TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND.
I grew up on an organic herbal tea farm outside of Lismore, in Northern New South Wales. Since I left the farm I’ve lived and worked in Brisbane, London, Melbourne, Brisbane again, and now Sydney. I love city living and also travelling, with my favourite places I’ve visited being Tanzania and Myanmar (and England, but please don’t tell them that).
WHAT INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE & NETWORK DO YOU BRING TO QA?
I started in the search world in London in 2004 and since then have delivered assignments in executive search research, market intelligence, talent strategy and general recruitment. It’s fairly niche but within that niche I’ve done everything. For the past five years I’ve specialized in the global construction sector so my most current network extends nationally and internationally with executives and senior project people in that space.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU BRING TO THE QA TEAM?
My key skill is problem-solving. At this point you can throw pretty much any type of assignment at me and I’d like to think myself – and my team – will handle it with equanimity. We are constantly being asked to solve challenging recruitment problems for our clients, and I think I bring the creativity combined with experience to devise the right solutions.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE EXECUTIVE SEARCH MARKET IN SYDNEY?
Having moved to Sydney from Brisbane, I can see the executive search market is much more mature here. It’s the go-to delivery model for executive recruitment in the banking and insurance worlds. In construction and property, it’s slightly less developed and there are more hybrid search/selection firms – who don’t have a full in-house research team - than true search firms.
WHAT ARE THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE QA?
Engaged, professional, fun.
WHAT INITIALLY ATTRACTED YOU TO JOIN QA?
I had a compelling referral from a trusted former colleague of mine and was already well aware of the strong brand and position QA has in the construction market.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF WORKING AT QA?
Number one is the awesome team. There’s a sense of playfulness in the office and it helps to balance a solid workload and the usual critical deadlines for search assignments. Following that are great team events, and some strong HR policies to ensure we’re also looking at health and happiness, on top of general productivity and the bottom line.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE RESEARCH TEAM IN THE NEAR FUTURE?
Now that we’ve got the right people on board in research, we’re perfectly positioned to support the further growth of the business. So our immediate plans are to continue streamlining our processes, ensure all the right tech tools are in place, and invite further innovation around our delivery model.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR CAREER AT QA WITH LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I like to get out and explore Sydney on the weekends and appreciate this beautiful city. On top of that, I take regular trips north to see my family, plus the occasional nice long holiday overseas to keep things in perspective.
WHAT’S ON YOUR WISHLIST FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS WITH QA?
Further growth is definitely on the agenda! As are new offices in 2020 to house the growing team. I can’t wait for that. Also, more elevation of our service offering and expansion into sectors aligned to construction and property.
WHAT DOES BEING A ‘TRUSTED ADVISOR’ MEAN TO YOU?
QA’s reputation is built on credibility. For our clients that means trusting that we intimately understand our core markets and will use that knowledge and our networks to drive a rigorous search process. For our candidates that means we will be candid with them about the process, give them considered advice, and treat their private data with the highest level of discretion. By working from a strong knowledge base and acting with integrity, I believe we position ourselves as true trusted advisors.
IF YOU COULD EAT ONE MEAL, EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Mum’s Lentil Loaf.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
The specialist batsmen in the Australian cricket team throwing their wickets away.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN 5 YEARS?
Further innovating within the research/delivery function to match the changing nature of modern executive search. Search in 2019 is less hierarchical and more able to flex to meet specific resourcing requirements for clients of all sizes. The modern ‘Researcher’ has skills spanning from client briefing all the way through to candidate placement and I want to further develop myself and my team along those lines (while not losing the core focus on market intel).
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GET INTO THIS INDUSTRY?
Executive search is a great sector to work in! And offers opportunities worldwide. So if you have the right communication skills and people skills, then I’d say give it a go. The only specific piece of advice I have is to be nice to your workmates because they’ll be your professional network in future. It wasn’t something I thought about in the early days but I’ve made great friends and contacts all along the way.
Kira is Head of Research & Engagement, responsible for all aspects of the firm's research and business intelligence function. She has delivered numerous high-level and specialist executive recruitment assignments across a broad sweep of sectors in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and Asia.
Prior to joining Quinton Anthony, Kira spent four years leading the research team for Cellence Plus Australia, Laing O'Rourke's own internal executive search business unit prior to which she was Head of Research for Boston Kennedy. She has developed extensive networks in the global construction and engineering industries.
View Kira’s full profile on Linkedin or for further information, contact her at email@example.com