Q&A with Alliance Australia Executive Director, James Munro Ford


Q&A with Alliance Australia Executive Director, James Munro Ford

Executive Director James Munro Ford shares his thoughts on where the business is headed and the opportunities in the recruitment sector.

As the fresh face of Alliance Australia, we thought it was the perfect time to get to know new Executive Director, James Munro Ford.

Congratulations on the ED role. Can you briefly describe your professional background and how you came into this role?

Thank you for the warm wishes! Professionally, my background has centred on working in the healthcare sector and management consulting, working in various capacities – from leading operational business units to overseeing strategic reform capabilities. I've worked in healthcare and management consulting, leading operational businesses and driving strategic reform. 

Ultimately, my focus is to help everyone achieve their goals, so together we can grow and succeed.  

How would you define your leadership style?

My leadership emphasises alignment, clear priorities, and overcoming challenges to achieve our goals. I am going to be working very hard to empower and support everyone in the business through collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect.

Tell us about the development of Alliance Australia's mission and core values.

We've been shaping our strategies with feedback from the executive team and workshops with key stakeholders throughout the business. This allowed us to identify what truly defines and drives us, resulting in an approach that should genuinely resonate with everyone in the business.

I’d like to see us have a collaborative approach, where we not only share knowledge and help each other out but celebrate our successes. I also want us to be curious and be ok with making mistakes – as long we learn from them! It’s also important to that we are inclusive, and open to listening to different perspectives – be that our colleagues or clients. 

What are the challenges and opportunities for Alliance Australia with its four distinct businesses?

Having four distinct businesses within Alliance Australia certainly comes with its intricacies – from maintaining brand consistency to addressing unique market needs across community, nursing, apprenticeships and blue-collar industries. However, this diversity also presents real opportunities. By leveraging shared resources, cross-business insights, and synergies, we can offer fantastic services to our clients and a diverse environment for our staff.

How do you ensure consistent quality and service across the businesses while meeting unique sector needs?

We maintain consistency through a strong, unifying culture and clear communication channels. While sectors differ, we share common goals like high service levels, a great candidate experience, compliance, and operational excellence.

Given the significant skills shortages in the sectors we operate in, addressing these offers clear opportunities.

James Munro Ford

What are the key issues in the post-Covid recruitment sector?

The most obvious challenges include remote work dynamics, evolving candidate expectations, digital transformation, skills shortages – in nursing for example, and increased focus on workplace well-being and mental health.

I’d like to highlight our new Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is a fantastic resource that provides confidential support for employees and their family. It covers everything from general mental health to personal relationships and even financial and legal issues. There are also longer-term solutions for personal growth, work-life balance, and stress management.

What exciting opportunities do you see in the future?

Given the significant skills shortages in the sectors we operate in, addressing these offers clear opportunities.

The most obvious example is responding to the challenges the healthcare sector is facing in terms of staffing. Post COVID there is still a severe shortage of registered nurses, as well as aged care workers and disability support workers. 
The other opportunity are rapid innovations in technology, offering our teams a great opportunity to improve candidate matching – as well as thinking about creative new ways of meeting our customers’ needs. 

What are your goals for Alliance Australia in the next year?

Our priorities will focus on bedding down our new business structure, defining our long-term strategy and goals, and implementing key improvement projects across each part of the business. I am also keen to get out and about to visit different parts of the business and meet you all!

What does success look like for Alliance Australia?

Success for Alliance Australia means not only achieving our operational and financial targets but also becoming the go-to organisation for both clients and candidates. For me that means creating lasting partnerships, giving and receiving constructive feedback, and the growth and development of our internal teams.

How do you see technology's role in maximising efficiency for a recruitment brand?

Technology is a critical enabler to our future success – it allows us to be more productive and effective. We must ensure that our technology supports optimised processes and empowers our teams to perform as well as possible, and this will be a central focus over the year ahead. I am also conscious that while technology is a crucial tool, at the end of the day we are a people business – so it's important we don’t forget that. 


Get in touch for more information about us and our services, or if you have a question.