Claire and Sri Lankan team at lunch
Published: 11 October 2019 Building a global team has its challenges, especially from a talent perspective. Not only are we trying to grow the agency, but our global expansion means understanding and embracing new and differences in cultures. Over the last 18 months, I've been focusing on how we can promote open communication, cultural understanding, and how we create this environment while maintaining our core values.

My role as Head of Talent is more than just recruitment; it's about maintaining our vision and ensuring that every hire makes a positive impact, not only to the agency but to those around them. It's about ensuring that each and every member of our team feels included and valued.

I've spent the last couple of weeks at our office in Colombo, Sri Lanka, supporting the development and making some sweeping changes to the structure of the team. It's a fascinating place, full of contrasts; old and new, modern and historic, agile yet monolithic and people seem to be ready for change, but the cultural infrastructure currently in place is making change a challenge.

In the two years since Sagittarius opened its office in Sri Lanka has evolved with high-rises going up left, right and centre and they even have Uber - which, if you're feeling brave you can use to call an Uber Tuk Tuk! And, despite the devastating effects of the terrorist attack in summer 2019, as a business, we've pulled together, and the team couldn't be stronger with several members of the leadership team currently visiting the office and communication at its peak.

Claire and Sri Lankan team in Tuk Tuk

Building a team in Sri Lanka has been interesting, and while there's still lots to learn in the way of conducting business and cultural values, we're finally starting to 'get it!'

These challenges aren't, however, just in Sri Lanka but across all of our offices.

Our recent staff survey highlighted the subtle differences in expectations and preferences in the Ukraine, Leeds and London when it comes to social activities, team building and the value of company benefits. There are significant differences in what engages our team in Kent versus the team in London even though they're both in the UK; posing a more significant challenge in the provision of appropriate HR support and engagement globally.

Reflecting on the past 6 months, the newest thing in HR seems to be 'personalisation,' now I've never been one for fads or, the latest buzz word, however, my next big project (following the successful rollout of LinkedIn Learning - which has been amazing!) is to find a way of understanding the individual motivations and engagement triggers so that we can offer a truly personalisation HR experience across the globe!

It's safe to say that the last couple of years have been a whirlwind of learning and adapting for the agency, and I look forward to seeing where the next year will take us with further global expansion plans in the winds.

Are you looking for a new challenge? Check out our latest global vacancies here, or drop us an email at

Claire Battle

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