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Richard Earl visits the UK

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More Ideas and Farewell

Following on from a highly entertaining evening with Bay McLaughlin, this morning I caught up with Paul Lee of Ace Hearing winner of the Talent Unleashed Award for Community Impact.

Rarely have I seen someone so passionate about a great idea. ACE Hearing is a hearing enhancement technology that incorporates the services of hearing professionals into any mobile device. It assesses your hearing health with a self-administered hearing test, and then can reshape your device’s audio output to provide a fuller listening experience. I look forward to spending time with Paul in South Africa to help him bring his dream to fruition.

Later in the day, Neil and I caught up with Charlie Melvoin who is running a special project called Blueprint for Swire Properties – a division of Swire Pacific who amongst other things own Cathay Pacific airlines. Swire Properties are one of Hong Kong’s largest property developers and have decided to launch Project Blueprint whereby they will allocate space in one of their buildings (Cornwall House) to start ups and co-working memberships. They will not take equity or charge rent for the initial 6months and will be seeking applications form all over the world commencing in September with a view to a Jan launch. Charlie was part of our Unleashed Awards Q & A panel and was sufficiently impressed to ask if we would like to work with Swire on this project.

Sounds like an amazing opportunity!

The day was rounded off with a Q & A session with Neil and the team before battling the rain to make it to the airport to for the overnight flight to Sydney.

So I guess that just about rounds off an exhilarating trip that has included Singapore, London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Hong Kong and I’m delighted to say the future looks very bright and exciting for Talent International in all these markets.

That’s all for now!

Cheers,

Richard

 

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Hong Kong Inspires and Surprises

Arrived overnight from London in a humid rain swept scene and immediately went to check up on Hong Kong’s tech start up scene.

First point of call was Outblaze at Cyberport where Talent Unleashed judge and high profile tech start up entrepreneur Yat Siu runs Outblaze and a range of other technology related ventures.

Yat provided a great insight into the start up scene and the importance of the migrant entrepreneurs who by definition are not wedded to the doctrine of the established order and more likely to take a different approach to things. He also provided some great tips into what’s working and what’s not in terms of the start up eco culture and how we need to connect better with the Chinese speaking tech community where many great ideas abound.

In the evening our Exec GM for Hong Kong Neil Bullock and I joined Silicon Valley livewire Bay McLaughlin who has established himself as a connector extraordinaire in the tech start up community. Bay was MC at our recent Hong Kong event and did a fantastic job by all accounts especially with the Q & A expert panel. Again Bay provided some tremendous insight and will be a valuable ally in our efforts to be an important ally and supporter to the start up scene. Bay also provided some great insight into obscure whiskies from all over Asia at a discrete and unique whisky tasting bar. Never a dull moment with Bay.

Hong Kong continues to inspire and surprise!

Cheers,

Richard

 

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Final Day in the UK

After a weekend with family and friends and watching the mighty Birmingham City beat Brighton, I returned to London for my last day.

I caught up with Rosa Glover from TechHub to discuss possible participation in the Talent Unleashed Awards.

TechHub is a community providing collaborative workspaces to support start-ups across Europe but predominantly in London and has approximately 300 start-up members – the largest start-up community in the UK.

After that, I caught up with Jon one more time before heading off to Heathrow to catch an early evening flight to Hong Kong.

What an amazing trip this has been in terms of the meetings, the ideas and realising the potential of what can be achieved here.

Thanks to Jon for looking after me and thanks to all the guys from Birmingham, Bristol, London, and Manchester for making me feel so welcome.

Cheers and all the best guys – see you soon!

Richard

 

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Big Ideas Day in London

Well rested after a late arrival into London the previous night, as today was all about brainstorming.

First thing this morning we met with a local PR & Comms specialist to discuss an approach to the Talent Unleashed awards in the UK and we think we may have a plan that works well within the context of our UK operations.

From there it was back over to Virgin for a lively discussion with Charlotte Goodman who is the Changing Business for Good Group Director and is responsible for ensuring there is integrity of brand purpose across all the Virgin brands – big job!

We gave Charlotte an update on Talent Rise and she gave us some great potential partners for rolling out Talent Rise in the UK. We followed this up with a demo from Lindsey Crouch of Virgin Start Up who demonstrated their new technology platform for the administration and assessment of the mentoring program.

Pleased to say there may be an opportunity for Talent to utilise this platform and possibly in a co-branded approach.

It was then back to the office at Vintner Place for a session on global client strategy and ideas on how Lindsay Jones (Group Director of Business Development, Talent International UK) might link up on a more formalised basis with Jacqui Whyatt in Singapore, Neil Bullock in Hong Kong and Aaron Williams in ANZ to review cross selling opportunities. The day wrapped up with a Q & A gathering with the entire London team and an acknowledgement of their efforts.

