Blog post by Elliot Dell, CEO
In the summer of 2013, Salt UK was a small, local operation in London with c. 35 staff. Other recruiters in our niche market were already much bigger in headcount or global footprint. Our vision back then was simply to dominate digital – we wanted to show the market that we are the best at what we do.
By working with the big players in technology and digital, we quickly learned that this market has no geographical limits and talent is found and moves across borders as quickly as this industry evolves. We knew we had to follow the talent and our clients and started placing talent from London in markets like America, Europe, and APAC.
When we heard that our direct competitors were scoping Australia, we were already having talks with recruiters and potential partners in America, Germany, UAE and Australia but it was a chance conversation with a young lady, Tiarne Hawkins, who really understood our motivation to expand internationally and to better support the disruptive software market we were working in. Six months later we had agreed to open an office in Sydney and were “going global”. Our business strategy was simple: We must be able to sign APAC terms with all our global clients, and APAC needs digital talent from the UK and Europe which we could provide!
Soon after that, we discovered the generalist recruitment business in Auckland called Salt which was on a similar journey to becoming an international player with their acquisition of former Aquent/Firebrand business in Asia. Long story short, it turned out that we had very similar ideas and goals as Jacqui and Shaun Barratt, the owners of Salt in New Zealand and their sister company Font in Asia. So, by July 2015 we all met up to see if there was a unified vision we could work towards, and by April 2016 we had agreed to create a global entity, all rebranded as Salt.
Our offices now included Salt in Auckland, London and Asia (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong) and our Sydney operation “Sodium” which had already grown to 12 staff. We were also able to grow organically, adding a New York office under the leadership of James Walsh and our Middle East operation in Dubai which was founded by Richard Smith to the list.
Our vision has since matured “to create futures for our customers globally that will positively impact the digital economy”, and we developed new global values, a global universe campaign, a global key account programme, and a global training and development system. The culmination of all this work was evident last month when for the first time we brought our leaders from all over the world together in Dubai; our Country and Sales Directors from America, the UK, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the Heads of Finance and Marketing and the Global Board. We spoke of excellence in recruitment, customer experience, building our global community and collaboration.
Whilst creating futures for our customers globally, it is paramount that we continue to develop our staff who are the essence of Salt. Communication and delivering excellence across the globe is enhanced by several successful international relocations from the UK to New York, Dubai, and Sydney and presents an attractive career opportunity for our Salt Stars. Introducing NPS (Net Promoter Score) has helped us to engage with customer feedback and we use this to improve our service quality across the world. Our global ambitions to have an edge in the digital recruitment market have proudly given us a true USP – the Salt Global Community: a collection of our staff, customers, families, industry bodies and suppliers that may share, collaborate and engage in our global knowledge.