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People of Digital… how Morson helped navigate a challenging recruitment process with ShipNet CEO, Aden Hopkins

  • Publish Date: Posted 11 months ago
  • Author: James Kenealey
People of Digital is our digital-first, interview-style video and podcast series, showcasing game-changing technologies and exciting businesses in the digital space, and uncovering emerging trends whilst spotlighting the digitally-driven people behind them.

In part one of our interview with CEO of maritime software solutions business ShipNet, Aden Hopkins, revealed that it wasn’t until a phone call with Morson’s Business Development Manager Sam Menelaou, then a tech recruiter, that he realised that the skills he had acquired made him perfect for a more senior role that he hadn’t before considered – CEO.

In the second part of our interview, we continue our conversation with Aden, discussing how Morson became involved in the hiring process and the crucial added value that was offered throughout interview and offer stages.

Sam: My relationship is with Volaris Group, ShipNet came through them. I was actually with one of the portfolio HR directors Clair Dyson, she was within Spec Tech and was an ex-client of mine at AC Global. I built her and her IT department a new software development team in Wythenshawe. I remember we hosted a Women in Tech event at Media City and Clair was there and was in between looking for new roles. She had two offers, one being Volaris and Spec Tech and I thought “maritime software, never heard of it!” I didn't realise it was going to be this big in the wider portfolio. She took the Volaris job and after she joined we met at the offices in Trafford just up the road from us and had a coffee to discuss future plans and how we could support. That went from us currently being one of two providers they had in the network to a full RPO client and partnership where it's really strategic, long term with candidate packs and talent pooling.

Three months prior to you ringing me, we'd kicked off a full recruitment campaign for this role. There was a timetable, a two-to-three week resourcing period, dates of first interviews, second interviews - the whole lot. It took us three months to get where we were. We started again and then Clair had recommended that what actually works well within Volaris is really strong SaaS directors or sales directors. Low and behold, we hadn't started searching yet and you called… and the rest is history!

What made the recruitment process excel at Morson?

Aden: It was the speed of process for one. From the first moment we spoke on the Friday to four weeks later with my offer in hand - that was the scariest process of my life but brilliant. I’ve mentioned this to a few people but I think one of the best added-value elements is you and Ian. From the beginning I felt that even though I knew your client was Volaris, you had my back and it was uncanny that when a new person was interviewing me, you were there at the right time, at the right moment supporting me through that process. That was brilliant. Then, to realise that Ian kept in touch and it wasn't the once every three months, that's real added value. That's the reason why I put you in touch with friends and former colleagues that are looking for new roles because that meant a lot to me so that's one.

The other added value which I'm sure you'll remember is when you came to me and said “Aden we don't understand the metrics but we know they're important is there any way we can do something about it?” I presented to you and your team my management reporting and the QSR presentation I went through. Two hours you sat there listening to me explain this and trying to understand what it all means and I've never worked with recruiters who've wanted that depth of knowledge to understand what we do and why and really get an understanding of that's why we get certain candidates. Understanding the metrics is a key part in what they do.

Sam: Without that, we would struggle with the recruitment that we're doing because we now understand it and can relay that on to the candidates. It's also helped us from a growth perspective to understand what other businesses do out there, how important data is and how it can really transform your business. So for me the two hours flew by!

As we needed the right candidate for the client, there were four or five questions - how long did it take you to answer those questions before you could even speak to Volaris?

Aden: I think we spoke on the Friday and on the Tuesday you were checking to see how I'd gotten on with the answers and by the Wednesday I'd submitted them.

Sam: There were some thorough questions there which we added the pre-qualifying section for the clients, and we reduced the CV's to interview etc so that's part of the added value. We also did a salary benchmark. At your level, the benefit packages are vast, some people offer equity, so we needed to be competitive. On mapping talent, it was difficult to pinpoint where we need these people and because they're so flexible we kind of just focused on SaaS related professionals and gave that as the approach.

Watch the first part of our interview with Aden here.
Morson has an extensive track record of placing leaders across sectors including aerospace, marine, IT & digital and professional services. For more information, contact Sam Menelaou at
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