Soaring like an eagle: Guy McKanna on his new venture January 2017


After over 20 years in the finance marketing space, most recently at BNP Paribas, Guy McKanna has hung up his hat and is moving onto the next chapter - the recruitment game. As a founding member of SUPER Recruiters, McKanna tells Industry Moves about his foray into the world of "connecting good people" and offers advice to those who are thinking of starting their own business. He also tells us about his interesting pastime and shares his favourite piece of advice from someone who knows a thing or two about tackling challenges.

What was your impetus for starting SUPER Recruiters and how has your previous experience prepared you for your current role?

Engaging good people makes the greatest difference to what we provide.However, finding the best people can be hard for super funds, asset owners and managers. HR teams are stretched with many challenges to solve. Having worked in our industry for several decades, in a variety of organisations, I’ve developed extensive in-house experience and a great network of the best people. The idea for SUPER Recruiters sparked from my connections’ recurring calls to help them find the best in our profession.

What makes SUPER Recruiters different from other recruitment companies?

We focus on our industry alone, not the wider financial services sector. We know it in-depth, how it is changing and what is needed. Being best connected, we know who’s who and can identify candidates who have a track record of delivering results. We know the people behind the resumes, their personalities and their capabilities, which reduces the risk of hiring a poor fit.

We also identify people who might not even be looking to move, such as those who are not on online job boards! Our process is robust, transparent, independent, cross-referenced and comes with a replacement guarantee. We also develop solutions for improving teamwork, integration, transformation and change programs. Being a founding member of the Australian Digital Disruption Association has also helped me keep ahead of changes and transformation in our and other industries: exciting times are ahead for us all!

What advice would you offer to someone who was about to start their own business?

Starting a business isn’t a short-term goal, it takes time and you need to be committed. On the way you will face many ups and downs and you will learn a lot. Don’t give up and always give a new idea a go as you don’t know what will ultimately be successful. Focusing on customers is also key. For instance in my case, providing a memorable service that connects good people and organisations.

How important do you feel it is to know the culture behind an organisation when matching a person to a role?

It is crucial. We pride ourselves on finding proven performers with the best cultural fit. Good candidates are much more than their resumes, their interview skills – they need to have a track record of delivering real results.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life/career so far?

Sir Edmund Hilary once told me that climbing Mount Everest wasn’t the hardest thing he had done – it was “dealing with people, everyday”. Surrounding yourself with great people makes a big difference and this has made me passionate about connecting good people.

Where did you grow up and what was it like?

Born in the Western suburbs of Sydney to a single parent, I learnt to become self sufficient at an early age and developed an entrepreneurial style that focuses on solving challenges. Now, I want to use these skills to give back to the industry that has given me so much.

What’s something that most people wouldn’t know about you?

A few years ago, my wife and I learnt how to paraglide. It’s now a regular occurrence in our lives. It takes a lot of learning and risk management to soar like an eagle!

Guy McKanna paragliding

Guy McKanna soaring like an eagle.

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