INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY WOMEN OF WORKPAC STORIES - TIPHANIE WHITMORE
What is your name and job title?
Tiphanie Whitmore - Recruitment Manager
How long have you been at WorkPac for?
10 years. I started at WorkPac when it was founded, then worked elsewhere for 6 years before returning to WorkPac in 2012. This year will be my 8th year back at WorkPac.
Tell us about yourself – Who is Tiphanie Whitmore?
My interests are extensive, but travel is my passion. Outside of that, I'm your average working woman, doing my stuff on the weekend, running the house, raising teenagers and forever attempting the elusive task of finding time for me. I had foregone a lot of travel in my younger years, so now I'm working for travel and life experiences.
Tell us about your role as a recruitment manager. What does a typical day look like in your role?
I oversee three teams, so I spend quite a bit of time deep-diving into our processes and reporting results to seek more productive ways for our teams to operate. I strive to be armed with information and insights so there is transparency within our team to ensure we are continually delivering a quality product at all times. I try my best to ensure that our recruiters and mobilisation officers have every tool available to set them up for success. At the end of the day, it's about getting results and making sure vacancies are getting filled, and our people are mobilised on time, whilst building and maintaining a positive team culture.
Take us on a journey through your career. How did you end up on this path and how did you get to where you are today?
My career at WorkPac started when I moved to Perth in 1997 from Karratha with a young child in tow. There, I applied for a receptionist position and was offered the role. This was my introduction to the recruitment industry, and it happened to be with a small recruitment agency owned at the time by Phil Smart. Phil later offered me a role with WorkPac to help create their systems and to get the first WorkPac Business Centre based in Leederville quality assured. I used the knowledge I had acquired from previous experience, which included setting up an Electrical Motor Rewinding business in Karratha with my then husband.
Due to my domestic situation, I had a really flexible work arrangement which allowed me to be a mum and enabled me to continue to work in the business. I’ve job shared, worked part-time and full time at WorkPac.
For 23 years, I’ve always worked in the recruitment industry. Aside from being a recruiter, I’ve had a diverse range of experience spanning from Business Centre Administration Manager, Quality Manager, Operations Manager and various team leader roles, covering training, quality systems, shutdown recruitment and most recently leading the mobilisation and recruitment teams for WorkPac’s Rio Tinto Project Services business.
23 years of experience has allowed me to share the knowledge to do what I do now.
What do you enjoy most about your career/current role? What drives you and keeps you coming into work every day?
Showing people how to be successful in the business, and most importantly, you need to get a buzz out of recruiting people into roles, because it changes peoples lives.
Tell us about some of your most memorable career highlights and achievements.
My most memorable achievement was when I first hit my first large recruitment drive in a very candidate tight market. At the time in Western Australia, we were experiencing a mining/construction boom within the iron ore sector, and the labour pool was virtually non-existent. Being able to get 100+ people placed at that point in a labour tight-market was a big achievement for me.
This taught me how valuable relationships and word of mouth can be for referrals. The trust that people instil in you to look after their employment needs certainly created a sense of pride and responsibility.
What do you like most about being part of the WorkPac family? What makes WorkPac a great place to work?
Freedom with responsibility. When people realise the opportunity, this business does allow you to meet or exceed your goals, it’s all up to the individual.
How has WorkPac enabled you to grow?
The great mentoring I've had through the years. I’ve been privy to excellent mentors and have been very lucky to work with and for the directors of the business. Throughout that journey, I've worked with really fantastic business development managers and I’ve learnt a lot from some of the women in this business. I regularly sense-check myself with my trusted advisors, and that ability to reach out is invaluable. I learn through action and observation. Not through textbooks, but by seeing people in action.
What are some barriers you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
If there’s a problem, you have to be solutions focused. If you’re solutions-focused and you encourage the team around you to be solutions-focused, that’s the only way you can knock down barriers.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give other women looking to pursue a successful and fulfilling career?
Learn balance. Learn that you are not indispensable and don’t let past adversity prevent you from taking leaps of faith. Facing adverse situations and conquering them will get you to where you need to be, and without knowing it, you will be faced with opportunities you never thought possible. Have faith!
Can you name a woman that has been a mentor or inspiration to you? Why?
In the early days, I worked in a predominantly male environment, and most of my mentors were males; however, WorkPac has become a very female-centric company in recent years, full of inspiring and driven women.
I really enjoy the underdog stories – the stories that inspire me the most are the ones where they’ve had a to overcome true adversity like JK Rowling or Oprah. I find these stories very inspirational as these women are boundary breakers.
What is your favourite quote?
‘Motivation is like showering – you have to do it daily’. – Zig Ziglar
I believe you have to be passionate. Whatever it is you do, you have to love it and own it!
What does success mean to you?
Seeing people around me achieving success and reaching their goals (whatever they may be) then my success will come.
Could you share an inspiring book, movie, blog or video you enjoy that you think would inspire other women?
When we first started at WorkPac, Phil Smart gave us a book called ‘Skill with People’. It’s a little blue book with probably no more than 40 pages. It's not a novel and its not a new revelation. The book brings things back to the basics and knowing the basics of how to deal with people. When you're in the service business, this skill is essential. You don’t need encyclopedias or textbooks to learn this stuff, you just need to master the basics of dealing with people. I was given that book at a very young age, and I’ve carried it with me through my life.
A particular section of the book has always resonated with me – ‘The sweetest sound to someone is hearing their own name. Remember it’.
To find something that influences you, you really need to go on your own individual discovery. You need to be forever reading, watching and observing. There is a plethora of resources out there to grab inspiration from so learn to become inquisitive.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned in your career and/or life?
The best way to impart knowledge and to get people to understand why we do certain things the way we do them is always giving the ‘why’. And believe me, there’s a lot of whys in the recruitment business. Take people on a journey to explain the ‘why’.
What are you looking to achieve next in your career and/or life?
Life experiences. I’m at the point now where what I want to achieve is to have more life experiences, and my career is going to allow me to do that.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
I do like that women can come together and learn from each other through International Women's Day. Bringing people together is a sure way of women learning from one another. Women love the relatability of being able to talk to one another and share stories, and what a forum to do this.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is #eachforequal.Please share your thoughts on how each of us can help move the world towards a more equal world for women (in business and in life)?
Women need to know what their value is and make sure they take personal accountability to ensure their value is being recognised, both in their career, in their role as parents and personal life. We tend to not be very good at that. Women need to know their value and worth and not be afraid or ashamed to be recognised for that.
International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. Click here to learn more about International Women's Day.