Office romance that made a headhunting godfather.

Geoff Slade – husband, father, entrepreneur, VFL football fan and godfather of the Australian headhunting industry, shares his career history, love life and business success with ‘The Australian’, one of Australia’s national daily newspapers.


Geoff started in business 55 years ago when he launched GW Slade & Associates in a small office in Melbourne’s CBD, and sold his firm 21 years later in 1988 to a UK-based multinational.


He later returned to the sector In 1992 with the launch of Slade Group, a firm which remains at the forefront of the local industry, also known as one of the go-to firms for the Industrial, Human Resources, and Education sectors in Melbourne.


Geoff is the executive chairman of the Slade Group but primarily focusses on its affiliated international executive search practice – TRANSEARCH International Australia, and an aligned research firm called Yellow Folder Research.


It wasn’t ‘all work and no play’ for Geoff though, he did manage to find some time for romance when he met Anita Ziemer after she went for an interview to run his marketing operations in 1985. They were together for the next two decades before they finally married in 2005.


Geoff appointed Anita as managing director of the Slade Group in 2007, and she ran the business for the next 13 years, stepping down in 2020.



When asked during the interview what he had learned from Anita, Geoff had the following to say: “Patience and how to communicate better and more regularly. She’s always on my back, even now, about not only how to communicate and what to communicate, but how to do it. I think I’ve also learned to probably not be as demanding of people as I had been.”


While Geoff has been more active in the Slade Group since Anita stepped down, he emphasised that he now works “on, rather than in” the business, supporting the management team.


In the last two years, the Slade Group has doubled revenues and profit, and when asked  what the secret sauce is, he answered resolutely with a single sentence: “We do what we say we will do. I hate letting people down. Trying to instil that into all the staff is a challenge. But that is the measure of a good company.”


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TRANSEARCH is a leading retained executive search company with representation in all the major economic capitals of the world with over 60 offices in about 40 countries. TRANSEARCH International was founded in 1982 and is today one of the largest growing global retained executive search organisations in the world.


The company's core business is retained executive search and leadership consulting. Their global client base is extensive and represents some of the largest blue-chip organisations in the: Financial Services; Technology; Consumer & Retail; Life Sciences and Industrial & Resources sectors.


TRANSEARCH International is a United Kingdom registered company.

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