“Surround yourself with the best people and stay focused on what you are trying to achieve.” – Andrew Bassat

Along with his brother Paul, Andrew founded SEEK Ltd in 1997, which has grown since its inception to become the number one job seeking portal in Australia. Formerly CEO of SEEK Ltd, Andrew now heads up SEEK Investments.

Q: You joined Corrs as a graduate in the early 1990s. What are some of your fondest memories from your time at the firm? 

AB: We had a tight group of article clerks and our time at Corrs felt very much like a shared experience. We were brought together as a group by Ben Cowen who was a wonderful man. His passing in an accident a few years back was an awful tragedy. 

I also remember fondly the Friday night drinks at the pub out the back. Not sure if they are still going, but they were a great way to meet people throughout the firm. I wasn’t much of a lawyer so not surprising that my actual work doesn’t feature too much here!

Q: How has your legal training and experience influenced the way you operate in business? 

AB: My earlier studies and inclination were all maths / science and about finding the right answer. Legal studies and work taught me about the art of weighing up both sides of an argument and applying judgment. Corrs was also my first serious work experience (and from a fairly immature starting point) so it taught me about how to at least appear as though I knew how to operate in that environment.

Q: What skills and qualities do you look for in your team? 

AB: By far the most critical for me is people who are passionate about what they do. Someone who really cares about what they do with rough edges can always get better, but it’s hard to fix someone who doesn’t care. 

When we were determining the attributes for SEEK people to be assessed by, at first I wanted there to be only passion, but was reminded that while this was necessary it was not sufficient in and of itself for success, so we added judgment, decision-making and leadership skills.

Q: You have previously spoken about how important it is to follow your passions. How do you think this has influenced your career to date?

AB: Like most people I perform far better and am far happier doing things that I am passionate about than things I am not. I have been very fortunate at SEEK to have a purpose that is motivating, people that I have really enjoyed working with and plenty of interesting challenges. That all makes it pretty easy to remain passionate even after so long.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

AB: Going it alone is not for everyone and you need to be motivated by the right things (solving real problems rather than just making money) but for the right people with the right motivation, my advice is always to have a go. And from there it’s really about surrounding yourself with the best people and staying focused on what you are trying to achieve. 

This interview was conducted in November 2021.