Bastion Collective is on a hiring spree to deal with 'tremendous' growth

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 October 2020

Bastion Collective has made 14 new hires over the past eight weeks and wants to fill another 20 roles.

The independent marketing and communications agency, which has 13 businesses and nearly 250 staff across Australia and the US, says it is experiencing strong growth.

The skills and experience that Bastion is looking for include brand strategy, strategic communications, senior stakeholder management, corporate positioning, complex project management, customer experience design, market research, data analytics, as well as digital and social expertise.

“What has held us in good stead through COVID from day one is that we have had the benefit of being independent with the ability to make quick decisions, while having the scale of 250 people globally and a completely integrated offering in house," says Bastion Collective’s newly promoted Global CEO, Jack Watts.

“This has meant that we have been able to quickly shift client campaigns from one channel or discipline to another and have staff work across multiple parts of our business as demand has changed.

“Like most business owners, I have to be honest and say the first six weeks of COVID were terrifying. I will always be incredibly grateful to our staff who dug in, came on the journey with us and put our clients' problems ahead of their own.

“It was a similar story for our clients, most of whom I was talking to their CEOs 2-3 times a week, understanding the impact on them and how we could help protect their businesses.”

“The support of our clients and the actions of our people have set our business up to not only recover but accelerate out of COVID and experience the tremendous growth that we are seeing now."

Recent hires include Peter Trevaskis as senior communications strategist at strategic communications, corporate affairs and issues management firm, Bastion Reputation Management.

He comes to Bastion with more than 15 years’ experience in communications, marketing and commercial strategy across elite sport and agencies, most recently holding senior management roles within Gymnastics Australia and Ford’s motorsport program.

Bastion recently announced the appointment of Savannah Zhang to the role of account director at Chinese marketing agency, Bastion China, ahead of peak Chinese shopping holidays kicking off next month.

Another key hire followed last month within integrated PR and consumer communications arm, Bastion Effect. Lizi Oldham has joined in the newly created role of social account director to support a raft of new clients signed this year within their social media division.

She has 10 years experience in social, digital, creative and content roles having worked with a number of boutique and mid-sized agencies previously including GROUND, Channel T and The 6am Agency.

Other recent hires:

  • Gemma Mejer as social account director at Bastion Effect, who came from WE Communications Australia;
  • Jamie Driver joined as group business director at Bastion Banjo, previously head of sales and marketing at Powershop;
  • Sam Laidlaw as video creative joining the Bastion Films team, previously Qantas’ Video Producer;
  • Stephen Cuff, previously with Saatchi and Saatchi as senior social manager.

Bastion Collective has invested a lot of time in adapting a new staff onboarding process to accommodate a remote working model.

“Since we’ve moved to remote working, we have done a huge amount of work on our Induction process ensuring that new starters have as close to the same first day / first week / first month experience, as they would have if their first day was in the office," says Edwina Webb, general manager, people and culture, Edwina Webb. 

"This involves the whole team, not just the hiring line manager. Client and business onboarding is incredibly important, but connecting with teammates is critical, so virtual lunches and bonding sessions are key.”

This has involved Bastion’s global internship program across each of the ten specialist businesses going online as well.

“In its 9th year, the Bastion Bridge program accounts for 99% of our junior hires," Webb says.

"They are exposed to real briefs, real strategies and real clients; and see first hand what working in a multi disciplined marketing agency is like, across a six week period.

“While we know that working remotely can not provide the same immersive agency experience, the demand for our program has actually increased throughout the COVD period.

"Our current program ensures that each of our interns have regular check-ins with their teams each day, career guidance
sessions at the beginning of their placement, and take part in all growth and development and cultural activities.”

Another senior appointment, group account director within Bastion Effect, will be announced in November. 

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