TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND
I was born & grew up in Toowoomba, 120km west of Brisbane. I moved to Brisbane at 16 to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland. After graduating, I commenced my career in Melbourne in the energy sector undertaking research into the environmental impacts of brown coal combustion. After moving back to Brisbane, I initially worked the QEGB which was responsible for all power generation assets in Queensland. I then joined an energy consulting company before moving to a large multinational heavy engineering construction contractor in a business development role. The focus was on major projects in the power generation, mining and oil & gas sectors in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Opting for a mid-career change after completing an MBA, I joined the recruitment sector and never looked back. After more than 25 years I still enjoy working with clients to solve their people challenges and build their companies as well as helping candidates develop successful careers.
In addition to servicing clients in all states of Australia and New Zealand, I have managed international search assignment for clients in North America, South America, South East Asia and Africa. I particularly enjoyed my time in Canada, based in Calgary developing a fledgling search business servicing the resources sector in Western Canada.
Now based in Brisbane again, I am a passionate rugby supporter after spending many years with my head in a scrum before retiring with minimal damage to my body. I enjoy cycling (both road and mountain biking), family camping expeditions, bushwalks and skiing. Gym and yoga help to maintain a variable level of fitness.
WHAT INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE AND NETWORK DO YOU BRING TO QA?
My earlier career in engineering & leadership roles with owner, consulting and contractor organisations together with more than 25 years in delivering recruitment and search services across QA’s key industry sectors provide QA, their clients and candidates with a depth of industry experience from a range of perspectives.
My network of contacts is spread across the Infrastructure, Engineering, Supply Chain, Construction, Resources and Energy sectors.
My experience includes a wide range of search, recruitment and human resource consulting services to address my clients’ particular challenges. I have also worked on senior executive and technical roles for those organisations who are seeking to increase the diversity of their senior leadership teams and transform their organisations to meet the expectations of all their stakeholders.
My international experience includes developing a search business in North America and delivering assignments for clients in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, North America, South America, South East Asia and Africa. This includes delivery of “whole of project” solutions for Owner’s project delivery teams and operations teams for greenfield petrochemical & mineral processing plants.
I am looking forward to passing on my industry knowledge and experience to my QA colleagues and making a key contribution to the future growth of the business.
WHAT INITIALLY ATTRACTED YOU TO JOIN QA?
Having previously worked with Sergio, Nick and Darren and knowing their professionalism and industry knowledge, I felt very comfortable that the QA team would be great to work with. Now that I am part of the QA team, my expectations have been confirmed. There is a refreshing energy and enthusiasm across the company which I really enjoy. All the team has been very generous with their time in helping me settle in, which I greatly appreciate.
HOW WILL YOU LEVERAGE YOUR EXPERIENCE AND EXPERTISE TO POSITION OUR FIRM AS A MARKET LEADER IN QUEENSLAND?
An initial focus will be raising the awareness of the QA brand in the Queensland market. QA is well-regarded by a number of the major construction contractors so there is a solid base to build on in that sector. Our other target sectors will require a multi-pronged approach utilising both my networks and other contacts from across the QA team. This will be supported by Valerie’s marketing efforts through LinkedIn and other media.
I believe there is an opportunity in the Queensland market for QA to be recognised as the “go-to” specialist executive & professional search provider with a reputation for excellence with a personal touch. Becoming a market leader in Queensland will require building a small team. That obviously takes time but the right brand & reputation as a great company to work for will attract the best people to help us achieve the goal of being a market leader.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT DIFFERENTIATES A SUCCESSFUL SEARCH FIRM FROM ITS COMPETITORS? HOW DO WE COMPARE?
Some of the key features of a successful executive search firm include:
- A market offering that is clear and easily understood by clients, candidates & employees including industry sectors, types of roles, service offerings, commercial arrangements
- A network of contacts across key sectors at the right level including boards, CEO’s, industry bodies together with a process to nourish & expand those networks
- Well-developed & resourced processes to deliver consistently high quality outcomes across the whole lifecycle of an assignment
- A collaborative & supportive work environment that attracts and retains the best people
I believe QA rates highly compared to our competitors across all these features. My role will be to ensure our offering is consistent with the rest of the business and to communicate this to the market in Queensland. I will also be supporting the rest of the business as we continually seek to grow and improve in all aspects of our business.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR CAREER AT QA WITH LIFE OUTSIDE OF WORK?
We have quite a busy family life with a daughter in Grade 11 who has a very full calendar of extra-curricular activities. I also have older children with little ones so sleepovers at our place are a regular & entertaining occurrence. We typically start our day taking our dog (Bob) for a walk to the local coffee shop stopping to chat with other dog owners along the way. On weekends we often get to a yoga class, enjoy the occasional date night at the movies. Holidays are typically camping expeditions with a few other families or some time at the beach. I also love a good book!
NAME FOUR PEOPLE, LIVING OR DEAD, THAT YOU WOULD HAVE OVER FOR DINNER
My parents - both of whom have passed away, John Eales and Nelson Mandela - he loved his rugby as well!
WHAT DOES BEING A TRUSTED ADVISOR MEAN TO YOU?
It means that people are comfortable talking to me about sensitive or confidential issues, being a good listener and asking the appropriate questions to ensure I fully understand any issues or concerns. Having relevant industry knowledge and experience often helps in providing good advice.
BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
My 16 year old daughter and I share a home office with plenty of space for two people. My side of the room is generally quite organised and tidy while her side looks like a bomb has exploded (visualise no clear space on the floor, desk or walls!). No encouragement or threats seem to have an impact, so acceptance appears to be the best approach.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GET INTO THIS INDUSTRY?
I would recommend gaining experience outside the recruitment industry preferably in a sector that interests you. This gives you some broader life experiences and hopefully, a better understanding of the challenges our clients and candidates have to deal with.
WHAT'S ONE PASSION PROJECT OF YOURS?
My current project is restoring my old audio record collection and stereo components which went through the 2011 Brisbane flood – a work in progress!
View Greg’s full profile on LinkedIn or for further information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.