The incredible journey of SThree Chief Operating Officer, Justin Hughes

What sets SThree apart from our competitors is our meritocratic approach and the willingness to match our people’s ambitions. We offer the opportunities for you to seize! Someone who took advantage of everything SThree can offer, climbed the ranks, and moved countries and industries is our newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Justin Hughes.

“I joined Progressive Recruitment, part of the SThree Group, as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant in the late 90’s. From there, I progressed to Sales Director and then Managing Director, before becoming the Head of SThree in Germany and then in Asia Pacific when we changed the model from brand leading to regional leadership,” Justin recalls.

The ride of a lifetime

“All of my experiences have led me to where I am today, including being asked to join the SThree main board in 2012. I currently combine my board responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer (COO) with a strategic regional role for Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa (MENA),” he says.

“What’s really moulded me as a person wasn’t just taking on more challenging roles, it was also moving countries, being on the other side of the world and having a truly global career. I feel I know all corners, roles and cultures, which is what makes SThree, SThree.”

“I also know what it’s like to be a Recruiter, a Business Developer and a Manager and I want people who think about starting a career with us to be aware that the SThree management team know what it’s like, but we also know how much the sector has evolved so I’m always keen to get feedback from consultants on the ground about how we can best support them,” he says.

Great people and opportunities

“What I love about my career is the variation. I’ve held so many roles in so many different sectors and countries over my 20 plus years. This is something not a lot of people will ever have the opportunity to do, even if they move from company to company,” he says.

“Another highlight is the job itself. I’ve always really enjoyed being a Recruitment Consultant, learning and applying the business-to-business sales skills which are at the core of any business person’s skillset. At the same time, I’ve formed many strong relationships that I will have for the rest of my life.”

"This company attracts incredible people and I like to be surrounded by people who actually enjoy getting out of their comfort zone, who want to make the most of their potential and who like to also have a bit of fun at the same time. I remember my first day in the company and I just looked around and thought ‘wow, where have I been working until now’. I still meet people who remind me of that feeling every time I visit one of our offices,” he says.

My advice

“I was lucky enough to have had some great Managers during my time at SThree who advised me well. The best advice I ever had was to take personal responsibility and take every opportunity given to you. Attend our trainings, do your job well and ask about what exciting opportunities are available.”

“We want people who seize opportunities, but at the same time it’s also important that you work as part of a team. This balance is crucial for you and your company’s future success,” he says.

A career with no limits

“Before I joined SThree I had worked for four different organisations in three years. You could tell I wasn’t the typical one-company-man. The fact that I have been here for over twenty years is a testament to the fact that SThree has given me so many opportunities to do so many varied roles in such diverse markets and in different continents. I feel as though I have had a dozen careers in this one amazing company,” he recalls.

“It’s so important to join a company that is going places. When you look at what SThree has achieved consistently throughout its history, well, that’s breath-taking. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the most exciting chapters in my career are still ahead of me,” he says.

Changing people’s lives

“The need for a sense of purpose in life comes to the forefront of my mind. It’s that sense of working in an industry where you are positively effecting the world we live in, as well as having a very direct impact on the people and their families that we provide a service to. It has become very important and gratifying to me.”

“Every year SThree finds a lot of people new career opportunities. Many of those people are doing critical work whether it’s making pharmaceutical breakthroughs, huge engineering projects or making technological changes. You have to feel proud of being part of something that is making a significant difference to so many people’s lives,” he concludes.

Find a career for life with SThree. Visit our website here for jobs with any of our ten specialist brands.