Simon Cox


So Simon, why did you start a recruitment business?

We saw a niche in the recruitment market and were determined to make a difference by driving the industry to new levels of service and professionalism. Having spoken with several national firms about opening a Canberra branch, we found there was interest in high-quality recruitment methodologies, but no clear commitment to evolve beyond the tried and true traditional practices. We believed that the common transactional experience of trading resumes for fees was simply not sustainable long term. Clients and candidates were crying out for a value-add, consultative approach.

What is the best thing about your job?

I still get a kick out of helping and connecting people. Using my networks, experience and specialist knowledge to guide people and organisations towards great outcomes – it’s very rewarding. I also enjoy tough, hard to fill senior level roles from new clients. I like to test my networks and sourcing skills to the maximum, and I pride myself on focusing on finding my clients ‘gamechangers’.

There is a lot of variety, and I love the opportunity to be creative. In any one day, I might go from a business planning session, to a candidate interview, then to a client meeting, and then run a staff training session before sitting down at the end of the day to write a blog article. Exhausting but the stretch is great.

What do you see as the future for professional recruitment going forward?

Technology will continue to drive how we all connect and recruiters will need to excel at creating online talent communities to better engage with their audience. Skills shortages will continue to get worse in niche markets, and recruiters will need to offer their clients access to unique talent rather than just the next CV. Recruitment companies will need to be able to seamlessly link online tools, content marketing, in-house technology and old school recruitment craft to align themselves with the best talent in the market.

If you were forced to pick one reason for HorizonOne’s success, what would it be?

Core Values. Everything we do stems from these key elements. In our 7th year, we reviewed and concentrated down our core values from 8 to 5 central themes. It is incredible when I look back how often these have come into play. Without this commitment, we would not be where we are now.

What do you believe are the 3 key elements to being successful in recruitment?

  1. Emotional intelligence
  2. Determination/drive
  3. Commitment to producing high-quality work

Who is the biggest stirrer in the office? Give us a good example?

This is the hardest question of all. There is no lack of cheek in the HorizonOne engine room. It is between David Harrington and… actually, no David wins hands down.

What is something you do outside of work others would be surprised by?

I visit remote locations around Australia and the globe wearing rubber pants and flinging bits of feathers and animal hair through the air (to clarify, I am a mad keen fly-fisherman).