Jon Evans – Enablis

Member of TEC 55, Chaired by Joseph Scarf
Sydney, New South Wales

TEC Member Jon Evans EnablisBuilding an effective organisation is about people first and foremost. Having the right staff on hand can make a big difference in scaling the activities of a business, especially when they are experiencing rapid growth.

This was certainly the case for Jon Evans, the CEO of Enablis formally Azzurri Communication. Under Jon’s leadership, Enablis has gone from strength to strength, with a growing network of clients and a reputation for providing effective communications for corporate customers.

Underpinning this success is a simple truth that every CEO and business owner will be familiar with – that the staff you pick for an organisation need to have the right skills and approach if they are going to make a valuable contribution.

  • Running a fast-growing business
  • Finding staff with the right personality to match this growth
  • Ensuring they have the space to develop personally

The challenge:

Finding staff for a fast-growing company

We have managed to grow consecutively 30 to 40 per cent – sometimes 50 per cent – year-on-year

When a business is seeing rapid growth, finding the right staff to enable this expansion is an essential component. For Enablis, the company is looking to double revenue in the next three years, having recently crossed the $10 million a year mark.

This has already led the company to take on staff at a rapid rate. The business has expanded from just five workers in 2009 to over 30 today.

To achieve this growth, the company needed to embark on a substantial hiring process to find people with the right cultural fit for the organisation, according to Jon.

“We have managed to grow consecutively 30 to 40 per cent – sometimes 50 per cent – year-on-year,” stated Jon.

“Without talented people with clear objectives that would make growing the business much, much harder.”

The action:

Forming a recruitment approach to match this growth

From the beginning, Jon and the team at Enablis have been committed to hiring the right candidates with the right attitude in order to fill roles within the organisation. This has involved developing an internal culture for staff that encourages commitment from staff to the business goals.

“At the end of the day, the ability to grow a business is certainly not down to one person by any means. You are going to be as good as your best output or the worst output your team can give,” stated Jon.

“I think growing and hiring the right kind of people, who fit into the culture and have the right attitude is key.”

In the future, the organisation is planning to maintain this focus on the future, especially as they look to realise greater growth.

“Moving forward, we will be making sure that the hiring processes we use and the level of recruitment we do just gets modified and stronger so that we don’t lose that ability to find good people with the right culture fit.”

“Giving staff a clear view of their future and their development plans within the business is also something I think is very important so that everyone feels they have a place in the business going forward where they can develop and grow.”

The results:

Effective leadership to support a growing business

As the number of staff at the company has grown over time, Jon observed a significant shift in his role as a leader and how he is guiding the business.

“I think as the company gets bigger, there has been a transition to become a leader – rather than someone who is working very heavily in the day-to-day running of the business,” stated Jon.

Crucial to this transition as the business has grown has been Jon’s involvement in TEC over the last three years.

“The very first TEC meeting I went to, it was all about strategy – defining a strategy and implementing a strategy.”

“I got so much valuable information from that first meeting it has probably reset the course of this business in terms of just being focussed on a specific market segment vs moving around in a number of different directions.”

This success led to professional acknowledgement from a number of corners. Enablis has been recognised for the last two year consecutively on the CRN Fast50 list and as one of the Deloitte Fast track 50 – those technology companies that are achieving significant growth.

Enablis has also been recognised by the MSP Mentor Awards, securing fourth place in the Asia-Pacific region.

Crucial to this shift has been the ability to take time away from the company in order to better understand the challenges it faces – which has in turn played a major role in the company’s ongoing growth.

“Just being pulled out by TEC to work on the business, rather than working in the office and being questioned about your strategic thinking is a great value that TEC provides,” concluded Jon.

“That leadership and strategic view of the way a CEO needs to work is something I wouldn’t have found without something like TEC.”