Harrier appoints Nick Ferry to the role of Client Development Manager

Nick Ferry joined Harrier Talent Solutions as a Talent Acquisition Lead in late 2017, on-site with Coles before moving on to manage the retail portfolio for AGL.  In his new role as Client Development Manager, Nick is responsible for business development, partnering with organisations to understand their talent challenges and design talent acquisition solutions.

With eleven years’ experience in talent management, working with brands such as GM Holden, Amazon, Energy Australia, and Asahi, Nick has a strong understanding of operational delivery in large and complex organisations and proven capability in translating strategic people objectives into practical talent solutions.

We talk to Nick about his journey with Harrier, and about transitioning to a new career path during COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.

Can you tell us about your journey with Harrier so far?

I joined Harrier on the Coles RPO account where I supported the client to effectively transition from Harrier’s RPO solution, which had been in place for five years, to a newly designed in-house talent acquisition model.  That was an interesting project, where we spent a great deal of care to ensure that Coles was set up for success by supporting their technology adoption, knowledge of workforce insights across each of their key operations, and talent community engagement.

I then moved across in a leadership role as part of the early-phase project team managing the implementation of AGL’s new RPO solution, which involved a transition from an incumbent RPO provide that had been onsite for 5 years. 

I’ve had a unique opportunity to work with two large, blue-chip and very complex organisations on transition-in and transition-out projects, which has developed my experience beyond talent delivery and helped shape my design-thinking approach, and giving me experience collaborating closely with various partners. There is no singular approach, and like any solution coming up with the right model or process comes from truly understanding the problem we are trying to solve.

I’ve spent the last two years managing recruitment delivery for AGL’s retail portfolio, working with some of the best Talent Acquisition professionals in Australia, and we capped off with a win in the 2019 Seek Sara awards for Australia’s best RPO!

How did you feel about changing roles during COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria?

Honestly, I was a little apprehensive at first. The concept of switching roles after 2 years is hard, particularly when I had such a great team, but I knew this was an opportunity that would take me out of my comfort zone and give me plenty of new exposure and challenge.   The idea of running a sales function in lockdown was also daunting. I can’t offer people a coffee, so I’m relying on virtual meets to chat with people about all things talent, but also if they’ll let me talk about sport, pizza, craft beer, mountain biking, or DIY home renovations.

I live in regional Victoria and have been working remotely since March so, for me, the connection to my team is so important. I had a great introduction to the role and we have all the right technology in place to support me, so I am lucky to be able to closely collaborate with the Harrier leadership team in Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne.

You’ve had a busy year, relocating your family to Victoria’s surf coast - how has that impacted the way you work?

We made the move down to the Surf Coast early this year and we’re loving it. It is a great place for our two boys to grow up and getting to know our new home has been a great distraction during this uncertain time.

Harrier has fully embraced remote and flexible working and I’m grateful because that means less time travelling to Melbourne (a 90-minute trip), and more time with the family down at the beach. We enjoy being able to support local businesses to thrive (particularly our local coffee roaster), spending more time doing outdoor activities than travelling to work on a train.

I think the way we all work has probably changed forever. The concept of being beholden to the city where our head office resides, has suddenly become outdated and this opens up so many opportunities – not just for employees, but also for organisations.  Geography is not a limitation anymore.

Can you share how you have managed to make the transition?

The great thing about people in talent acquisition is that we all have a wide range of skills we need to deploy daily; from problem solving to negotiating, conflict resolution, leadership, change management – you name it.

The key skills I think that will be important in this role are being able to discuss and diagnose key issues, being able to interpret and extrapolate into solutions that will have an immediate impact, while keeping an eye on our growth strategy. 

Any advice to anyone looking to make a transition from Talent Acquisition into Client Solutions?

You’ve got more capability than you probably think you do, and you know how to show value to your customers, as you do it daily. Former colleagues of mine are now in software, procurement, leadership & organisational design consulting, tech start-ups, account management; so think creatively about what motivates you, what purpose drives you and focus on your core skills rather than the roles that you’ve held previously. 

I also suggest looking to those around you who have made a career switch; talk to them about what it took to make the change, stay active with your networks for support, and most importantly back yourself!

If you would like to learn more about how Nick and Harrier Talent Solutions could support your organisation, email nick.ferry@harrierhc.com.


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