We were curious to find out about how Dan Rose, APAC Business Leader at Spencer Ogden, has achieved so much throughout his career at such a young age. We talk to Dan about graduate recruitment, what motivated his move to Singapore and even his time in the British Army!
You’ve been promoted from a Trainee all the way through to Business Leader, where you’re now overseeing a team in the alternative energy sector. Can you share a bit about the training and support you’ve had along the way?
Learning and development has always been key here due to the graduate-heavy environment we have been built on. It inevitably helps produce the organic environment where our managers, senior managers and even directors have made the transition from graduates in the business. The great thing about training is the modular concept that is consistent throughout your career and aligns well with your current position. It means that you learn whilst doing, but always with support. The types of training varies a lot. For example, in Singapore we have floor-wide, team and individual-specific training, theory, practical sessions and call coaching (both real time and listening back). The key element is making sure that all of this is engaging but fun at the same time. It’s all too easy to “train” someone in the the traditional sense, which I find quite boring, frankly! Personally, I have been very lucky as all of my direct managers at Spencer Ogden have either been a Top Biller (globally and regionally) or someone who has organically grown in the business. This helps me to learn proactively, but also with advice from individuals who have been through it before.
Is graduate recruitment a priority and focus for the company? How important is it to attract local talent?
Graduate recruitment and local hiring is crucially important. Ultimately, working in Asia means a multitude of different languages and cultural variances. These things can’t be trained. In my team right now, we have British, Filipino, Indonesian, Singaporean, Malaysian and Chinese recruiters. When building a desk and a team, I love working with a strong core of young and driven individuals who are eager to take on board everything that is taught. They’ve got a natural curiosity which means that they’re always excited to venture into the market and see what’s out there. These types of individuals have been successful in hiring, both in Singapore and Hong Kong. As a leader in this business, it really brings a lot more value to your job bringing forward graduates into a new career and helping them achieve. A great testament to this organic growth is that eight out of the ten Top Billers in APAC at the moment are all home grown Spencer Ogden talents.
Why would you recommend recruitment to a fresh graduate?
The best bit about recruitment, I find, is the ability to really see the results from your accomplishments as soon as you achieve them. This applies whether you’re looking for financial reward, a status reward (e.g. a promotion) or a material reward. In some cases, you can achieve all three! Personally, my favourite part is the challenge, either in searching for a new market, a new candidate or a new requisition against the competition in the market. It is a role that really challenges you on multiple fronts, both personally and professionally.
Now based in Singapore, where did you first join Spencer Ogden? What led to the move to Asia?
I first joined Spencer Ogden in London. At that time we were still quite small, and over the course of my 3.5 years in London, I was promoted to Team Leader as well as being one of the top permanent billers in our business. When the time came for a move to SEA, honestly speaking, I had no idea about Asia. I had never travelled here and I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that I wanted to move to a new country. I approached Brad Lewington, now our CEO, and he presented me with options within the business as to where they could use me. Singapore stuck in my mind for two reasons: the market opportunity and the people who had transferred before me. Five weeks later, I flew to Singapore for the first time and have loved it since!
Is international career progression useful when attracting graduates to the business?
Of course. I think any young, ambitious individual in this day and age has thought about international career progression. Whether they undertake it or not, it’s a very attractive option to have. One fashionable thing in business these days is “startup” culture, and the great thing about Spencer Ogden is that we’ve held on to that feeling even moving into our seventh year! Spencer Ogden now has over fifteen offices globally with the opportunity to move anywhere in the world. Just over the past month, five Spencer Ogden employees have moved internationally from London to Denver, Glasgow, Orlando and even New York! The opportunity is there if you want it, and you will be helped by management and HR to make this a reality.
How did the company support you through the physical move to Singapore?
When I instigated the move to Singapore, it turned out to be a really simple process. Spencer Ogden were extremely helpful with the move. What stood out is that they immediately introduced me to people in the Singapore office before I arrived. They also gave me a good understanding about what to expect in terms of the working culture and social life in a new city. Even getting my Visa card was a simple, stress-free HR process. I barely even noticed the admin side to the move as I was tasked with all the goodbyes that needed to happen!!
We’re intrigued by you, Dan. You were a recruiter, joined the British Army for 4 years and then rejoined the industry. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Long story short, I did both! I was a recruiter as well as being in the British Army Reserve. Spencer Ogden was so supportive of this, especially Donna Hewett (Global Director of People & Operations). When she found out, she spoke with David Spencer-Percival (at that time he was our CEO) and I was given extra days’ holiday to train and travel alongside any other support that might be needed. My time in the army turned out to be massively helpful internally, because Spencer Ogden needed someone who was trained in various forms of first aid and fire warden responsibilities. It was really hard work some days, but even during the times when things were not going well, the support was there from Spencer Ogden. In 2014, I was with the army a lot and probably worked maybe ten out of twelve months, but given the people who surrounded me, I was able to claim the CEO Award as well as Top Perm Biller in London – which was great! The British Army was key in helping me mature, and Spencer Ogden was instrumental in helping me turn my drive, ambition and work ethic into a success. Combining both worlds saw me attain the level I have now, at what is considered a young age, and has led me to the building of our Power Generation desk here in Asia.
Are you interested in joining Spencer Ogden? Check out their internal vacancies here: https://www.myrecjob.com/clients/spencer-ogden