06/10/2017 - 14:32

Recruiter designs city digs to draw people in

06/10/2017 - 14:32

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Artificial grass flooring, surfboards and graffiti are not usually found in a Perth office, but are some of the quirky features in Spencer Ogden’s new home on St Georges Terrace.

Recruiter designs city digs to draw people in
James Holden says the office space is designed to create an environment conducive to sales and high energy. Photos: Attila Csaszar

Artificial grass flooring, surfboards and graffiti are not usually found in a Perth office, but are some of the quirky features in Spencer Ogden’s new home on St Georges Terrace. 

Global recruitment firm Spencer Ogden has always been driven to create upbeat environments across its international offices, according to the company’s Perth-based country manager James Holden.

Workplace design, he said, had historically played a significant role in achieving that.

“The idea is to create an environment conducive to sales and high energy,” Mr Holden told Business News.

“Our offices are set up so that you can be on your feet; there are no fixed phones, it’s all headsets so that you can stand up and get blood flowing.

“It’s open (plan) and it doesn’t matter what level you are in the business, we all sit on the sales floor.”

See more photos here

Mr Holden said the new 180-square metre space on level 6 of Hawaiian’s London House borrowed some of the design principles from Spencer Ogden’s standard blueprint.

It paired these with themes that paid homage to Western Australia’s culture, with consultation from local designer InSite Commercial Interiors.

“The graffiti and kitchens are the same everywhere; American diner-styled booths, checkered floors and a local flagged fridge,” he said.

“All the staff had input and beach culture started to trickle into the design with the surfboards and the ‘sharks may be present’ sign.”

Mr Holden said the theme extended to one of the meeting rooms, The Beach Room, which was filled with beach-styled furniture.

Its second meeting space, The Clubroom, aims to present a more sophisticated feel, while its boardroom walls feature an artist’s print of Perth’s skyline and the world map.

“Client or candidate, we want people to come here and go ‘wow that was different’ – it acts as a catalyst to engage people further into our business,” he said.

“Most of our staff are under 25 and they want a modern workspace, whether that’s being able to play table tennis at lunch, ride a bike, or have a TV playing sales stats or surfing videos in the background.

“Ultimately, it’s also another talent attraction tool. I was shocked at how difficult it was to hire because of the lack of quality space that we had before and I’ve seen productivity ramp up just due to the excitement.”

Launched in the UK in 2010, Spencer Ogden established its Perth base three years ago and has grown its headcount to 14, providing the recruitment services for skilled professionals across several industries, including rail, aerospace, defence and oil and gas.

Hawaiian office buildings general manager Richard Kilbane said London House, which offered a concierge service, had traditionally attracted corporate clients with conventional fitouts.

Spencer Ogden has brought a modern twist to the building,” Mr Kilbane said.

Hawaiian believes it is vital to be able to diversify our offering and adapt to the requirements of current and future tenants by providing flexible work spaces.

“Our vision is to provide places within the building and its tenancies where people can connect, engage and grow.”

In addition to Spencer Ogden’s five-year lease, Hawaiian has signed two other tenants to London House in recent months; Energy Developments has taken out a 10-year lease and West United Communications has committed to a five-year deal.

The company also holds free surf lessons for its staff on Sundays.

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