Hireup started in 2015, and grew quickly. In 2017, Hireup topped Deloitte’s fast 50 list, and ranked second in the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. Since then, Hireup has been focused on growing nationwide to make flexible support available to all Australians with disability.
The Hireup story starts with Jordan and Laura O’Reilly, who grew up alongside a brother with disability. Managing support workers was part of their family routine. Sometimes the support workers were a great fit but more often than not, they weren’t.
While at university, Jordan became a disability support worker and learned that not only was the system broken for people with disability but also for support workers. It was with a deep and personal understanding of the disability support work system and the ways it needed to change that Laura and Jordan decided to create Hireup.
Hireup had reached a stage of growth where they needed to think about additional leadership or bench strength in driving the commercial outcomes of the business.
They saw an opportunity to go out to the market more broadly and figure out who was the very best they could bring in - someone who would understand what a profit for purpose organisation really means.
Sonia Flynn, Hireup’s Chief Operating Officer, and her team made the decision to engage with Think & Grow to assist them.
“Sometimes you can short circuit things quite quickly. So you can make really, really quick advances in having a relationship with a partner who understands the broader market. The idea that somebody might come to you is wonderful, but with these roles you need to pick right.”
“Think & Grow have a really deep marketing understanding and continuing relationships - they know whether the right people are in the market or not to have those conversations and they know how to really position Hireup and what we do as unique.”
Sonia mentioned that the initial conversations with the Think & Grow team really brought home the deep understanding that they had early on.
“The process and conversations were less high-level and more practical in orientation. We talked about practicalities in terms of the right skillset, marketing and commercial needs for an organisation like ours and it became a deep partnership that formed over a number of weeks and months in working towards a common goal.”
Sonia and the Hireup team wanted the very best leaders they could find - people who were on board with the standards they were setting. They knew the challenge that lay ahead - their selection criteria shortening the candidate list.
“Think & Grow has a global footprint that enabled us to look far and wide and we ended up with the right leader with the right calibre, experience and values alignment. I feel very good that the search was slow in nature because we were quite prepared to hold off for the right person. The fact that we had a diverse pipeline of candidates brought in, who also had experience in our sector was really valuable - and the result paid off.”
“The style of communication was very upfront - we had good dialogue around the tasks that we asked candidates to do in advance which was really helpful in understanding their motivation. The team also really listened to the remit and commenced searching for foreign people from that basis. The regular conversations we had every week and the progress in between showed the commitment in driving a great outcome. Plus there was a dollop of humour amongst the team, which I really enjoyed.”
The discussion and preparation done in advance of the search is mostly what Sonia attributes to the success of placing the Chief Commercial Officer role.
“The care and attention that Anthony, Simon and Steven took in learning more about our business and what we need, made zooming in on a handful of people who might be right for us easy, rather than a very long list to scroll through. Quite quickly, we were looking at people who understood the value alignment piece with Hireup.”
“If you are really focused on finding the right candidate for your organisation, I would engage with Think & Grow -- they listen carefully and live up to their image in working hard to deliver outcomes that result from a great partnership.”