On the 1st of October 2006, I boarded a one-way flight from AMS to HKG. I was 24 years old and on my way to Hong Kong to launch a startup. The moment I got off the plane I was immediately captured by the buzz and the infectious energy of this fast-moving city that seemed to be running on adrenaline day and night.
But while we settled into our overpriced office in IFC One and prepared for the launch of our internet venture I came to realize that this “ultra modern” city was light years behind in its adoption of technology and the internet. Online banking was terrible (it still is), most business had to be conducted by fax, order forms, couriers or snail mail and the majority of people looking for a job would still pick up a copy of the Classified Post on Sundays. Most surprising, or perhaps I should say disappointing, was the complete lack of a startup culture in the city at that time. There were no networking events, no communities and no conferences for tech start-ups.
Nonetheless, Hong Kong became my home and while I commenced my career in the recruitment and tech industry I witnessed a slow but steady transformation of the place towards the vibrant startup hub it is today. It started with Napoleon Biggs his pioneering Web Wednesday gatherings and the first BarCamp in 2007, followed by Casey Lau and Gene Soo founding StartupsHK a couple of years later to further grow the community and more recently, the great work done by Tony Verb and his team at entrepreneurs’ club Mettā.
A decade after I walked off that plane our city boasts a large number of world-class tech companies ranging from online fashion retailer Grana to hospitality-tech company Tink Labs. But with the rise of Hong Kong as a tech hub also arose a major challenge: the fast increase in demand for talent by these companies has led to a serious shortage of skilled technology and digital professionals.
Enter High West
Today I’m excited to announce the launch of High West, a boutique recruitment firm that will work with a select group of businesses in the technology and digital space to assist them in the hunt for the best and brightest talent.
At High West, I combine my experience as tech startup founder and deep functional knowledge with real experience from the front-lines of recruitment to provide both candidates and clients with expertise that drives real impact and results. Our philosophy is based on real competence in the sectors we recruit to, integrity, and an abiding commitment to high-quality service.
If you are a company that can use some help with attracting the best people to your business or you are a professional who’s considering a career move I love to connect and have a conversation about how I can help you. You can call or WhatsApp me directly at +852 61122306 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: sunset as seen from High West, Hong Kong’s 4th highest mountain. Taken by James Ng.