Podcast: Catching Up With Greg Savage, Founder of Firebrand Talent Search

Last fall, I chatted with Greg Savage, founder and Global CEO of Firebrand Talent Search, about some recent changes in his professional career. Savage is the former International CEO of Aquent, and at the time of our talk, the company had recently transitioned Aquent’s permanent placement business to Firebrand while Aquent retained its temp, contract, freelance, and temp-to-perm placement business. We discussed the thought process behind this decision as well as some of Savage’s thoughts on the importance social media would play in the development of the new Firebrand name and image.

Now, over half a year after this transition, I caught up with him to see how things were going. During our chat, Savage talked about some of the challenges as well as the rewards that he has seen during this transition period. When I asked him if it has been worth it, he responded with, “It’s like asking that question of someone on mile 15 of running a marathon.” But the change has been well worth it for him, as well as the rest of Firebrand’s 100+ person global workforce.

Obviously, changes in technology, dealing with conducting business and legal issues across the eight different countries in which Firebrand operates, and dealing with personnel changes among other things have proved to be challenging for Firebrand’s launch. However, Savage shared that by focusing on hiring the right people, doing due diligence when dealing with legal compliance (such as privacy issues and conducting business in different countries), and ultimately making sure your people are focused on revenue-generating activities first and foremost, Firebrand’s launch has been running smoothly. Check out the podcast below for the conversation with Savage and learn from his experience some of the things you can expect when pursuing a re-focus, restructuring, or even a brand new launch of a recruiting business.

About Greg Savage:

Greg is the founder and driving force behind Firebrand Talent Search. Over a career spanning thirty years, he has established himself as an icon of the Australian recruitment industry. After graduating with honours in Psychology, Greg’s early career saw him manage the London office of the United Kingdom’s largest accounting recruiter for two years. In the early 1980s he returned to Australia to run the Sydney office of Accountancy Placements (now the Hays Group), where he was invited to join the board of directors at age 27.

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Greg founded Recruitment Solutions in 1987 and rapidly built the start-up into a company of over 200 staff and annual sales of $60,000,000. In 2001, Greg join Aquent as Asia-Pacific CEO. Four years later in 2005, he was promoted to Aquent International CEO and assumed responsibility for all Aquent businesses outside of North America, which then comprised of over 25 offices across Europe, Asia, and Australasia.

In the fall of 2010, Greg formed Firebrand Talent Search which took over Aquent’s permanent placement business. Firebrand, which focuses on marketing, creative, and digital industries, is currently present in eight countries and ten cities worldwide.

In recognition of his contribution to the Australian recruitment industry, Greg was made an Honorary Life Member of the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) in 2004. As an active social media enthusiast, Greg’s industry blog — The Savage Truth — is a must-read for recruitment consultants, while his Twitter feed similarly attracts thousands of followers from around the world.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.