It is the spirit of ‘entrepreneurship’ and adventure that triggered Sean’s pivotal life changes, including relocating his family with only 2 young kids to China from Singapore. It was a challenge to develop the executive recruitment business in the Chinese Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta area. Armed with a few years of experience, he finally took the plunge to be an entrepreneur by co-founding CGP in Shanghai with like-minded partners…
Where it started…
In 2001, Sean was working as a semi-conductor Account Manager with a US MNC. At that time, the SIngapore Government encourages Singaporeans to start new businesses in China - the new land of opportunities. He decided to launch into executive recruitment services which were still in the infancy stage in mainland China. Timing was on his side, as Sean and his team got a headstart from the Chinese Pearl River Delta area between 2002 and 2004 foreign companies were also pouring investment in this land with great potential.
As one of the very first HR professionals engaged in the headhunting industry in China market, Sean caught the opportunity of providing talent strategy consulting services for those foreign companies that have just entered China.
After 10 years of business development in China, Sean got connected with the other five experienced peers who shared the same vision and ambition to break the tradition and define the next generation of the recruitment industry. Hence in 2012, they came together and established CGP Talent.
From just 2 offices, in 2012 in Beijing and Shanghai, the company expanded the opening of the other offices in China like Suzhou, Guangzhou, Cheng Du, Tian Jin, Ji Lin, Chengdu, and of course to Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Road to Success - Persistency & Consistency
The art and science of executive recruitment in China was mastered as Sean built relationships with key customers and top talents with more than the basic recruitment skills; but coupled with patience, tenacity and determination, he was able to survive in this very competitive career path. Sean has built a solid foundation from countless cold call techniques, new market business development, interviewing and handling clients to ensure their recruitment needs were met. Apart from basic training, Sean constantly sought self-improvement by experiencing work in different departments, and experience in varied industries. Little by little, consistently the effort gained new achievements as he lead the Hays Shanghai office expansion into other cities.
After years of practice, Sean found that the secret of BD is persistence and consistency. Sean was impressed by what he read from a book named How to BD when first stepping into the industry: The ultimate success is not a one-day job. Especially for young consultants, you may hardly see progress by contacting a new client every day. However, you’ll find yourself an expert in the industry after 10 years of repetition.
In addition to consistency, another essence of managing clients and candidates is to be able to able to match the strengths and value of the company to the career dreams of a candidate. Once you can maintain a good relationship with your clients and have their trust that you will place candidates that will help them fulfil the company’s vision, a high retention rate is naturally gained.
Transformation - Embrace O2O Mode
2018 was the year of transformation for CGP when the self-developed revolutionary O2O recruitment platform was launched. This and marked the beginning of the IPO process; and a string of new initiatives to launch the company into a new era.
As the company is poised to not only compete, but exceed the industry’s Best-in-Class practices lead by the guideline of continuously optimizing the user’s experience and connecting online and offline channels in the executive search industry, CGP is expecting accelerated growth rate in the next five years. Sean is confident that CGP is on the right track with the current company strategies, and together as a team, CGP is ready to expand current services to more industries and territories.
Contribution - give back to society
A renowned firm always bears social responsibilities in mind, CGP is no exception. Sean has always held the idea that enterprises have to give good deeds to the society where all their profits were obtained.
You can never find CGP absent in charity by regularly donating to the Red Cross, sponsoring JA China ‘Company of the year competition’ and donating air conditioners and heaters to orphanages and needy institutions. Finding time to be a blessing to society, Sean makes time to visit orphanages from time to time.
Advice to young consultants:
Managing pressure and maintaining work-life balance by cultivating personal hobbies
All work and no play is not healthy for personal development. When hiring, Sean would assess new young consultants based on their personality, work experiences and achievements. Besides that, it’s always a bonus to have personal hobbies which can help you relax and prevent burnout.