Assisting Hong Kong’s top-tier local and international companies in sourcing the best human talent, this dynamic, one-stop-shop head hunting service is poised for greater growth, particularly now that China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ dream is taking shape.

Founded by former banking and legal professionals, Harbridge Partners’ co-founder Edward Chen is a multi-award-winning  specialist legal, governance, banking and finance head-hunter with over 18 years’ global executive search and human capital consulting experience. Mark Yeo, the other co-founder, previously also worked in several top-tier global investment banks.

The word Harbridge is a portmanteau of the Harvard University in the United States, and the University of Cambridge in England; a combination of the words Harvard and Cambridge and the term is used to refer to them collectively, often with inference to applicants or candidates with perceived intellectual achievements and exceptional standards of professional excellence and quality.      

Edward Chen and Mark Yeo, Co-Founders and Nigel Chung, Principal Consultant at Harbridge Partners, Hong Kong.

Rapid Growth          

The firm operates on the slogan of “Delivering Unparalleled Talent”, reflected by its selective principle of working with the highest caliber of candidates and representing the most prestigious firms and their hiring requirements.

Initially, Harbridge specialised in helping the world’s top legal, banking and financial services firms hire the best talent across the Asia Pacific, and working with multi-nationals in setting up their Asia pacific headquarters in various Asian cities. In 2011, the firm had only one office and two staff in Hong Kong. Today, the firm has branch offices in Guangzhou, Taipei, Singapore and London. The number of consultants has reached double-digits and the firm is still rapidly growing.

Over the past five years, the firm has grown its recruitment and market specialisation and competences, and now retain specialist recruitment professionals and practice specialists in:

  • Banking, Financial Services & Insurance
  • Legal, Governance, Risk and Compliance
  • Accounting, Finance, Corporate Services and HR
  • Information Technology, Telecoms & Fintech
  • Biomedical, Life Sciences & Pharma
  • Construction, Property and Real Estate
  • Sales, Marketing & PR
  • Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing
  • Logistics, Procurement & Supply Chain Management

One-Stop-Shop Service           

With many successful case examples, Harbridge’s human capital consultancy practice is truly a “one-stop-shop” for companies setting up, and hiring talent in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region; from providing RPO to facilitating corporate services solutions such as assisting company formation and setup, local regulatory, licensing and banking applications, visas and relocation, salary and payroll management, employee due diligence and referencing, full service outsourcing management, staff training and retention services.

Ultimately, the firm’s main business is recruitment and specialist talent sourcing: the search and selection of niche and specialist skill-set professionals for permanent, fixed-term, flexible consulting and temporary vacancies, at all senior levels.

What Clients Need           

Co-founder Mark Yeo, explains that the firm offers two core-competences:

“One was that the firm only hired specialist industry professionals and then cross-trained them to become recruitment consultants. Our training programmes are top quality, including on-the-job shadowing, customer service and communications skills; along with the use of up-to-date recruitment technologies, using the most advanced research and headhunting skills and mapping methodologies. Secondly, by hiring only professionals with direct industry experience; each specialist consultant comes with considerable personal contacts, networks and existing relationships in their market or industry specialisations. This ensures that our market knowledge, career advice and networks is impartial and second to none”.

Right “Skills & Fit”            

Edward Chen, co-founder notes that “human talent is often termed an organisation’s greatest asset. But to find the ‘right fit’ between client firms and their staff, it requires long term relationships and deep understanding of your clients and candidates”.

“This comes only from knowing your candidates and clients personally for a very long time, and developing the kind of trust and partnership, where the recruitment consultant becomes a close friend and ‘follows the career’ of their clients and candidates” Chen explains.

“Inevitably we act as trusted advisors to our friends, to understand their career goals and personal motivations. In this way, we create a win-win environment, fostering business growth for our clients and rewarding, long term careers for our candidates”, says Chen.

Building on Trust           

“At Harbridge Partners, we treat all our consultants and staff as partners in the firm; like close family members; creating a loyal, team-based and trusting working environment of close cooperation and mutual support. We are here to support each other financially and career-wise for life!”

“Long-term thinking, and close relationships are key to any successful ‘peoples or relationships-based business’ adds. Richard Liu, Managing Partner of the Guangzhou office, who is a qualified CPA, with more than a decade of senior management positions at world leading executive search and recruitment firms: Liu decided to venture out as a recruitment business entrepreneur himself and partnered with Harbridge.

“We are in the ‘peoples’ business. I loved that Edward (Chen) and all the colleagues at Harbridge, globally, think long-term. The way we nurture our staff, the clients’ relationships are serviced for the long term; our candidates trust us to be their ‘destiny-changer’ for the long term; even the suppliers and vendors we partner with, have us as their long-term clients. This kind of stability is very rare in the recruitment industry,” explains Liu.

“Competitive companies keen to take advantage of Asia’s rapidly expanding markets do realise the importance of partnering with an established, reliable head hunting company with the reach, knowledge, experience and diligence of the sort we bring to the table. We look forward to assisting our clients and candidates further and invite companies serious about attracting world-class talent to partner with us,” he concludes.

One Belt, One Road: Talent on Tap

Harbridge Partners attributes their phenomenal growth to spotting the incredible economic growth and infrastructure potential of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road (OBOR)’ Initiative — a project that promises to cover some 60+ countries and contribute some 1 trillion plus RMB in investment across multiple continents, with a forecasted future economic trading potential of some US$ 6 -8 trillion, once completed.   

Edward Chen noted: “Coming from the Banking and Finance industry, we realise the incredible potential for countries and firms that will be involved in this ambitious once-in-a-generation, economic and infrastructure initiative.”

He says: “We made a conscious decision to support the fast growing

Chinese and international firms that were ploughing investment along the One Belt, One Road catchment areas. Our target is to open offices in every city and country that form part of this incredible trading ‘route’ map, to support our clients with their hiring and expansion plans. Imagine the phenomenal cross-border jobs opportunities and careers that are open to everyone along the OBOR territories!”

“Finding the right talent at the right time will be crucial to companies

involved with OBOR and we are ideally positioned to serve this growing cross-cultural, pan-industry need with our global network, extensive

experience and personnel-acquisition skills.”

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