Now it’s back to Brum for my final day!

Richard

 

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A Visit to Manchester (City)

Met Jon at Birmingham New St and caught the early train to Manchester.

A quick hello to the guys at the office in Deansgate and we decided to head off to Etihad Stadium – home to English Premier League Champions Manchester City. Jon pulled in a favour, and with a new season kicking off this weekend we thought we’d better check out the premier league trophy before it’s returned to League Headquarters.

Back to the office and a good session with the team in Manchester; Clare, Sarah, Aaron, Declan, and Patrick. Unfortunately I missed Manchester’s Director Andy Scholes who is currently on leave in Las Vegas. What a crazy combo Clare and Sarah are – we didn’t stop laughing!

I managed to spend some time with our UK Finance Director Patrick Dundon who reflected on how much has been achieved in such a short amount of time. Patrick discussed how the fact that unemployment was now at its lowest level (6.4%) since 2008 and how it would present both challenges and opportunities in relation to finding staff.

We grabbed a couple of quick drinks with the team, said farewell and headed back to Manchester Piccadilly for a train down to London.

Thanks Manchester (City) for a great day!

Richard

 

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Catching Up with the Brummie Crew

I also had a great catch up with Matt Harland, our UK marketing Manager who has some excellent ideas around client communities, business improvement programs, Women in Tech and The Talent Unleashed Awards having organised a great hook up with Tech Hub – a community providing collaborative workspaces to support tech start-ups across Europe and a potential partner for Talent International.

The team showed a keen interest in the future direction of the company and can’t wait for the many new initiatives to hit the UK. Some fun Q & A sessions revealed that many of these guys are inspired by their entrepreneurial fathers and that Lena Patel takes the prize for the most embarrassing moment having recently fallen into one of Birmingham’s many canals yet saving her phone and all important late night kebab. You’re a star Lena!

It’s good to be home!

Richard

 

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Back in Brum

They say everything comes around and it certainly has for me.

Twenty three years after departing, this Brummie Boy finds himself back on his old stomping ground and delighted to be working from Talent’s Birmingham office.

I spent some great time listening to stories from Matt, Caroline, Hollie, Katie, Luke, Andy, Liam, Jodie, Tina, Andrew, Gary, and Lena as well as an interview with Ian Tunnicliff to get some insight on the market and how he sees the future.

Ian explained that the market is running so hot in parts that suitably qualified C# Developers are getting tapped up at least five times a day. He views himself as relentless and sees great opportunities to take market share along with the challenge of staying one step ahead of the competition. Whilst the technology sector is certainly buoyant Ian feels the Digital Sector is somewhat overhyped with the marketing industry largely re-categorising themselves as the Digital Economy.

 

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Time in Devon & Bristol

A very scenic train ride across England took us to Devon where I was treated to a tremendous night of hospitality by Jon and Emma at their country residence just outside of Tiverton.

After rising to a fine Devon morning we made our way to Bristol via local train and past a sea of hot air balloons to spend a day with our newest team.

And what a curious and eclectic team they are. A great day of insight and exchange was had with Fred (FDP), Ryan (Goat), Guy (Big Man), Aaron (Faz), Will, Tom (Shingles) and Lewis (Lou Dog). It was Fred’s birthday and the boys had taken him out the night before and baked him a cake. These guys are as Bristol as it gets and don’t ask me about the nicknames!

The team cover Banking, Utilities, Snr Sales, Exec Appointments, Retail, and Digital not just in the South West but as far away as Scotland. Great to see they’re already ringing the deal bell only 8 weeks into things.

I bid them farewell and made my way to the station for another cross country train ride to Birmingham New Street.

Keep up the great start Bristol!

 

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Creating Ideas in London

Another beautiful morning in London and today I went to see Virgin to meet with Suse Collier (Community & Comms Director at Virgin Unite) to discuss ideas on how we might work further together to support the start up scene across APAC.

I explained what a great hit the Talent Unleashed Awards were and thanked them for their support and also Richard Branson’s involvement through the whole process and his participation in announcing the winners on the night.

Later in the day we held discussions with a software services organisation from Edinburgh about working together in the booming financial services sector there so watch out for developments in this space. Not sure how things might change if our Scottish friends choose to separate next month.

During the afternoon spent more time with the London team expanding on Talent’s long term vision before heading off to Paddington station with Jon Butterfield bound for the South West and some time with our team in Bristol.

Farewell London till next week!

