Influencers & Profiles

A fast-growing Melbourne-based IT recruitment firm with an eye on international waters

Kirsten Robb /

Name: Damien Ross

Company: ITCOM

Based: Melbourne

Human resources graduate Damien Ross always had an eye on his father’s IT consultancy business and its potential to break into the technology recruitment sector.

When he joined the company in 2006 after years of working for big names including ANZ and Coles Myer, Ross began to transform the family business into a leading recruitment solutions destination for the online world. ITCOM now has an annual turnover of $47 million and offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Mornings

Ross starts his day with his biggest challenge, getting his three boys under the age of seven off to school and kindergarten on time.

“They all have to be there by 7.30am, so after that I’m on my way to work, usually talking to staff and clients on my phone in the car from 7.45am.”

Ross gets a jump-start on his workload the night before, planning the day ahead of him with a detailed to-do list.

“I take half an hour after dinner to set everything up for the next day.

“I’m pretty religious about it. I try and follow a regime.”

Daily life

Ross says the nature of his business relies on interfacing, so he’s on the phone or communicating with clients, his 35 staff and 200-plus contractors throughout the day.

He doesn’t stop for lunch, either.

“There’s a running joke in the office that I’m pretty much eating sushi at my desk every day.”

Luckily, his staff know his sushi order and are sent down to get their boss lunch.

Ross says his day consists of oscillating between strategy and operations.

“No two days are the same. Sometimes I have to think about being an entrepreneur and about strategy, and sometimes I just have to lead the troops.”

His HR background held him in good stead to approach leadership with a “lead by example” mentality and he prides the business on its non-hierarchical structure.

“I wouldn’t ask my staff to do anything I wasn’t prepared to do myself.”

Ross says the most successful leaders are not necessarily the most well-known.

“I’m influenced by those leaders who see their achievements as their team’s achievements. It’s not about them as individuals.”

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Kirsten Robb

Kirsten Robb is a former journalist at SmartCompany. Previously, she worked at News Corp as a property reporter for Leader Newspapers and the Herald Sun, and holds a Masters of Journalism at Melbourne University.

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