TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
I began my career in 1997 as a Trainee Consultant for an executive search firm specialising in the mining, mineral processing and construction sectors.
After about 10 years in consulting, I secured a role with Thiess (now CPB) where I gained valuable experience over the next three years working across several business units.
I was then approached by Hyder Consulting (now Arcadis) to take up a Regional Resourcing Management position. It was a role I really enjoyed... until the GFC hit!
Fortunately, Thiess had just been awarded the Victorian Desalination Project and I was offered the role of Resourcing & HR Services Manager, which included relocating to Melbourne. The next few years were a challenging but rewarding time in my career.
Post-completion of my role on the Desal, I accepted a role at McConnell Dowell as the National Resources & Talent Manager.
It was toward the end of my 5 years with MCD that I started to consider establishing my own consulting business. I eventually made the leap and the next 12 months would teach me a lot about the value of my network and how much I enjoy working in a team environment. It was during this time that I reconnected with an old work colleague - Sergio Floyd - who shared a mutual vision for what could be achieved here in Melbourne. We haven't looked back since.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU BRING TO THE QA TEAM?
I have been fortunate to hold several senior resourcing related positions in organisations across the infrastructure contracting, consulting, building and corporate sectors. Having also worked on a number of projects, I think it's critical to have first-hand knowledge of the technical requirements and the processes and pressures of working at the 'coal face', particularly when it comes to people. I am fortunate to have had the experience necessary to gain these skills.
I think another significant advantage is possessing experience across several engineering and construction-related sectors, as it enables me to comprehend a broad range of business requirements. This then translates into more accurate forecasting and advice for leaders and executives whilst utilising my network of industry professionals and executives.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE EXECUTIVE SEARCH & PROFESSIONAL SEARCH MARKET IN MELBOURNE?
The market for true executive search services is obviously smaller than the contingent recruitment agency market, however, the quality relationships that are developed with key decision makers and the "C-Suite" of organisations is really rewarding.
I believe in a partnering and advisory approach with my clients (this includes "candidates" too) as, in my experience, this yields the best results for all parties. Organisations who have ascertained who their "trusted advisors" are - those who know them best, understand their business, culture and values - have a competitive edge, particularly when it comes to competing for key talent and resources. That trusted relationship between a search firm and an organisation is a real asset and one that takes time to establish.
WHAT INITIALLY ATTRACTED YOU TO QA?
I had previously engaged Quinton Anthony as a search partner when with another organisation. This gave me the opportunity to see their work first hand, of which I was thoroughly impressed. The professionalism of the group, the industry experience of the consultants and the values and ethics underpinning their work. Their focus on senior search work and my pre-existing friendship with Sergio made it an easy decision to join the team. It also helps that we don't take ourselves too seriously and strive for the right work/life balance!
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR CAREER AT QA WITH LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Personally, I don't find the balance difficult. Work doesn't always feel like work when you enjoy what you do. But if the balance is off at any time, I can utilise our "QA Life" policy which provides for unlimited paid annual leave.
To relax, I enjoy spending time with my wife, family, and friends. I've been fortunate to travel to some exotic places, trying new foods and different styles of beer. I've been working to reduce my golf handicap and hope one day to retire as a brewmaster - somewhere between a golf course and a beach!
WHAT'S ON YOUR WISH LIST FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS WITH QA?
The next 5 years are going to be an incredible time across our core business sectors, so I am looking forward to what that means for us in terms of growing and diversifying our business partnerships.
We're currently building our team and in 5 years, I hope to see a team of highly valued industry professionals who come from diverse and interesting backgrounds, with a reputation for superior service combined with industry best practice and technical knowledge.
WHAT DOES BEING A 'TRUSTED ADVISOR' MEAN TO YOU?
It's a term that shouldn't be used lightly. It takes time to develop and grow these types of relationships and they must be tried, tested and proven to earn 'trustworthy' status. A trusted advisor should always have the best interests of their client/candidate front of mind - both being as equally important as each other.
A trusted advisor should also be a resource for insightful information that is often off-market to their partners or key stakeholders and most importantly, be able to give, without expecting anything in return.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GET INTO THIS INDUSTRY?
To be successful in this industry, you have to be passionate about creating and maintaining relationships, understanding and predicting economic trends and business movements and have the ability to partner with various organisations concurrently.
This industry offers people the opportunity to learn resilience, confidence, tenacity and to develop long-lasting relationships with some amazing people along the way.
WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
Page numbers - or rather, lack thereof. I find it highly annoying when the pages in a document are not numbered! A close second is rudeness. There's no need for people to be rude to one another. It's a short life, so a little kindness and politeness should always be applied in our interactions.
Nick is Managing Partner, Southern Region for Quinton Anthony. He is an experienced people & recruitment professional beginning his career in 1997 with an international search and advisory firm providing recruitment, HR Consulting and Executive Search services to the construction, infrastructure and mining industries. From 2007, he was employed in the engineering and construction contracting industries in senior HR and resourcing management positions, providing strategic and operational delivery initiatives to increase and improve important human services for the business.
Outside of working internally for leading international main contractors and engineering consultancies, Nick has successfully delivered numerous senior technical and professional search assignments across a variety of organisations including government agencies within the engineering and infrastructure space.
View Nick's full profile on Linkedin or for further information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.