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5 Minutes With Chris Ingham

15th Jun 2017 'Cilla Arnold


Chris has more than 7 years of experience, with 5 years experience in recruitment in Hong Kong focusing on digital positions with international businesses going through digital transformation.

He has successfully placed in demand and international digital talent in permanent roles in Hong Kong with APAC wide responsibilities including Digital Business Director, Digital Marketing Director, Digital Project Manager, Online Sales Director, Principal Digital Consultant, eCommerce Manager.

Joining Xpand in April 2015 as a Principal Consultant for the Digital team and due to his excellent contribution, Chris was promoted to Practice Manager a Digital in September 2016.

What appealed about Xpand over other agencies?

I was not actually looking around at making a move from my previous firm despite being approached quite regularly to discuss opportunities within Hong Kong. I just didn’t think that too many other firms operated in the same way as I wanted to as providing real quality to clients and candidates and having long term relationships on both sides. When I was approached about Xpand, this is exactly what was described by the rec to rec who said ok none of the companies I wanted to speak with you about will be of interest, except this one. She went on to describe a mature working environment focused on quality (not just making calls, having a meeting or sending an irrelevant profile just for the sake of hitting a KPI) and working in candidate short markets in digital and technology and real investment and opportunity to drive growth in Hong Kong. I thought they sound interesting and different to most companies operating here so I thought, why not, I’ll go and meet them, all the while making sure they were aware I was not looking and that was unlikely to change.

I then met Matt and Tom Asia and Aussie Directors who were setting up the team and it was a very pleasant and open conversation where we all agreed on what was needed in a successful recruiter, how to approach our work and building capable, trustworthy and effective teams and candidate pools in talent short markets. We got on like a house on fire and my head was turned. 

Xpand were open, honest, detailed and understood my situation and not just their own and were very accommodating. I soon joined on the promise of building a team in the market with all of the support required and that we would have fun building a successful office. All of this has now come true and I can safely say it was a great decision and I am reaping the rewards of that now! 

And I love our brand!

Describe a typical day

I like structure and tend to have quite a structured week. I get up and ready to leave at 7:40am heading to the 8am ferry and drop one of the kids off at school on the way. On the ferry I go through my emails in the 30 mins of peace and quiet and read the paper. 

I get into the office about 8:40am say my hello€™s and get on with setting my €œto do list€ and any meetings and calls that I have lined up. We are in a small environment so me and my team talk through out the day about roles, clients and candidates we are working with/on and I will start some searches from 10-noon when I usually have some quiet time to focus. I don’t have any breakfast usually so by noon I am famished and head down the road to €œLa Rotisserie my go to chicken place and grab lunch to bring back to my desk and eat and carry on with cand/client calls (except for Friday when we usually go for a team lunch).

Each day is different and sometimes my bum doesn'€™t touch the desk going from one meeting to another so I try to make sure to get a few hours each day to update the pipeline and anyone needed on the different projects/clients we are working on. There are usually a few regional accounts which mean regular chats with my Sydney and Singapore counterparts, which is something quite unique to Xpand. Evenings consist of going to football training or the gym and getting the ferry home for about 8pm (much later on Tuesdays and Thursdays) and having a family dinner before retiring to the couch with a good series and possibly a gin & tonic.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I get to work with a great team and interesting clients in an ever evolving market. I get to learn about something new almost every week as, well as working with exciting new clients and projects who we build real partnerships with.

What€™'s been your biggest accomplishment?

Year 1 was about building the desk and the practice and year 2 was focused on really growing that in terms of the team, candidate pool, client base and obviously revenue. I am very proud that we managed to do all of that successfully and its great to see the team being busy, focused and getting the sort of feedback from clients and candidates that confirms what we think sets us apart from other firms. We have also smashed the biggest deal for Xpand HK 4 times in 6 months!

What's the best thing about your particular team?

I do not need to micromanage them as they are all very capable and hard working. We work in a small but very collaborative environment and we learn and bounce off of each other every day. But they also know how to enjoy themselves and we enjoy a beer or Vino at the end of a hard week and celebrating big wins and great months, which have been plentiful recently!

What's for lunch?

Chicken€ almost every day. And they still give me 2 knives and forks for my individual order, I don'€™t have the heart to tell them it'€™s all for me!