mentor of the month
06 May, 2015
Talent acquisition and management is a common pain point for founders. When estabishing a business, aligning common values and filling key skillsets are critical, especially when equity is at stake.
Enter Martin Cerullo, Managing Director of Consulting for Alexander Mann Solutions. He also happens to be blueprint's Mentor of the Month, in recognition of the fantastic support he's provided to the programme's accelerator teams. It's time to get inside the inner workings of this HR superstar!
What do you do when you are not mentoring startups?
I work for Alexander Mann Solutions, which is a global provider of outsourcing and consulting solutions in talent acquisition and management and have two roles. Globally, I’m the Director of Brand and Marketing, responsible for creating and managing our brand in a B2B environment. On a regional level, I’m the MD of our consulting services, which means working with HR and business leaders on consulting programmes related to ensuring they attract, engage and retain the talent they need for business success.
What does that mean you really do all day?
Good question. I start my days by typically jumping on calls with my team in the US and catching up on emails from colleagues at HQ in the UK or other locations. The rest of my day is split: either working with clients on consulting programmes; strategic work around our brand, including the development of content programmes or delivering presentations at our own marketing and industry events. I travel quite a bit across the Asia Pacific region as well as now and again to Europe.
And in your downtime, what keeps you vital?
As a proud father to three amazing daughters, they definitely play a major role in keeping me vital. On top of this, Hong Kong has turned me into an avid road and trail runner clocking up 100's of kilometers per month. This is a perfect balance to my other major focus, which is definitely linked to my Italian heritage, of cooking a wide range of styles of food and then eating it, paired with great wine!
What skills do you bring to the blueprint tech community?
From my mixed HR and marketing background, I’m really bringing skills to the community around how to think about the talent they have today and will need tomorrow to be successful, which basically touches on areas like recruitment, interviewing, performance management, retention and engagement. As I lead my organisation’s brand globally from Hong Kong, I also bring skills in B2B Brand building and associated Marketing activities and measures.
What do you believe are the critical factors of success in a startup?
The key is clarity of vision and strategy and being laser focused on it. I think it’s easy to get distracted as an entrepreneur so this focus is critical to success. Additionally, I’d say the realisation of the entrepreneurs that success will only come from the talent they surround themselves with and how they keep this talent engaged.
Which blueprint team/s have a standout concept in your opinion?
In many ways, they all have very interesting concepts but my standouts are actimMirror, Locate and Easyship. I can absolutely see the niche in the market, enabled by technology, that they are aiming for and how they differentiate themselves.
What is the wierdest thing you have Googled this week?
Today I googled "Where to buy watercress in Hong Kong?". It’s a key ingredient I need for a venison salad I am making this weekend!
And finally, what is your favourite Hong Kong life hack?
While there are loads of good quality supermarkets and independent shops for food shopping in Hong Kong, there are some amazing, and often hidden, online options covering a wide range of amazing quality foods. Three of my favourites are Stable Trading (for fresh Italian produce delivered to your door), Victoria Wines (great selection of wines from around the world) and Sverige Shoppen (lots of Swedish foods which are very important for my wife and kids to retain their connection with Sweden).