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Why recruitment and mentorship are key to keeping the industrial sector resourced

Australia’s industrial sector has long been upheld by a workforce of senior specialists, many of whom boast decades of experience. While this means that the industry is rich with knowledge, it also indicates that a large number of employees will be retiring over the next decade. With the majority of industrial insiders being around 50-years-old, the sector will likely experience a shortage of skilled workers in the next ten years. This leaves businesses to take action in attracting, teaching and retaining the next generation of industrial employees.

As a well established player in the industrial sector, Pickles knows the importance of acquiring the next industrial workforce in the next few years. Not only is it important to start developing the next wave of industrial workers to keep Australia’s industry progressing, but it needs to be done now so the newcomers can take advantage of the wealth of knowledge offered by their predecessors. Empowering the next generation benefits the entire sector, as vendors too would be greatly impacted if the industry was suddenly barren of the skilled workers needed to conduct the buying and selling of industrial assets.

That’s why Pickles has invested considerable time and resources in sourcing the industrial leaders of tomorrow. Using recruitment, cadetship, training, development and mentorship, Pickles aims to uplift newcomers and ensure a strong future for the industry.

Pickles supports the next generation of industrial leaders

For Nathan Heymans, NSW OEM Manager, industrial comes naturally. After liaising with Pickles through his roles in the OEM dealer network, the opportunity to progress came about through his internal connections. Having built strong relationships with Pickles executives, Nathan was referred for a role with Pickles Industrial.

Now three years into his Pickles career, Nathan is taking industrial to the next level with his fresh perspective on the industry. At 33-years-old, Nathan is one of Pickles’ youngest industrial managers and is one of the freshest leadership talents in the business.

Nathan is part of a new generation of industrial enthusiasts who are currently coming up in the business. This new wave of insiders will need to shepherd the industry into the future, and Nathan believes the only way this can be done is by soaking up as much knowledge as possible from the senior industrial experts at Pickles -

‘There is so much to be learned from the industrial guys at Pickles. Some of them have been in the industry for thirty plus years, you just can’t buy that kind of insight. I soak in as much knowledge as I can while I can, and I’m lucky that they’re so willing to help.’

While keeping one foot rooted in the knowledge of his predecessors, Nathan keeps his head towards the future of the industry. Nathan’s career is developing in the midst of huge industry changes, as digitisation sweeps the used asset marketplace.

The 20s have led Pickles to reorganise and innovate their offerings in a digitally-led way. As the industry and Australia changes, the youngest Pickles leaders have rallied to push the business into the future. For Australian auction houses, it appears that the era of the in-person auction has passed, with the vast majority of sales now being conducted online. Pickles’ youngest employees are the loudest advocates for this digital auction revolution, with online auctions drastically improving sales results.

These changes have been hard to swallow for those who miss the atmosphere of in-person auctions. For industrial predecessors, the industry has changed drastically over the last two decades. Sales have gone from handshakes at the pub, to completely online transactions. In 2023, the landscape of Australian industry has changed and so has Pickles.

How Pickles uplifts the next generation of industrial talent

Entering the industrial sector is an extremely lucrative business, albeit a daunting one to enter. For young Australians, getting a foot in the door can be the hardest part. For new industrial talent, there are a broad range of career pathways available to choose from, like starting as a cadet, trainee or in our administration and sales support teams. Getting started is the most important thing to Pickles senior leaders, who believe in investing in their employees, building a broad range of skills to create well-rounded experts over time. Meaning, newcomers simply need to get a foot in the door to be offered all the opportunities in the world.

For those interested in cadetship, Pickles offers a 2 year program to those who have finished high school or university, or are partway through a university degree. The programs allow newstarters to work closely with industry leaders and learn a variety of skills including asset valuing, auctioneering, sales techniques, project management and insolvency handling. After completing training, Pickles offers the candidate a role within the business that is suited to the individual’s skills and preferences.

For those interested in starting a new career but feel a cadetship isn’t for them, there are a range of job opportunities available across Pickles’ 27 Australian locations. A large majority of Pickles’ senior executives climbed the ranks after starting in branch-based roles and honing their knowledge and skills over many years. So for new entrants to the industrial sector, getting started in any role at any location could mean the opportunity of a lifetime.

Tips on starting an industrial career

There is a wealth of opportunity afforded to recruits by Pickles, a sentiment which is echoed by some of Pickles Industrial’s most promising young talent. When asked about their advice for those wanting to join the industry, Nathan Heymans, Alex McAvoy and Lachlan Connors had plenty to share -

‘Just give it a crack! It’s a very rewarding career path for those who are just willing to give it a go.’

Nathan Heymans, NSW OEM Manager - Industrial

‘Industrial is a very rewarding and exciting industry to be part of. Pickles invests in their staff, with a range of opportunities provided to develop & advance within the business.’

Alex McAvoy, Vendor Payments Team Leader - Industrial

‘As long as you are motivated, have the hunger to learn and are willing to admit mistakes, you’ll do well.’

Lachlan Connors, Sales Executive Industrial, NSW

For more information on Pickles cadetship programs or job opportunities, head to

11 Jul