What is Men of Wilson?
Every year at WilsonHCG, we run an initiative to recognize and thank the men who are innovating, leading by example, and otherwise helping to make WilsonHCG the company it is today. Employees vote for the men they think should be honored and we've been speaking to this year's winners to find out more about them...
John Aldridge, Senior Manager, Global Shared Services - Europe
How long have you been with WilsonHCG?
I joined WilsonHCG in mid-2016 initially as a Recruitment Operations Manager and was responsible for our service delivery across three key clients based in EMEA. I was promoted to my current role in early 2017.
Share with us a little about your personal career path prior to WilsonHCG?
Following university, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Business majoring in accounting and law, my initial job was working for a global accountancy firm in my home city of Melbourne, Australia. After many years of P&L statements, tax audits, and balance sheets, I realised my passion and motivation were all about the need to work with people – this led me to a career transition into the world of recruitment and subsequently RPO when this industry launched in Australia in the early 2000s.
In 2006, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to relocate to London UK on a two-year secondment to support the RPO implementation of global investment banking client. The ensuing decade saw me gaining vast RPO experience across industries such as oil & gas, pharmaceutical and legal, supporting clients in EMEA, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.
I was attracted to WilsonHCG because of the opportunity to make a real difference with a company that was fresh and on a major journey of growth. The move allowed me to bring my extensive recruitment experience to a US-based company that was forging into EMEA with great success. I am very thankful for WilsonHCG contacting me via LinkedIn.
If you could be any superhero, who would it by and why?
My life is synonymous with the cult 1970’s superhero “The Bionic Man”. In this hit American TV series, Steve Austin has superhuman strength due to bionic implants after he was “rebuilt” following a near-fatal accident.
I was struck down with a life-threatening condition when I was aged 25 and upon its return when aged 35 – following many operations, treatments, medications, rehabilitation and most importantly, the implants I now carry around inside my body, I overcame this condition and was given a “second chance”. Not surprisingly, my family and friends dubbed me “Austin”, their bionic man, saying I was superhuman to be back on my feet again.
What would we hear if we hooked up your ‘recently played’ list to the office speaker?
I spend a lot of my time in Poland supporting our shared services centre in Krakow so I have really fallen into the Polish music scene – you would hear Dawid Podsiadło singing his Indie pop song “Nie ma fal” (No waves). Listen to it – it’s brilliant.
Name a famous quote said by someone you admire?
I have always admired the 19th-century American philosopher, poet, and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was visionary and insightful. One of his famous quotes became my life motto at an early age: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” This quote always resonated with me and spurred me onto taking the chance of relocating my career across the world to EMEA.
Who had the most influence on you growing up?
My paternal grandfather, Ernest Aldridge, was the patriarch of our family in Australia. He was a very wise, quietly spoken man who was respected and loved across the community. I was the youngest and only grandson of his 13 grandchildren. I would spend every weekend with grandpa listening to his stories, learning about his life and seeking his advice. He taught me to be loyal - to friends and to a cause - and not be afraid of taking risks. He passed away two weeks before I received my final year academic results to gain university entrance. I was aged 18 and grandpa was a celebratory 100 - I hope I have become the man he would be proud of.
What advice would you give someone looking to advance into a leadership role one day?
Over my (long) career, I have given special focus to the soft-skills that we all possess – it’s whether you choose to not tap into them that will be your limitation! Observe others and focus on their personal styles – how they learn, how they behave and how they communicate – embrace these traits and forge your own positive style. This will all enhance the strength of your relationship with people, which is so important as a leader. Be true to yourself and always listen to what people say – you will be amazed how much you learn from people and you can store their insights for the future.