Marnie Jones started her career when she was 19. For 10 years she worked as a management consultant helping companies from $200k to $130m turnover get the most out of their businesses. At 23 she was the Head Consultant for a small boutique firm in Sydney where she managed a team of consultants.
Marnie held workshops and seminars for over 1,500 people over this time. She was responsible for more than 150 clients across varying industries such as mining, construction, child care, real estate, accounting, law, not-for-profit, manufacturing, printing, and travel.
Her work allowed her to clearly see that building an incredible company that achieves its goals relies on 3 things:
- Hiring reliable, overachieving employees,
- Designing and organising the team & its workflow, and
- Leveraging and retaining the staff through great management.
Marnie observed first hand the true financial cost people have to business:
- Hundreds of thousands of dollars go to waste with wrong hires; one bad egg eating at the company from the inside.
- On average 30-50% of work done in a business was avoidable if it were better organised.
- The majority of companies operate well below their income capacity due to weak management.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Marnie, to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Marnie: Well, I didn’t really ever plan on becoming a CEO. My experience has been somewhat backward. Most consultants start as a CEO and then get into the consulting field. I started my career as a consultant taking small to medium business owners through a specific curriculum I was trained on. This gave me access to work alongside many incredible business owners in many different industries and gave me an insight into the challenges, losses, and successes of business that I feel would have taken me 25 years to learn had I started a business from the outset.
I always loved working beside and with CEOs and never really envisaged I would have a company of my own. This changed in 2020 when, after 10 years of consulting, I realised that I had some services and products that I thought would be a joy to scale and helpful to many businesses. And so Talent X was born.
Q. How did you get started?
Marnie: I saw too many issues with recruitment that couldn’t be ignored. High commissions, weak guarantees, minimal screening, and re-poaching. I saw a gap in the market for a truly accountable recruiter and decided to take it.
Q. What was your biggest startup challenge? What steps did you take to overcome it? What did you learn?
Marnie: I had to make the hard decision to stop servicing the construction industry with hiring. We still do management and consulting work with construction companies, but had to pull out of hiring. I analysed the success of our hiring in this industry versus others and it was 50% less successful. It also took almost double the time/cost and was something my staff hated. This was tough as at the time 40% of my client base was construction. I knew it was the right decision for my team in long term but it was a very difficult thing to do.
Q. What is the Most Memorable Thing You’ve Done Since you Started your Business?
Marnie: Talent X is unique. It is a People Agency – a term I coined to differentiate it from a typical consulting and recruiting firm. We hire great staff for our clients using a one-of-a-kind process that is tried and tested to have an 89% success rate. The more exciting projects involve team audits and change management-type work. We go into our clients’ companies and figure out how to best make it efficient and work with the management team to roll out processes and systems. This is the most challenging work but also the most rewarding.
Right now we are in the thick of rolling out a bunch of processes into a global fashion retail brand. They’re the second largest in Australia and sell swimwear across their 4 brands. They have seen significant growth pains as a result of their success and we are making a tangible difference in how they do business. This is exciting and every win they have becomes ours. I know the work we are doing is setting them up to boom to their next level.
Q. What are your top 3 favourite online apps, tools, or resources and what do you love about them?
Marnie: Google Suite for SURE, my business lives purely on this, Zapier – incredibly helpful and Active Campaign.
Q. In terms of legacy, what is the mark you’d like to leave on the world?
Marnie: I wish to disrupt the way recruitment is done in Australia, permanently.
Q. In one sentence, what’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
Marnie: “look” and don’t “think”. If you “think” you’re using what you’ve been taught or told, that is not always relevant to what is in front of you.
To keep up to date with Marnie and her journey, connect with her on LinkedIn.