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Meet Talent, the back-to-back award-winning company that has been shaking things up in recruitment for 20 years now


Innovative global tech and recruitment services company Talent won ‘Recruitment Agency of the Year’ at both the Australian and New Zealand 2015 SEEK Annual Recruitment Awards (SARAs).

Talent also took home the Australian award for ‘Most Innovative Agency of the Year’ at the awards ceremony held in Melbourne late last year.

The SARAs recognise best practice within the recruitment sector, rewarding recruitment agencies that showcase leadership and innovation to their clients and candidates. Submissions are reviewed by a panel of esteemed professionals from the recruitment, professional services and education sectors.

Judges from the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association (RCSA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Wesfarmers and Information Technology, Contract and Recruitment Association (ITCRA), looked for agencies with key differentiators in their workplace culture, performance, talent retention and development, innovation, growth and commercial success.

It was a back-to-back win for Talent, which took home the prestigious Australian ‘Recruitment Agency of the year’ in 2014 and the New Zealand ‘Recruitment Leader of the Year’ in 2014. It has been voted the number one agency four years out of the last five.

Richard. Earl, Suzanne Hall, Dan Radcliffe - Talent Unleashed 2015
Richard. Earl, Suzanne Hall, Dan Radcliffe – Talent Unleashed 2015

Talent has a long history of winning

The win rounded off a successful year for Talent, which celebrated its 20 year milestone in 2015 with continued growth in revenue (now exceeding $350 million per annum) and the highly successful Talent Unleashed Awards, which recognise and reward emerging tech start-up talent.

Founder and managing director Richard Earl launched Talent from his home in Perth in 1995 and since then he has grown the business into a global powerhouse with 15 offices across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK.

Committed to actively supporting start-ups and the tech sector, Earl created Talent Unleashed, a global awards program that rewards and recognises entrepreneurs and start-ups that are unleashing, innovating and changing tech in business and the community.

He launched Talent Unleashed in 2013 with the support of one of the world’s best entrepreneurial minds, Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. Earl went on to be awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year – Eastern Region in 2013.

Originally from Birmingham, England, Earl started his career as a software developer before moving to Perth in 1991. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two children.

R. Earl, R. Branson, J. Bayliss - Talent Unleashed 2015
R. Earl, R. Branson, J. Bayliss – Talent Unleashed 2015

He told Anthill more about his two decade old business that is thriving more than ever. Below is what Earl had to share with us about the origin and longevity of Talent.

What inspired you to start Talent?

Four years after arriving in Perth, I was working as a software developer and started thinking about striking out on my own. The company where I worked was decent but conservative.

I’d always had an inclination to do my own thing. I was always coming up with ideas to improve the business but was always told by older management not to rock the boat.

Eventually I decided to take the leap. It was the mid-1990s, and technology was really starting to transform people’s lives. The opportunity was clear for all to see. Eventually I thought I’ve just got to give this a go and try some of my ideas.

I launched Talent in 1995, and I’ve never looked back. We are proud to say that Talent remains a privately owned global business.

What is the secret behind your successful longevity?

We celebrated our 20 year milestone in 2015, which we are immensely proud of. Twenty years is a long time to be in business and we don’t take that for granted.

There are a number of factors that are attributable to Talent’s continued success. The first of these is the ability to stay relevant and ahead of the game in a challenging industry.

You need to continually innovate, which we have done through our initiatives including the Talent Unleashed Awards, our online contractor portal Talent Engage and our charitable foundation Talent RISE.

The second is nurturing our wonderful and loyal staff, who have help to build something very special. Recruitment is essentially a relationship driven business and we recognise the value of our people.

None of this would be possible without such an amazing team. It is our staff that provide our clients and candidates with the amazing level of service that exceeds expectation.

Finally, it’s having very clear strategy and business plan, which in turn creates a strong sense of purpose.