- Name: Adam Solomons
- Role: Director of Asia
- Joined: 2008
- University: Southampton
Having joined Hydrogen in 2008, Adam Solomons has gone from Graduate
researcher to Director of Asia – responsible for the Singapore, Malaysia
and Hong Kong businesses – in under eight years.
Adam’s target was to get to Director by the age of 30 – mission
accomplished. But as you’ll learn, while it hasn’t all been plain
sailing, it’s been an incredibly rewarding journey.
Best/worst part of the job
I derive the most satisfaction
from seeing a person overcome a skill gap or basically turn their
fortunes around. You need a lot of perseverance in recruitment,
especially when things aren’t going your way. Processes and admin take
you away from your clients and team, so that’s the most frustrating
The constant uphill battle to prove myself in a
new country against established recruiters. Reaching out to old
contacts, meeting clients, it’s been hard work. You’ve got to be in it
for the long run, so you can build your own sphere of authority. That’s
when you start to reap the rewards.
That would be securing our
biggest permanent deal with a global banking client in 2014, which grew
into a multi-million dollar account. It was to prove a major turning
point for our company in the region and for me personally. Remember what
I just said about hard work paying off. It also made me realise just how
important relationships are – you need to invest time building trust
with your clients.
Making sure that we have the right people
in the right markets to grow our market leading businesses has been my
focus for the last 12 months. Providing our people with the
best-in-class tools to do their jobs as effectively as possible. And
making Hydrogen the best place for our leaders to ensure that they can
fulfil their potential.
To become a subject matter expert and
trusted authority in your field, you need to understand your industry.
It’s so important to grasp the basics. That’s why all our consultants
start as researchers, learning about organisations and sourcing
candidates – there’s no client interaction at this stage.
A lot of questioning (less telling) gets
people thinking. The art of listening. You need to manage performance
and help people realise their potential. Diffusing highly pressured
challenging environments, absorbing stress and getting someone else back
on track. You must care about your journey and genuinely want to grow a
business and develop people. It’s not just about the money.
I always hire people who are better than me
which means lots more strengths and weaknesses – and fresh ideas. It’s
having the ability to harness the power of other people’s skills. This
creates a balanced mixture of diverse characters and personalities,
which adds so much value to any team.
While you can progress very quickly there is
often a time lag between inputs and outputs. That’s when you should be
learning. Then apply the lessons next time you find yourself in that
same situation, for example when you might get a quarter when results
aren’t so good.
To whichever country your career may take you,
you’ll be stretched and pushed outside your comfort zone. You quickly
learn about new cultural differences and working practices. It makes you
see and think about things differently and adds an extra layer to your
experience. And it’s a lot of fun!
Everybody here wants you to do well. We’re
serious and do things properly. The business is still relatively small
so it’s agile, entrepreneurial and innovative. You can speak to the CEO,
everyone is recognised for their contribution. You’ll have a very clear
direction of where your career is heading from day one. It’s a very
exciting time to be starting your adventure at Hydrogen.