Diversity – At SWIM, only 16% of us were born in BC. If you spend time here, you’ll witness the Maori haka, celebrate the Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, congratulate your peers for winning major Gaelic football championships, and learn various fun facts about the whole world (did you know that Finland publicly publishes everyone’s paid income taxes once a year?) From India to Ireland, China to Germany, Sweden to Philippines, SWIM is proud to be a super diverse group which really highlights our shared values!
Flexibility – As recruiters, not a day goes by without hearing about the cliched “work/life balance”. Employees want it, employers try to give it, and both parties often view it as meaning a set 8-hour workday with minimal OT. At SWIM, we think of it more as “work/life integration.” The work never ever lets up and we all work very hard, but it’s up to us how and when we do that work. Several SWIM recruiters have reduced work schedules but they never sacrifice the quality of their recruitment portfolio nor the service they provide their clients.
Fun – Oh the fun we have had! SWIM trips have included Banff, Penticton, Whistler, Mexico (4 times), Las Vegas (3 times)- all of them being for “fun-only, no-work” trips. Comedy shows, escape rooms, bowling alleys, race car tracks, baseball games, charity galas, golf tournaments, more team lunches at Rogue than we can count, and the list goes on. Only at SWIM can you get scolded by your bosses for being at your computer when you should be in the kitchen having drinks.
Generosity – All that fun doesn’t come cheap. SWIM prides itself on being a top recruitment agency for our clients which means we need to treat our recruiters like the top-level talent they are. SWIM’s owners, Bodil and Simon, are other-level generous. They will have a higher per-person budget for one of our quarterly social events than many other agencies spend on their recruiters in an entire year. But it’s much more than the money- SWIM has your back, always. Whenever SWIM can support a loyal Swimmer with their mental health, physical health, immigration process, relevant PD, etc., they will do it. The generosity also extends to charities- SWIM donates time, money, and goods to charitable organizations near and dear to our hearts, especially the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.
R-E-S-P-E-CT – At SWIM, we respect each other, always. There is no room here for in-fighting or shady business…. It doesn’t matter if you’re a top biller, you can’t succeed at SWIM if it’s to the detriment of the overall team. Moreover, that respect extends to our clients and our candidates, our vendors and our business partners. Agency recruitment has historically been a profession that doesn’t immediately gain respect and can even garner initial mistrust, and so we’re proud that at SWIM we aspire every day to shed the reputation of “slimy salespeople selling people” and wear our values on our sleeves. Opening for business just months before the 2008 recession hit forced us to have a long-term perspective; we knew we wouldn’t survive if we were just trying to close this one search no matter what. When the market picked up and business was flowing in, we kept hiring people based on their values, integrity, and work ethic, and we avoided the “me-first” money makers.
Our Clients – An agency can have all the bells and whistles and perks, but of course it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the clients to keep you in business. Many of Vancouver’s most respected People Leaders (CHROs, CFOs, CTOs, CEOs, etc.) have partnered with SWIM for many, many years, and in some cases since Day 1. They want and deserve quality recruitment service, and if you really like and admire your clients on both a professional and personal level, it’s easy to strive to do your best, always. Our clients have made us better recruitment consultants, account managers, and people.
Our Candidates – Every day in recruitment the pressure is on to deliver- and the goods we have to deliver is talented people who will positively contribute to our client’s business. We have placed hundreds and hundreds of talented employees and contractors with great organizations . . . and they make us look good because we were able to find and represent them!
Earning Potential – As much as we love our jobs, we wouldn’t do it for free. SWIM has not once changed our generous commission structure in over 10 years. Our owners, Boo and Simon, don’t ever begrudge their senior recruitment consultants making more money than they do as business owners- indeed, they celebrate it. We all count ourselves very lucky to work in a true meritocracy where we have a good deal of control over our pay cheque.
Location, Location, Location – It may seem like a minor thing at first, but we’re so grateful for SWIM’s amazing location. We’re right in Waterfront Station, THE transportation hub for the Lower Mainland. Before COVID-19, Swimmers came in to work every day by foot, bus, Canada Line, SkyTrain, SeaBus, West Coast Express, and bicycle. A Swimmer can live almost anywhere in the Lower Mainland and still have a consistent commute. And when the pandemic started, we were all ready to work from home, can’t beat that commute!
Family – Spouses, partners, kids, babies, siblings, dogs, cats, they all become part of the SWIM extended family. Boo has alluded to opening a SWIM Daycare some day in the future and she may not be joking. 14 years ago, there were only 4 SWIM kids- those of the Owners. Now SWIM has grown up…. we have over 20 SWIM kids and we’ve had 8 parental leaves (yes, paternity leaves, too!). It’s so affirming to know that any Swimmer can choose to raise a family while continuing to passionately pursue their recruitment career with our firm.