a lot of research into each candidate so before we even get to hear about them, they’ve learned a great deal about them, and fitted them to our business’s culture. For one role, they presented us with three people who were all very well suited and the one we ultimately selected was absolutely perfect.”

“Placed Recruitment are very much aligned with our goals and our brand and are a big part of why we attract and retain some of Sydney’s best talent.”

Diverse roles filled by Placed Recruitment

Over time, The Grounds engaged Placed Recruitment to find Sous Chefs, Restaurant Managers, a Manager for The Potting Shed (lunch/dinner), a Deputy General Manager and an Operations Manager.

“Given that we had such varied roles to fill, Placed had to be really thorough with their understanding of our needs,” Kelly explains. “They innately know the industry and the whole organisational structure. They took the time to know our brand, people, culture and vision and how it all incorporates into our larger business strategy. All the people they have put forward have been ‘bang-on’.” Kelly is also keen to point out that Geremy and his team “just get it”, such as not calling during peak service hours, something that other agencies did.

Beyond the mechanics of staffing, Kelly says that having Placed Recruitment on board helped her reach her GM goals much more rapidly so that in turn, The Grounds’ goals have been reached sooner, which has driven growth and success.

An unparalleled recruitment process for Sydney hospitality staff

Impressed at the streamlined recruitment process, Kelly says she wouldn’t be able to work with any other agency when seeking mid to upper level hospitality personnel. “Something that strikes me about Placed is that their process is so much more efficient. Geremy and his team are all incredibly professional, super passionate and have a really deep understanding of the industry, which is a huge plus for them. All the team are very sharp and very proactive. They would sit down with us and go through our entire organisational structure. I’ve never had anyone be so thorough. It’s a bit of an investment at the beginning but equipped with that clear understanding, they simply go ahead and don’t waste my time with people that aren’t suitable.”

“What they offer is something that’s very hard to find; it’s refreshing.”

The long-term relationship between The Grounds and Placed Recruitment is such that Kelly now continually recommends the agency to others in the industry. “They’re professional and efficient to a T,” she says. “Their commitment, follow-up and personalised service are second to none. I also find that Geremy is very creative. He doesn’t just take our brief and fit a person to a job. He thinks out of the box and makes suggestions. He has so much experience and puts a great deal of groundwork into what would make the ideal candidate for our needs. He applies a holistic view of candidates. He doesn’t just consider their experience but also, how they will fit into our business.”

“The calibre of candidates is always beyond our expectation and I couldn’t think of another recruitment agency that deserves this kind of high praise.”

About The Grounds

Kelly speaks very fondly of The Grounds, calling it a “pretty magical place, even a bit of a wonderland where memorable experiences are created”. Designed to appeal to a large cross-section of the community including families, all age groups, tourists and locals alike, it offers a unique selection of indoor and outdoor opportunities to socialise, eat, drink and enjoy the atmosphere. From Fluffy the friendly macaw in The Potting Shed to the home-grown produce lovingly nurtured by the resident horticulturalist and freshly picked from The Garden, there is always something fascinating to see, learn about and taste. In fact, Kelly describes The Grounds as an innovative, immersive experience that appeals to all of the senses.

With more than 122,000 Instagram followers, The Grounds regularly appears high on lists of Australia’s most photographed and geo-tagged locations.