We’re shining the Spotlight on Curtis Richens - Director of Halcyon Knights - Asia.
‘I joined Halcyon ten years ago, I was employee number nine.’
Five years later he relocated to Singapore, where he says it was a ‘natural evolution’ for the business. ‘The reason for the expansion is that our customers that we’re working with, in Australia, if they’re not headquartered in Singapore they have a big footprint here - it’s the gateway into Asia.’
‘I was 25 at the time, so a great opportunity.’
While he could leverage existing customers who had headquarters in Singapore, establishing a network was a challenge.
‘Even though we had customers here, I still hadn’t proved to them why they should be using me.’
‘You're new to the market here, it’s not like you know anyone in our candidate community.’
‘It took a bit of grunt work in the early stages’
Learning about the difference between candidate communication styles was important to success. ‘In terms of the local candidate pool, by their very nature, they’re probably a bit more risk-averse than Australian candidates.’
Earning the trust and spending more ‘facetime’ is vital when working with the local candidates.
‘There is a big ex-pat community as well, so a lot of the customers, a lot of the candidates that you’re speaking with are ex-pats.’
Risk-adversity is another point of difference, a ‘fast-growing start-up with a lot of risks but a lot of upside is a really attractive thing for a lot of people in Australia’ whereas in Singapore and the Asian market ‘They’re probably looking at that more as a risk factor rather than the reward and opportunity.’
Cue 2020, a pandemic and the ‘whole recruitment industry took a toll.’
‘When something like that happens in the global climate, the first thing that goes is hiring more people. Particularly paying someone else to help hire those sort of people.’
In 2021 the industry turned a corner ‘There’s an overwhelming demand for hiring at the moment.’ Communicating this demand with clients is part of the work the team are currently undertaking ‘looking at different strategies that they can be putting in place to still grow their business.’
On future goals and projects for the next six months, Curtis says ‘the time now is to expand, there’s never been a better time to be in the tech recruitment sector.’
‘We’ve come out of the other side of the consolidation phase last year, now it’s about growth.
His advice to internal talent is to lean in.
‘Now is the most lucrative time for our industry. For anyone in the business, anyone new to the business, it’s just about leaning into all parts of your role and really enjoying mastering your craft. There’s a huge amount of career growth opportunity.’
‘If you’re wanting to grow within the recruitment sector. If you’re wanting to grow within Halcyon Knights - the sky’s the limit.’