Strivin & Thrivin Ep31. Lynne Johnston – CEO @ Mayday Recruitment

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This week on Strivin & Thrivin, we speak with Lynne Johnston, CEO of MAYDAY Recruitment Group.

Lynne has been in the recruitment industry for 14 years and is originally from Northern Ireland, and started her career there before she travelled around Australia, building up her little black book of industry contacts.

Lynne was then sponsored by a recruitment agency in Sydney, progressing through the business and ended up being with them for five years. She then jumped ship after being offered a role at American Express managing corporate clients.
“I just learned loads in that job. It was so different from what I’d done before.”

With no experience in finance, there was a lot to learn. Luckily, Lynne’s transferable skills – such as relationship building, problem solving, holding a conversation, relating to them, understanding their business problem and coming up with solutions – really helped Lynne level-up and take on a new role within the company in business development.

After her stint at AMEX, Lynne joined MAYDAY, a recruitment company three of her best friends started, and that saw her move back into recruitment. But due to two of her friends going on maternity leave, Lynne had to step up and knew she had to work hard, as there was a real boom coming after making good traction with a lot of companies.

Now, Lynne is the CEO of MAYDAY, working on the overall development of the team, as well as being the key account manager. Lynne is also the director of the Wellness Committee, making sure people are healthy and happy at work and love what they do.

“If I can do that, then I’m doing a good job.”

When Covid hit in March 2020, there was a huge shift and change in the business, which saw their usual 50% temporary revenue and 50% permanent revenue wiped out. Permanent fell off the planet, everything went on hold, everything was paused, jobs were cancelled and even start dates were cancelled for people who had already placed in roles.

Thankfully, they won some business off the back of businesses who were busy because of Covid, so their temporary numbers remained steady and actually grew throughout the pandemic.

So, what has Lynne learned about herself over the years? She credits one of her biggest lessons as realising you don’t have to be the strict boss.

“You don’t have to try and emulate some other manager that you had because you think that’s how you need to manage. You need to be relatable. You need to show that level of vulnerability I think as a leader so that your people know that it’s okay to come to you and that it’s okay to tell when they’re not okay. Or when they are struggling with something they know that you’re approachable.”

When it comes to balancing work and life, Lynne is all about looking after her mental health as well as physical health.

“I think that’s really key, and that’s something I bring to the business here. I love that I can bring my philosophy and all of that to people, and our team now love it.”

To hear more from Lynne, including what she wished she knew back then as a rookie, listen to the latest episode of Strivin and Thrivin now!

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