Roland started Platinum People Group back in 2017 with one key goal: to help people get ahead in their career or grow their business. This business is founded on the vision of changing people’s lives and giving people a great experience (which some recruiters neglect to do!).

Two years in, Roland is now running a team of three, has helped bring dozens of quality candidates and clients together, and has learned a lot about running a business. Here are the top seven lessons he’s learned over the past 24 months.

1. Hiring (and getting it right) is a challenge

This is an incredibly ironic thing for a recruiter to admit. Recruiting people is what I do for a living! Surely I can get the process right for my own business.

Well, I’m going to confess that I had a brief stumble when it came to hiring my first recruits. Unfortunately, one of my first hires didn’t work out. And while I could have let this get me down, I’ve actually found it to be an amazing learning opportunity, which I can now pass on to my clients.

This learning provided a few key takeaways:

a) You need a process for finding and retaining good people

I thought, as many business owners do, that it would be a good strategy to start by hiring junior team members. Their salaries cost less, and there’s a great opportunity to train them up to suit your business model. I was super organised, and created a great framework for hiring trainees. 

It wasn’t until a few weeks into my two new employees’ roles that I realised hiring juniors probably wasn’t the right strategy for me. As a small one-man business, it required so much of my time and energy to train these people. It was a huge investment of time on top of having to maintain my pipeline and generate revenue, which the trainees were a few months away from contributing to.

I’ve learned firsthand that while it can be challenging to hire good people, it’s also challenging keeping them in the business. Success in this area comes down to having the right framework for engaging, developing and motivating employees, and I’m continuing to grow in my knowledge and experience of this.

b) Psychometric assessments are a game-changer

After things not working out with one of my first recruits, I decided to add psychometric testing to my internal recruitment process. This helps us get to know a candidate, their cognitive abilities and their unique strengths and gaps. It gives us insight into how to best manage them, and also indicates whether we’re a good match for each other.

To do this, we use a supplier that helps us create a benchmark assessment for each new role we’re recruiting for. This allows us to measure potential candidates against our benchmark requirements.

2. Business owners wear three key hats

When you’re a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats. I’ve identified three main areas that require my full attention:

  1. On the business
  2. In the business
  3. Growing the business.

It’s not just the first two hats! While business growth might be considered an area of working on the business, I’ve learned that this needs to be separated. Hiring people involves a mountain of work, thought and investment on its own. It’s the same with building your pipeline and nurturing clients – while it’s an aspect of working in the business, it needs to have its own allocated attention.

3. Scaling your business won’t happen without a process

Write. Everything. Down. I’ve found this to be crucial, particularly when it comes to growth. By establishing my recruitment process early on, I’ve been able to get it out of my head and develop a sophisticated system that I can replicate each time I take the next step in my business.

When systems and processes are documented, you’ve also got a valuable resource you can use to train and teach other people in the business.

4. You need to get good at making decisions

As a business owner, you learn early on that you can’t spend lots of time making decisions. You have to get quick at processing information and making calls. There are so many decisions to make every day and it can get overwhelming, but you get good at being quick.

It’s also okay to make the wrong decision every once in a while – in fact, this will definitely happen. I made a bad call when it came to choosing our landline phone provider. Despite doing plenty of research into my options, I made a decision that ultimately wasn’t great, and I locked myself into a 24-month plan with a company that has terrible customer service and has mucked us around a bit. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t really matter all that much. Like anyone, I’m human. Mistakes will be made, and that’s alright. What will be detrimental is an inability to make decisions, even really important ones.

5. Free content is the best form of marketing

I made the decision early on in my business to invest in content creation. It was a leap of faith as a young business owner, and required upfront costs that I wouldn’t see turn into profit for a year to 18 months. But I’m glad I did it, because content is everything! 

The content we post on our Advice Centre, social media channels and email marketing has been our best form of marketing and has led to plenty of referrals and word of mouth business. In fact, 30% of the candidates we place are people who’ve been referred to us. A similar ratio of new client business comes from direct referrals too. It’s been great to get our brand out there, and our customers and clients really appreciate how we give away advice for free. It’s a genuine value-add.

6. Your personal health needs to be treasured

If you’re not well, you can’t do anything. You need to do everything you can to avoid being sick. That’s why I make health such a focus. I eat well and make sure I train at least four days per week, whether it’s pilates with my fiancé or going to the gym. 

Having routines is incredibly important. Even when work is super busy, sticking to a routine has helped me maintain my health and ensures I’m not working too hard.

7. You don’t need to know everything

This one is important. People can beat themselves up for not having all the answers, but it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll know it all from Day One. There’s so much I still don’t know, and I’ve been doing this for two years. I’ve found that you only need to know enough for the level you’re at. As I take the next step to grow my business, I learn the next set of things. It’s always going to be a learning progress, and it’s okay not to know everything. Business is an exciting and mysterious thing, and I’m loving the journey so far.

Thanks for reading this article, and I wish you the best on your business journey too!

I’d love to chat to you about business strategies, hiring and growing your team, and what your biggest challenges are as a business owner. If you’d like to talk further, please reach out to me on 03 9913 9642 or email me directly at