Richard Hanson believes hiring the right individuals will maximise businesses’ profitability. 2 years ago he founded Jobable, an HR technology company.
What’s your story?
I’m a Cambridge law graduate who fell into recruitment and followed my nose to Asia to work in the fast paced and growing financial services hub. That was 8 years ago and since then I have started my own recruitment business which was when I had the inspiration for founding Jobable. Right now, I’m two year’s into the Jobable journey and I’m excited to see where it ends up taking me.
What excites you most about your industry?
For most people, being in a job that makes them happy and at the same time allows professional progression in terms of skills and experiences can impact their life in a huge way. Hiring individuals in roles which maximise their productivity as well as a sense of fulfillment also leads to more profitable businesses. The opportunity for technology to change the way we think about work and help tackle challenges such as labour productivity gaps and skills gaps is exciting.
What’s your connection to Asia?
In terms of why I moved to Asia, it was because I was recruiting for investment banks and wanted the opportunity to work in a fast-paced global city like Hong Kong. If we are talking about my connection to Asia now, then I would have to mention my Hong Kong, Chinese wife, Alice and my 5-year old daughter Gabby as being a pretty strong connection.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong for sure. The ease of travelling around the city to do business in person shouldn’t be underestimated. There’s also a real pro-business hunger in Hong Kong. People young and old, want to make money. Not everything is about that of course, but usually if you are successful in building a great product or offering a valuable service you have a good chance of making money. I find this helps most people in Hong Kong to get things done relatively efficiently. Afterall, time is money.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“You can only do your best.” That’s what my Mum and Dad have told me my whole life. Sounds simplistic, but at the end of the day, whatever you do in life, you are going to have to answer to yourself. Ultimately, someone who has given their personal best in any given situation, no matter what the result, can look back without any regrets. That’s my aim daily.
Who inspires you?
High performing athletes, particularly those who have remained at the peak of their sport for a long time. As for business leaders, I look at people like Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, for inspiration. I think the way he marries his philosophy on how the world should be, with the product and business he has built is really impressive. I’d also have to say my wife, Alice who has been a successful entrepreneur for many years and balances running a recruitment business, with being a great mum and supporting her own family here in Hong Kong. She is absolutely the best at what she does.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Winston Churchill’s last words, “I’m so bored with it all.”
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have not played in the rugby match where I slipped 2 discs in my back, tore my left knee cartilage and fractured my thumb. I was injury free up to that point, so that was pretty frustrating and my back still causes me problems today.
How do you unwind?
The only time I think I’m fully switched off is when I’m swimming. Probably because I’m by myself without a phone!
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Thailand. The food and the weather are fantastic. You can just as easily have a great city trip to Bangkok or chill out on one of the many islands.
Everyone in business should read this book:
The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age
Shameless plug for your business:
Jobable is the best way for employers to source and screen candidates for their job vacancies. It’s also the easiest way for job seekers to select the most relevant jobs for them. We are the smartest HR technology company in Hong Kong, if not Asia and I’m truly excited to see what our team can do together in the future.
How can people connect with you?
On LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Or drop me an email at [email protected].
This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:
Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries. He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence. A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.
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