Cheers,

Richard

 

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Arriving in London

Having been delivered very nicely by British Airways to a beautiful summer’s morning in London, I was greeted by the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral outside my hotel.

I then had a tour of our beautiful new offices at Vintner Place on The Thames and I began my day spending five mins with the director of Talent’s London operations, Alex Phillips.

Alex has 11 years experience in the technology recruitment industry and personally specialises in the Microsoft Stack market which includes Sharepoint, MS Dynamics and BizTalk. He oversees a team that cover anything across Europe and they’re having great success especially in Germany. Our London office also specialises in SAP for the banking sector which has recently won some business in South Africa. Alex explained that in overall terms, the general market has become candidate driven unlike anything he’s seen for seven or eight years – clear evidence of a strengthening tech sector. He also explained that whilst the thriving digital scene was as active as ever, there was extreme competition for candidates prompting more creative approaches.

That brings me on to the Talent Unleashed Awards and how they can play a part over here. Later in the day we met with PR specialists to discuss our strategy for the Talent Unleashed Awards in the UK. There were plenty of great ideas on that front and potential interest from a high-profile media partner in the technology sector.

Finally, a couple of drinks with a client (Cap Gemini) and some of the team after work in Moorgate, and it was time for an early night from my perspective as I again walked past the majestic St Paul’s set against a summer sunset.

Cheers,

Richard

 

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Landed in London

Having been delivered very nicely by British Airways to a beautiful summer’s morning in London, I was greeted by the magnificent St Paul’s Cathedral outside my hotel.

I then had a tour of our beautiful new offices at Vintner Place on The Thames and I began my day spending five mins with the director of Talent’s London operations, Alex Phillips.

Alex has 11 years experience in the technology recruitment industry and personally specialises in the Microsoft Stack market which includes Sharepoint, MS Dynamics and BizTalk. He oversees a team that cover anything across Europe and they’re having great success especially in Germany. Our London office also specialises in SAP for the banking sector which has recently won some business in South Africa. Alex explained that in overall terms, the general market has become candidate driven unlike anything he’s seen for seven or eight years – clear evidence of a strengthening tech sector. He also explained that whilst the thriving digital scene was as active as ever, there was extreme competition for candidates prompting more creative approaches.

That brings me on to the Talent Unleashed Awards and how they can play a part over here. Later in the day we met with PR specialists to discuss our strategy for the Talent Unleashed Awards in the UK. There were plenty of great ideas on that front and potential interest from a high-profile media partner in the technology sector.

Finally, a couple of drinks with a client (Cap Gemini) and some of the team after work in Moorgate, and it was time for an early night from my perspective as I again walked past the majestic St Paul’s set against a summer sunset.

Great to be in London!

Cheers,

Richard

 

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Swift Singapore Stopover

It’s been a whirlwind of growth for Talent International over the past 12 months and especially in the United Kingdom since we undertook a joint venture and added the new offices to Talent International’s global footprint.

While I’m based in Sydney, I do make it a point of travelling to each of our offices several times a year, which is why I’ve decided to write a blog for my United Kingdom Trip.

For this trip to the UK, I will call in to each of the offices to get to know the teams in London, Bristol, Birmingham, and Manchester. It’s going to be a quick trip throughout each of the booming technology hubs as I’ll be calling in to visit a range of colleagues throughout the UK with the focus of understanding the grassroots technology trends in the region. After all, the United Kingdom is kicking many goals in this sector, so it’s time to put them under the magnifying glass to see what we can implement across the APAC region. In saying that, the last couple of days have really set the tone with a flyby stop off in Singapore.

My morning was spent with Jacqui Whyatt (our EGM for SE Asia) and Neil Bullock (our EGM for Hong Kong) to review strategy across both regions and conduct a full debrief of our two Talent Unleashed Awards events in Singapore and Hong Kong. There was plenty of great feedback and stories on that front.

Earlier in the day, I met with a number of new staff that Jacqui has brought on board to take our Singapore business to a new level and I am certainly impressed with our new team.

Later in the day, Singapore’s Talent Unleashed Award Winner for Inspirational Leadership, Grace Clapham, found time to drop in and tell me more about her amazing initiatives and how the awards are already changing her life – she’d just done an interview with the BBC that morning and had also been on local radio. I congratulated her again and presented her with a nice bunch of flowers.

I then paid a visit to an old mate at BHP (Greg Aylmore) who’s kicking a few goals driving BHP’s technology strategy before joining the team for dinner over some outstanding Indian cuisine.

With that it all came to a halt too soon as I was whisked away to Changi for the 11pm to London where to my surprise I received a free upgrade to First Class from our friends at British Airways.

What a day – love Singapore!

Cheers,

Richard