Bastion Collective announces 14 new hires and another 20 roles in market as its growth accelerates

Independent comms agency group Bastion Collective has announced 14 hires over the last few months, and a further 30 on the horizon as it accelerates its growth.

The group, which has 13 businesses and close to 250 staff across Australia and the United States, is led by recently promoted global CEO Jack Watts who said being independent was the secret to the company’s success.

Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts says the business is going through a period of accelerated growth

“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,” said 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.”

Recent hires include Peter Trevaskis as senior communications strategist at Bastion Reputation Management. Trevaskis joins with more than 15 years of experience in comms, marketing and commercial strategy across elite sport and agencies, most recently holding senior management roles within Gymnastics Australia and Ford’s motorsport program.

The business also 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.

“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,” said Watts.

“It was a similar story for our clients, most of whom I was talking to their CEOs two to three 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. As a result, we are actively in market and making multiple new hires every week to add more incredible talent to the Collective and cater to our clients’ evolving needs.”

Watts says being independent has helped Bastion during COVID-19

Last month Bastion Effect added Lizi Oldham to its team in the newly created role of social account director. Oldham joins with ten years experience in social, digital, creative and content roles, including with The 6am Agency and Channel T. Gemma Mejer also joined the business from WE Communications Australia, Jamie Driver joined Bastion Banjo from Powershop, Sam Laidlaw joined Bastion Films from Qantas and Stephen Cuff from Saatchi and Saatchi.

Bastion Collective’s general manager of people and culture, Edwina Webb, said the business has invested a lot of time in onboarding its new staff, especially given all staff in Victoria are still working 100% remotely.

“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. 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.”

Bastion’s global internship program, which runs across each of the ten businesses, has also moved online.

“In its ninth year, the Bastion Bridge program accounts for 99% of our junior hires. 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,” said Webb.

“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”.

Bastion Effect will announce another senior appointment next month and is still recruiting for a group client director of strategic communications as Bastion Reputation Management as well as roles across Bastion Insights and Bastion EBA.

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