My #CarterMurrayJourney – Nick Jones

March 2, 2023

The road that led towards marketing and then recruitment

I went to university to study arts and business and later pursued a marketing diploma. During my first year of studies, my passion for sports led me to injury. I broke my leg once and then twice just over a year later (twice in three years) playing rugby and basketball, these set-backs (including a long recovery process) allowed me to reflect on what I really wanted to do…travel.  I left Sydney for backpacking in Europe and later settled in London where I managed a pub in Chelsea for three and a half years.

When I moved back to Australia I worked for my family’s events business in corporate production. In the events, marketing and communications space, I worked as a Production Manager on live events, awards shows, video production and roadshows. The pitching and tendering part of this role gave me a taste for the sales process and I decided I wanted to go into a more sales-led career. I started to consider recruitment.

“I enjoyed the creative projects – but liked pitching and tendering for work.”

Before going overseas, recruitment wasn’t a big thing in Australia but when I returned it had become a big industry. I began speaking to friends in recruitment who advised me to take the leap. After a year of investigation, I made the decision. I started my career at an international recruitment business working with them for ten years across Sydney and Hong Kong (was based in Hong Kong from 2012-2022).

A startup with training wheels, cash flow and big corporate backing

2018 was the year I joined Carter Murray in Hong Kong. At that point, I had been in Hong Kong for seven years. Over many months, I met Hayden Gordine to discuss launching the Carter Murray brand in Hong Kong and across Asia. The excitement built from knowing that I was to launch a new brand into the market and build a team and a database from scratch – and I had to get my hands dirty. The business allowed me to express my vision, how we can build and expand. Taking on this role meant I had the opportunity of a startup with training wheels, cash flow and big corporate backing from The SR Group.

“I had to get my hands dirty; launch a new brand, build a team and database from scratch.”

Becoming an expert in a tough market with niche industries

Recruiting sales, communications and marketing professionals can be challenging. Sales, communications and marketing recruitment covers a very broad scope of skills and at times you need to recruit across a number of different sectors and product areas.

“You need to be fluent in multiple specialisms and skill sets.”

It’s not just a checkbox exercise. On top of the hard skills, you’ve got soft skills to consider. Assessing a salesperson’s personality and ability to be successful leans into a sense. A marketer’s cultural fit, understanding of segmentation and how they’re going to relate to different audiences requires another layer of analysis. Developing an understanding of these soft skills and making the right assessment for your client is the hardest skill to learn.  

The only global marketing, communications and sales specialist brand in the world

Personifying the other brands; Taylor Root would be the dominant player and Frazer Jones the big runner-up. This leaves Carter Murray as the “up and comer”, that’s been through numerous revamps and rebuilds. But we are the only global marketing, communications and sales specialist brand in the world. Plus, our people are our greatest assets and the culture here is collegiate. We work together and we’re connected globally. My favourite thing is to develop our people through coaching and helping them reach their goals. I especially enjoy watching their growth as a leader.

The growth potential in terms of where we can take Carter Murray and what we can do are endless. Although I dislike the term “blank canvas”, I’d use that to describe our space. I’ve been here for many years, and it is still exciting. Establishing a network of senior marketing communications and sales professionals is rewarding. I’ve worked on many senior retained placements across Asia-Pacific (APAC). Those mandates are so interesting and enjoyable to me. Candidates and clients know me across Asia and Australia as an expert in marketing, communications and sales search. When I’m able to work with senior-level talent and reached that point where I am getting referrals for my expertise – it is really satisfying and gives me a sense of pride in the reputation I have built.  

“I’ve been here for many years and it is still exciting.”

Learn the craft first and leverage what you can

Personal branding is one of the most crucial things I developed throughout my career. There’s no point in trying to build your personal brand instantly, it takes time. Yes, you can start on social media through job ads for example. But real personal branding and personalised content are things that take time and knowledge to put relevant information out there in the market.

Don’t stress too much about building it initially learn the craft first. The first step is getting established as a Recruiter. This comes from building your market knowledge and relationships. Then you can start to draw your learnings into fine art. Before you have your personal brand, leverage off the corporate brand, your peers and resources at The SR Group. There will be a tipping point in your career where you can start leveraging your personal brand.

Recruitment is a job you must be passionate about. If you’re not sure about recruitment – try something else. Building yourself within recruitment comes through knowledge, connections and the work you’ve done. You need to make sure that every time you’re with candidates and clients, you’re providing a high service level. You must work hard and push yourself every day. If you’ve got that work ethic and enjoy it, you’ll be very successful. 

“Make sure that every time you’re with candidates and clients, you’re providing a high service level.”

Get in touch with Nick to discuss your career or hiring needs.

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