Interview with Sean Ng, Co-founder and MD, Cornerstone Global Partners Asia Pacific
As an alumnus of NTU Singapore, Sean is leveraging his exception in-depth knowledge of recruiting industry and leadership skills to lead his venture – CGP Group, one of Asia’s largest recruitment solutions and HR Technology platforms delivering exceptional Executive Search, Contracting, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and Human Resources Outsourcing services worldwide.
A visionary, sincere, and extraordinarily skilled business leader, Sean Ng is the Co-founder & Managing Director for the Asia Pacific region for Cornerstone Global Partners (CGP) – one of the Asia's largest recruitment solution providers and HR Technology platforms with 20 offices globally. With his strong understanding of the recruitment industry and over 20 years of experience within the executive search space, he is delivering Executive Search, Contracting, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, and Human Resources Outsourcing services to global and domestic firms.
Prior to establishing CGP, Sean was with Hays China as General Manager in Shanghai. Before that, he also acquired a significant experience in recruitment activities in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shen Zhen. His unrivaled experiences and training from these organizations have made him an expert in recruitment methodology and have helped him to formalize the best strategy to run CGP. He is also an active member of the SME Challenge organization where he advises SMEs in SE Asia on transformation projects.
At CGP, Sean is spearheading a team of exceptional individuals and empowering them to operate with an ownership mindset where they successfully build solutions for the industry while bringing together great people with great companies.
Let’s hear it from Sean as he speaks about his venture and more.
#1. Tell us about the unique experiences you had at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore. What did you learn from the campus beyond academics?
NTU gave me the opportunity to master new skills, take up new sports and embrace new challenges – I had the freedom to learn about myself and what I enjoy. In the first three years of my journey with NTU, I was more focused on non-academic activities. I was the President of the NTU Diving Club and worked towards making diving activities very popular among students within the campus. I was also the Chairman of the Miss University Pageant and the Student Union Ball. I have been a significant part of sports as well as non-sports social events, managing their sponsorship, program planning, and financials.
NTU has given me extraordinary platforms to build my leadership capability which has been extremely valuable to me throughout my career.
Apart from all my academic and non-academic successes at NTU, I also met the love of my life during my NTU days, and we are now blessed with 4 children aged between 9 and 20 years old. Looking beyond my corporate life, I deeply appreciate the value of family time and cherish every moment spent with my loved ones. Despite the demands of running a successful corporation, it's important to recognise that there is more to life than just work, and I strive to find a balance between my professional and personal responsibilities.
Sean with APAC Leadership Team
#2. Tell us about your leadership approach.
I believe I have a very sincere approach to leadership, and I am known for being straightforward, warm & kind, and very approachable to my team members. At CGP, I create a comfortable zone for my employees as I believe they should find me easily approachable if they have issues and work here with no barrier to escalate. I feel that establishing a family culture within the company is essential to creating a positive work environment where our employees feel supported and valued.
We operate with a ‘serving others’ mentality where we equally serve all our employees ranging from junior to managerial positions; and with that mentality, employees become comfortable with us and approach us to learn. By fostering a sense of community and togetherness, everyone gets more engaged, productive, and committed to the company's success. We want to impart our success and teach the younger generation how to be successful in the world of recruitment and create a significant impact in the Human Resources industry. Our leadership approach has been one of the most important factors that have enabled us to retain 700+ employees globally including in the APAC region.
#3. What makes Cornerstone Global Partners different from other competitors in the region?
We are one of the fastest-growing mid-size recruitment firms across APAC. What makes us unique is our built-in expertise across various industries; we go very deep into every industry understanding our clients, competitors, and appropriate candidates, and with our strong research & database we are able to help business owners build their businesses faster.
Sean Celebrating Successes with SG Executive Search and SG Personnel Teams
We take a very close approach with our clients to understand their needs and help them do their market mapping of their competitors and then find them the best people in the industry. Our primary aim is to make sure our clients are able to get the best people for their business because only if they have the right people, they will be able to succeed.
“We want to impart our success & teach the younger generation how to be successful in the world of recruitment and make a difference in the Human Resources sector by fostering a positive and productive workplace culture that values and uplifts each team member.
#4. What is the future destination you are heading towards?
We aspire to build a stronger global presence by launching our office in at least one or two countries every year. We launched ourselves in Thailand and Vietnam last year, which reinforces our presence in Asia where we already have operations in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, etc. We recently opened an office in Dubai and gearing up for our operations in New Zealand and Indonesia. Moreover, we are also investigating the U.S. market to expand our operations there and also looking forward to growing in European countries.
#5. What would be your advice for upcoming industry leaders?
Everyone needs to know their ‘why’ - the purpose of their mission statement in life and why they are starting up a business. With the correct ’why’ and purpose’, I believe industry leaders can get to their goals successfully. And along the way, they must always walk beside positive and successful people and stay away from the pessimistic ones.
What are effective leadership qualities and what does it take to excel as a recruiter? Listen to Matt Nicholls and Alex Zoboli, Managing Directors of Cornerstone Recruitment Japan K.K. talking with Sean Ng, Managing Director and Co-founder of CGP APAC sharing his thoughts.
Who Are We
CGP Vietnam is part of the CGP Group. CGP Vietnam specializes in Executive Search, Contracting, Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and Human Resources Outsourcing services to multi-national and domestic firms. With a team of experienced consultants dedicated to helping our clients and candidates in finding the perfect match, we believe our role is to positively impact and change their journey for the better. Covering mid-to-senior level positions, we service Accounting & Finance, Consumer, Financial Services, Healthcare & Clinical, Human Resources, Industrial & Engineering, Sales & Marketing, Technology and Energy space.
CGP Group was established in 2012 and is one of the largest recruitment solutions with 19 offices and 500+ team members worldwide, spanning across China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Middle East and the United States.
We are committed to not only competing but exceeding the industry’s Best-in-Class practices led by the guideline of continuously optimizing our user’s experience and connecting online and offline channels in the executive search industry to help our clients find the best candidates and our candidates to be matched with the job that best fits them.
This article was originally uploaded by CEO Insights Asia.