Colliers Australia: Leading global real estate firm closes more deals with stronger candidates

More seamless processes and a streamlined workflow helps hiring teams make quicker, more informed decisions.
"Hiring managers think SmartRecruiters is great! They’re pleased. Our CEO is pleased. Best of all, our entire team is working more efficiently." Liam Ovenden, Director of Acquisitions, Careers and Talent Management


Commercial Real Estate



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As one of the world’s leading real estate empires, Colliers International has over 10,000 employees in 66 countries – including Australia. In fact, Colliers International Australia is one of the brightest success stories of the entire group, ranking among the top 100 outsourcing firms by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals.

This achievement was thanks to the effort of 1,700 staff, a figure which has increased by 40% in the last year. However, as Liam Ovenden, Director of Acquisitions, Careers and Talent Management at Colliers International Australia explained to SmartRecruiters, that success wasn’t guaranteed, primarily thanks to their legacy talent acquisition suite.

“When you can’t even locate people who’ve already applied, that’s a sign you need a change – which is why I’m glad we moved to SmartRecruiters.”
Liam OvendenDirector of Acquisitions, Careers and Talent Management


Liam found their older applicant tracking system was holding them back in an evolving market. What’s more, it was creating multiple pain points across the company, resulting in wasted work hours and irritated staff. Liam explained:

“We found we were constantly engaging in tedious tasks. Loading a job was extremely time consuming, especially when posting to multiple sites. Any change in requirements, no matter how slight, was almost like reinventing the wheel.”

This software also let down Colliers in other areas, namely the retention of candidate details. The old system made it too difficult to locate individuals who had been contacted in the past, no doubt adding to the tedium, and also costing Colliers in the form of new job postings for positions that could have been filled by former candidates.

All told, this situation was diminishing Colliers’ competitive advantage and most likely turning away potential applicants with a poor candidate experience.


Luckily, Colliers International Australia sought advice from their parent company, which suggested they look into SmartRecruiters. It’s a decision Liam Ovenden didn’t regret, adding:

“I’m pretty sure we were using one of the worst and most outdated legacy ATS platforms. Now I’m confident that we’re using one of the best talent acquisition suites available.”

Here’s how SmartRecruiters helped Colliers International Australia turn their hiring around:

  • SmartRecruiters’ easy to navigate platform allows for collaborative hiring with multiple hiring managers. Each member of the team can view the work of the others and come to group decisions. This was especially important to Colliers Australia whose 26 offices are spread over a large geographic region
  • The platform also allows for frictionless communication between both team members and candidates. More importantly for Colliers, all candidate information is retained and easy to relocate. Even executives began to get involved in the process, namely because it was so simple.
  • More engaging job postings, including integration with social media platforms greatly reduced bounce rates, meaning candidate applications went up.

As a result of SmartRecruiters’ platform, Colliers saw their number of hires via referrals increase threefold, reducing the cost and time needed to fill positions.

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