“Placing Professionals in Meaningful Careers”
As the leader of the Asia-Pacific arm of PageGroup, Anthony Thompson is fully committed to supporting the future of human capital.
Anthony Thompson remembers the time when he first joined Michael Page in APAC at its Hong Kong office back in 2001. “We had two Asian offices in Hong Kong and Singapore with around 45 people. Over the years, myself and others have led the business to grow to 27 offices across Asia-Pacific with over 1,600 people.”
Thompson is the Regional Managing Director, and APAC and Global Executive Board Director for the firm − the leading and the largest professional recruitment consultancy in the world.
Almost half a century ago, Michael Page began as a two-man operation above a laundrette in London in 1976 but over the years, it burgeoned and evolved. Today, the company has offices all over the globe and employs over 8,100 people worldwide.
Commitment to Success of Customers
Much has changed over time but, “One thing that remains unchanged is the PageGroup commitment to the professional success of its customers, candidates and employees,” Thompson points out. “PageGroup’s strategy remains consistent: organic growth by region and industry sectors, a focus on our customers and growth markets, development of home-grown management expertise and a structure that champions our own talent.”
On average, he says they place between 15,000 to 18,000 professionals into meaningful careers every year.
“We invest heavily in having the best recruitment and Customer Relationship Management technology in our industry but we also know that the key to customer success and business performance is having very well trained, motivated and empathetic people. The mantra for our people is ‘Live Well, Work Well’.”
Leading with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
As the Asia-Pacific leader of a recruitment organisation supporting the future of human capital, Thompson feels they have a duty of care to customers through leading by example. For instance, they led the industry as the first global recruiter to appoint a Director of D&I in APAC to ensure they foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.
“I have promoted nine female Managing Directors/Country leaders in China, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia. Every one of these promotions was a very proud moment,” he recalls.
They also have a DEI Solutions team for the region based out of Singapore. “This is a business specifically focused on placing persons with disability (PwD) with our customers,” he explains. “This team is led by a PwD and the progress is very encouraging.”
Likewise, diversity of culture is one of the tenets that PageGroup embraces. Thompson is pleased to share that in APAC, they have offices led by people from over 10 different nationalities, both male and female. Globally, they intend to achieve a 50/50 gender balance at senior management level and are progressing positively in this direction, APAC has already met this target.
Committing to a Firm Sustainability Path
Since making their public commitments to the UN Global Compact, PageGroup has solidified plans to meet their gender equality targets and will continue their culture of CSR to ensure they change over one million lives by 2030.
“This will involve our company and people using our skills and expertise to help disadvantaged people to have a greater chance of securing meaningful employment. These activities can range from providing resume writing advice and interview guidance to brokering partnerships between large organisations and underprivileged groups to support sustainable employment pathways,” he says.
“We have also established a recruitment unit that will focus on the employment of ESG professionals for our customers. We were recently involved with COP26 in Glasgow, and the G20 in Indonesia and we now have an ESG and Sustainability Council across Asia-Pacific to ensure all the offices are involved, have a voice and make progress.”