It may not come as a surprise that Merwin is actually a scientist with honours in microbiology, given how he takes the time to understand all of his clients and candidates at an almost cellular level. Another thing about Merwin that is anything but micro is his smile. Merwin has, possibly, the largest smile in the recruitment business. Ask anyone you know – Merwin is always happy.
Merwin got into a career in advertising by ‘accident’. After his ﬁrst scientiﬁc discovery – that people are more interesting than microscopic bacteria, Merwin was offered a role in account servicing at Eureka Advertising (now Publicis). He loved it. This became a career that spanned several agencies including Leo Burnett, JWT, McCann Erickson Beijing and MullenLowe, where Merwin left his mark on numerous regional brands.
Everything seemed set for Merwin in advertising, until James (of course) offered him the role of Practice Lead for the creative portfolio. Today, Merwin scours the globe sourcing the best candidates for his clients. He likens himself to a unicorn hunter (with a minor in mermaid ﬁshing), and savours a difﬁcult brief. The harder the ask, the harder he ﬁghts to fulﬁll it. Merwin himself is a bit of a unicorn, having always been a suit that creatives could relate to. His uncanny ability to understand creatives and what drives them, allows him to ﬁnd the best candidate for the job, and the best jobs for the best candidates.
When Merwin isn’t out hunting unicorns and netting mermaids, you can ﬁnd him at the gym, yoga centre, or just sleeping at home.
“Within a very tight timeframe, Merwin successfully placed two talented senior Singaporean creatives for the J&J Design Lab last year.”
“Imagine securing a job for a foreigner during a global pandemic. That’s how good Merwin and team are.”
“Working with Merwin is a pleasure. Even without a brief, I get to see interesting candidates wouldn’t have thought of looking for.”
“Merwin was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was very responsive and attentive to my needs.”
“ I have known Merwin for some years now and what I appreciate most is his ability to really listen and understand our needs as a creative business.”
Within a very tight timeframe, Merwin successfully placed two talented senior Singaporean creatives for the J&J Design Lab last year. He has a diverse network of designers and listens carefully to what is needed, striving always to meet the brief. Merwin’s openness and responsiveness make him a pleasure to work with, and his genuine empathy and curiosity help him figure out what makes both sides tick, enabling him to match strengths to strengths.
Imagine securing a job for a foreigner during a global pandemic. That’s how good Merwin and team are. Nothing is impossible to them. Merwin is one of the friendliest, most professional, and most reliable people in the industry. He mentored, supported, and guided me throughout the process. Can’t think of a better person to help me with my career.
Working with Merwin is a pleasure. Even without a brief, I get to see interesting candidates I wouldn’t have thought of looking for. And then, suddenly, a new avenue is opened up and I see possibility. It’s this proactive spirit that makes him someone you should definitely have on speed-dial.
Merwin was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was very responsive and attentive to my needs. He also provided insightful advice for a unique case like mine – a Singaporean who has worked over a decade in New York but now wants to return (plays the song Home by Kit Chan in the background). He took the challenge in stride, and got me in contact with some of the best agencies any creative could dream of. I ended up staying put in NY due to family reasons. I will surely hit up Merwin again when I’m ready to come home. I know he’ll give me the best “lobang”!
I have known Merwin for some years now and what I appreciate most is his ability to really listen and understand our needs as a creative business. With an immense depth of knowledge and experience of working with creative candidates in Singapore and around the region, he’s without a doubt the only recruiter I trust.
People know me for being direct (it’s a nice way of saying being a bitch).
A job I’ve had that nobody knows about is gaffer boy for a dubious adult entertainment studio.
When I was 12, I wanted to be a Research Scientist saving the world from terminal diseases.
I start my day by looking in the mirror and telling myself today is going to be a great day.
My favourite time of day is sunset.
To keep up with the industry, and stay current, I talk to candidates / clients, read trade publications.
The last person I spoke to on the phone was a candidate!
The last text I sent was to my mum.
My biggest weakness is… can I say good looking intelligent nice guys?
My drink of choice is Kopi O Siu Tai.
The most interesting thing a candidate has ever said to me is “Why are you so happy all the time?”.
The best career advice I’ve ever received is be yourself. There are people who will like you, and there will be people who hate you. You can’t please everyone, and there is no point trying.
I’m currently reading the newspaper.
You’ll never see me without my mobile phone – my life is in there.
My work from home situation is comfortable. I don’t see what the big deal is?
When i’m not at work I’m at home or at the gym.
The one talent I wish I had is a mastery of the art of persuasion (in a good way), and Mind Control (in an evil way).
My pet peeve is people who are late for appointments!
Cat or dog? Both – ideally I would want one of each.
The biggest sign that a job isn’t suitable for a candidate is If they have to drag themselves to work every morning, are unhappy and forever complaining about it.
The top 3 things on my bucket list are live abroad (I have done it twice!) Watch a Madonna Concert (done!) Skydiving (in progress).
And because Merwin is such an overachiever, here’s 2 more:
My biggest fear is dying and having nothing to show for it in my life.
My favourite quote is “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.