Where did the last six months go? It’s been a bit of whirlwind since I started at Talent International back in August last year.

It’s sometimes felt like Earth is rotating at a faster speed, or is it that it’s been turned upside down with the arrival of Donald Trump into The White House? The Brexit negotiations haven’t exactly helped with parity, nor did HMRC’s plans to reform IR35 in the public sector.

The biggest news of the last six months, of course, is the return of the Nokia 3310…!!! I can’t help but feel that this has something to do with people wanting to return to more predictable times.

However, we can only embrace the unpredictable world we currently live in – operating in the technology industry gives us an upper hand, I like to think – as it’s constantly changing and keeping us on our toes.

Talent International is a reflection of the technology industry, as I see it; it’s a very dynamic and progressive organisation. Here in the UK, we’ve welcomed lots of new faces into the team, which bodes well as we blitz through 2017.

Our aim is to follow in the footsteps of the APAC division of Talent, which is older than some of our employees at 21 years old, and is the largest privately owned recruitment company in the region.

It continues to blaze a trail and is a regular finalist in SEEK’s annual recruitment awards – this year it took home the prize for the most innovative agency.

The business over there has built a solid foundation based on well-thought-through acquisitions and has a credible background.

I was recently invited over by the team in Australia who thought it would be a good idea to get a sense of how the business operated over there, and so it proved.

UK vs APAC: similarities and differences

During my trip, I couldn’t help but draw some similarities and differences between the UK and Australia – and I’m not just talking about the weather!

In terms of the two regions themselves, there were some striking similarities. Both the UK and Australia offices have a warm and inviting atmosphere – something that was immediately apparent, as my first blog as a Talent employee testifies.

There’s a palpable culture being exhibited by both offices, too; one that is dynamic, fast paced and affords room for new ideas and projects. Another noticeable feature across the business is the focus on giving back and corporate social responsibility. It’s clear that these qualities are embedded into Talent’s core values across the entire organisation.

However, there were some noticeable differences, too, borne out of the fact that the European business is still only two years old. The focus over here is on building the brand with our network in the UK and Europe. The strategy is to be the specialist among technology recruitment, building on relationships from existing contacts and giving an alternative option to clients for recruitment process outsourcing-light models.

What can we learn from Australia?

The APAC unit is the ideal role model for us here in the UK. It has a great story built with a credible reputation in IT recruitment. They have innovative systems and best practice processes in place, while the work/life balance allows team to make the most of the inviting weather.

A relaxed but mature workplace increases productivity – a precedent that is set by directors and the board, who are part of the day-to-day operations of the recruitment business; they don’t sit in ivory towers! All of the executive leadership teams are approachable, even with the time difference, this does not hinder anyone just picking the phone up to talk through a solution. They’re also passionate about developing people, with stability at the heart of the business. A special mention goes to Kay Eriksson, who is my counterpart in APAC, for helping me bed in – she’s been liberal in imparting her experience and expertise.

I’ll leave the eulogising there for now. There’s also plenty worth shouting about at Talent UK right now. Talent Unleashed, our annual awards celebrating the bold and the brilliant across the tech community, kicks off in the spring.

Meanwhile, we’re also working with APAC to find out how EMEA can expand the Talent Engage portal onto European shores. It’s a powerful combination for contractors, candidates, clients topped with new Talent, as we aim to be a trusted contributor in place for the tech community.

Alongside this, we have a new initiative which is in keeping with our DNA to connect young people with career opportunities in the tech sector. The technology and the digital landscape provides infinite opportunities for young people to get ahead and succeed in a rapidly evolving market. At Talent RISE, we believe one of the most powerful and rewarding opportunities employers have is to unleash the potential of young people who have an intuitive understating of technology.

Exciting times ahead, then. I can’t see anything but another exciting, whirlwind six months for me. I wouldn’t have it any other way, of course.