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Director of APSCo in conversation with The HR Leader

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
Director of APSCo in conversation with The HR Leader

Lesley Horsburgh, managing director at APSCo, spoke to The HR Leader to discuss how she got into her role, the mission of the association, and how Australia’s market compares internationally.

Shandel McAuliffe, editor at HR Leader: “How did you become the managing director at APSCo?”

Lesley Horsburgh: “I started working in the recruitment industry and running a temp desk back in the UK. When I came to Australia permanently, it was a great way to start my career and really get a gist of how the business world here in Australia worked. So, I continued to work in recruitment for a while, and then I returned, after about four or five years in recruitment, to my writing.”


“I ended up producing and writing [for] a magazine for the recruitment industry, which later saw me launch some industry awards called the Recruitment Excellence Awards (Thompson Reuters). That was the beginning of a very longstanding career that was either in writing and communications around in the recruitment industry or running events in the recruitment industry”

She added: “In 2019, I was approached by APSCo, which is the Association of Professional Staffing Companies and come in to really embed their brand. They'd been formally an industry body for the IT association called ITCRA. They merged with APSCo in 2016. My role when I came in was to really leverage that brand and what it meant to its members.”

Editor: “What is APSCo and what is their mission?”

Ms Horsburgh: “We're the Association of Professional Staffing Companies, so our members are recruitment agencies that hire in the white-collar professional space. Our role as an industry body is to equip them to run their business compliantly, professionally at best practice or best standards, and take the worry away from running a business.

“It's becoming incredibly technical. The whole world of hiring people has become incredibly complex due to work, health and safety standards and compliance, changes in legislation. Our role is to keep our members informed, tell them what to do, when to do it, and hopefully allow them to focus on what they know best, which is recruitment.”

Editor: “Do you ever do any work outside of Australia or is it purely in the Australian market?”

Ms Horsburgh: “APSCo is a global organisation, so we have a global head office in London. We have APSCo and services in Germany, Singapore, the UK, and here in Australia at the moment and that's expanding.”

Editor: “The UK is considered to be ahead of Australia in many ways. Would you say you're learning about work changes from the UK market?”

Ms Horsburgh: “There's lots of things that hit the UK market a little bit earlier than they do here. It is a far more established industry over in the UK than it is in Australia.”

She added: “It's very transferable to break into businesses in Australia. So, in a very broad sense, yes, they do encounter changes in the market or conditions before we do. We've obviously got our own wonderful state and federal legal system and government, so it does add a little bit of complexity and nuance to Australia. But certainly, they're [UK] a little bit ahead of us.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full conversation with Lesley Horsburgh is below.



The practice of actively seeking, locating, and employing people for a certain position or career in a corporation is known as recruitment.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.