The unprecedented year: 2020 wrap-up

No one could have foreseen the challenges that 2020 has brought. It’s been a huge year of adjustments, both personally and professionally, and we’re here to recap the highlights and lowlights of this unprecedented year with you!

Australian Bushfires 2020

NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.

We started the year with Australia burning…

Those images of our nation’s deadly bushfires taken from outer space are still imprinted on our brains from early January. 2020 kicked off with some of the worst fires we’ve ever seen in the country. Remember our major cities covered in smoke for days on end? Even New Zealand was blanketed in smoke for a while! We know that many families and towns are still recovering from this devastation. You can still donate to help recovery: Donate to WWF to fund wildlife rehabilitation Donate to the Bushfire Disaster Appeal

We welcomed new faces

Baby Ivah and Alicia Axnick – our newest PPG faces

…. Meanwhile, we welcomed some new faces

Our Marketing Manager Steph gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Ivah Leo Underhill on January 11th. We were joined by her maternity leave replacement Alicia for the few months Steph was on maternity leave.

Roland Got MarriedRoland got married!

Our Director Roland said ‘I do’ to the love of his life on March 20th this year. With Covid-19 already wreaking havoc across the globe, toilet paper shortages ravaging the country and rumours of a lockdown imminent, it was a bit touch-and-go as to whether the wedding would go ahead. But it did, and it was a beautiful day, utterly filled with love. Roland shared his thoughts on getting married during a pandemic in a very personal article on LinkedIn.

… And then lockdown began the very next day

In an unprecedented move, Australians were ordered to stay at home for several weeks, except for urgent reasons. State borders were closed and international flights were cancelled. This time hit hard for families unable to be together, and for many businesses who suffered losses.

remote Working for PPGPPG went remote

Like so many service businesses, we had to move our operations remote very quickly. This was a big learning curve for us, and we had to adapt fast. Working from home was hard for our team, as we love to get together in person! But we lightened the mood with regular Friday team drinks via Zoom. We worked with lots of mortgage brokerages during lockdown who faced the challenge of hiring and managing offsite, so we developed a suite of useful materials to help with the transition. Check these out:

And we we experienced our first revenue hit

With so much uncertainty and fear circulating when lockdown began in March, all of our pipeline disappeared. Many clients understandably put their recruitment on hold to see how things were going to pan out, and that proved detrimental to PPG. The months of March and April brought our first revenue hit since we started in 2017. It was a scary time. We know we’re not alone in having experienced financial impacts because of Covid, and we’re so grateful to have bounced back and come out the other side now.

Spread love not coronaMelbourne entered Lockdown 2.0

After only a few short-lived weeks of Stage 2 lockdown restrictions, Victorians were devastated to watch the number of Covid cases start to rise rapidly again. Sure enough, we entered a substantial second wave with a further lockdown period that lasted months. This lockdown was much more intense than the first, and hit people hard across the state. With so much negativity in the state of Victoria, we launched our Spread Love, Not Corona campaign, asking people to nominate Melburnians who they thought deserved a pick-me-up. We were delighted to share some love with 10 lucky nominees receiving care packages!

1yr work anniversary

But Meg lightened the mood by celebrating her first year with us!

In August, we congratulated Meg on her first full year with PPG and her official promotion to Consultant. Meg’s hard work over the previous year was certainly worth celebrating. We crunched the numbers and found she’d called and spoken with over 1,300 candidates, met with over 200 candidates and placed 20 people in their dream jobs. Great to have you onboard, Meg!

Alicia officially joined us as Steph said goodbye

After many a sleep deprived early start for work, Steph finished up with PPG at the end of October to focus on raising her son and growing her copywriting business. This meant we were blessed to have Alicia step up and take ownership of Steph’s marketing role (plus a bit more!).

Lockdown finally came to an end for Victoria

After gruelling months at home, Victoria saw a significant drop in new Covid cases, meaning we could come out of hard lockdown in October! It’s been so encouraging to see what we’re capable of as a state, and while we hope to never have to do it again, it’s wonderful to know that people will do their bit to protect us all.

And now we anticipate a MUCH better 2021

So much has happened in 2020. It’s been a transformative year, and we think so much good will come out of this challenging time. For PPG, we’re excited for what 2021 has to bring. We have two new team members lined up to start with us in the new year, and lots of new clients that we can’t wait to work with. Despite the challenges this year has brought, we feel so grateful to still be around at its end. We’d like to thank all of our clients, candidates, team and wider network for all your support.

From all of us, we wish you the happiest of New Years – we all deserve that after the year we’ve had. We think an extra glass of champagne is in order!