Lend Lease Barangaroo: Building a Trades Recruitment Program


PeopleScout were engaged to deliver permanent and trades recruitment solutions to Lend Lease on their iconic Barangaroo South development in Sydney. Barangaroo South is a 6 billion dollar mixed use urban regeneration project in Sydney CBD. Due to the size of the project, the need for resources being work ready at the various stages of the project is critical.  The construction market is well known for being a candidate dry sector.  With several other firms staffing up in NSW, our client wanted PeopleScout to put together a full sourcing and recruitment strategy months in advance of roles being needed.

PeopleScout were engaged to deliver a permanent recruitment solution for Barangaroo as well as a solution for trades and labour hires in order to deliver all form workers for the new self-performing formwork business,  Lend Lease Structures. Lend Lease’s newly formed Structures crew perform the Formwork Trade for International Towers Sydney T1, T2 and T3. This decision was made to manage safety and workflow deadlines whilst ensuring a safe culture.


PeopleScout was responsible for the end-to-end recruitment for both permanent and labour hire on the project. For permanent roles, we used a high touch process already established by our onsite RPO team.   For the labour hire roles, we implemented an auditable process that was focussed on ensuring that quality candidates were found, certificates were verified and background checks were completed. Process compliance for the labour hire roles was critical to the success of the project through its entirety.

PeopleScout introduced two full time construction recruiters and one dedicated trades and labour hire recruiter into the Brangaroo project.  Two of the team were located with the Senior Leadership Team located onsite in the project offices. The labour hire recruiter was located with the clients newly formed Structures project team. Some of the key activities included:

  • Designing and implementing an attraction and recruitment strategy for permanent and trade staff so that the tight construction program was not delayed and key milestones were delivered on time
  • Partner with the project Executives to plan for upcoming needs and workforce movements
  • Ensure agency usage was at an absolute minimum in order to manage cost
  • Recruit and manage a workforce of 300 form workers across the three commercial towers of Barangaroo

For the permanent hires, we quickly devised a customised attraction strategy that highlighted the techniques available to approach candidates including rolodex sessions, referral incentives/programmes, market mapping, targeted headhunting, social media/professional networking campaigns, social functions and media campaigns to name a few. The approval and offer processes were streamlined to be able to bring people onto the project quickly.

For the labour hires, we implemented an attraction strategy targeted to the behaviours of the quality hires in these areas. There was a strong focus on referral incentives in order to be sure that we were leveraging the networks of our top hires. We also developed a targeted media campaign and networking sessions, and used targeted headhunting techniques.


  • Deadlines met – The team were able to meet all applicable deadlines
  • 280 Form Workers recruited over a nine month period – Initially using advertising and a web portal to recruit. The majority of skilled candidates came via referrals due to our team taking part in tool box talks, organising social events and having a positive daily site presence.
  • Over 300 interviews completed – Each candidate telephone screened and personally interviewed, with tickets and skills assessment completed before offer.
  • Successful sourcing strategy – A great achievement of the role was when our team were able to source large teams from other form work contracts, in one case bringing across the entire initial start-up team for T1 from a competitor. This team comprised of the Foreman, 3 Supervisors, Structural Engineer and 20 trades staff.
  • 100% compliance across all staff – All referenced, interviewed and cleared with Medical and Immigration compliance. The team were paid on time with zero industrial impact.