End of Q2. The Halfway Point!

14th July 2017

As the humidity and heat builds in Hong Kong to almost unbearable levels we end Q2 and look towards Q3 to shape the later half of the year. Q2 was a tale of two halves…

The month of April was a storming success. A trip to Singapore on the cards for May and planning the arrival of Tom Watterson from Dubai to bring the ‘hands on’ team in HK to 3 enabled us to see a continuation of strong billing across multiple sectors. These placements were made with what we would now class as our ‘key’ clients, those that have been nurtured over the previous months and have had multiple placements with. Candidates that were placed were evenly split across Hong Kong and Singapore, a good indication for MCG to further develop our ambition to formally open in Singapore at the end of Q4. We were delighted to have helped relocate a brilliant Creative Director from China to Hong Kong helping him find a role that he not only loves, but by all indications from the client he has excelled in!

May proved a troubled month in terms of revenue. An impromptu 2 week trip back to London from myself didn’t help matters, but couldn’t be avoided. This was followed by a trip for a week to Singapore to build relationships with existing clients and to bring in fresh business. Sadly this meant that MCG Hong Kong was left building from the ground up, and relying on the business that has been brought in ‘fresh’ to convert. Without prior knowledge of how committed these new clients would be, or how fruitful these relationships would turn out a lot of time was invested with these various agencies with the hope that if at least 70% converted to a tangible relationship then the effort would be worth it. Sadly some rather large pieces of business went on hold due to clients losing accounts, or a cap on recruitment spend at the final hurdle which meant that both MCG and the candidates were left standing. Luckily we were not resting on our laurels and had a healthy pipeline of activity for the final month of Q2.

June started off well taking a large amount of business rollover from a disappointing May to end of the month on a high! MCG placed our highest value role to date, a Managing Director at a global PR firm in Singapore, further helping to solidify the time spent in Singapore and working with new clients paid off. The month of June saw MCG find great talent new roles in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai. Shanghai is certainly on the cards for us to invest more time in due to the increasing amount of interest from candidates to make a move to China. We are seeing many established businesses from Singapore and Hong Kong setting up, or bolstering their headcount in Shanghai. One agency briefed us on nine positions, from creative through to client service, testament that this is one place to watch! This evidence is enough to show us we need to spend some serious time networking and on the ground in Shanghai next quarter. Tom and I were invited to the “British Communities” event hosted by Invest Hong Kong which clearly highlighted the growing interest in setting up companies here on the Island and neighbouring Kowloon, as well as Hong Kong seeing a growing investment from the FinTech industry. A strong finish to the month (the best month of the quarter) enabled us to hit our target and set us up for a strong Q3. A great team effort!

Over the course of July and August we plan on being in Singapore and Shanghai meeting existing clients and candidates as well as starting to foster new relationships across the board. Our main area of focus continues to be within the creative, media, PR communications, and digital sectors. MCG’s wider group offering has generated a large amount of interest following a visit from our CEO, Justin McGuire, midway through the month of June. ‘&Knowledge’ as well as ‘Hopscotch’ are clearly business models that are lacking in APAC and should, with the right approach, prove highly effective building on the consultative recruitment model that is already in place. A good Q3 planned? You bet!