Recruiting Exceptional Leaders

Our success in executive search is primarily down to the level of understanding we achieve by taking the time to listen to and challenge our clients until it is absolutely clear what strategy needs to be taken. Combined with a willingness to go deeper than anyone else in our research and assessment, our clients have reported drastically improved results compared to their experience with other search partners.

Rather than favouring one-dimensional search tactics, like broadsheet advertising or limited ‘black-book’ approaches, we take an entirely ‘blinkers-off’ approach every time, choosing to take the approach that fits best for each individual set of circumstances. Objectivity means the search strategy is always holistic, but many years of experience means we can quickly deploy the most effective methods for finding the best talent out there, irrespective of whether they are ‘active’ in the market or not.

Great people don’t grow on trees, which is why outdated advertising and contingency recruitment methods based on ‘hope’ (ie: “we hope someone applies to the advert” or “we hope a great candidate is on our recruitment partner’s books.”) don’t work. We favour a proactive strategy over reactive recruitment methods every time for recruiting great managers.

Rather than asking the question “who is the best we’ve got?” based on what comes up from a contingent search or an advertising campaign, we prefer to ask “who’s the best person out there in the market?”. And by market we mean the ‘whole’ market not just the actively-looking camp.

Transparency is vital at every stage of the search and clients benefit from full visibility of Target Lists in advance of any approaches being made, as well as regular weekly reports with search statistics and data about each new candidate identified. Discretion is paramount and we go to great lengths to protect our client’s identity until absolutely necessary.

Values Based Recruitment



Candidate Assessment

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Over the years, our clients have seen so much value from our assessment process that now our methods are embedded as a formal part of their internal recruitment strategy. 

With every new assignment, we develop a competency framework, which candidates are measured against at face-to-face interview, before going through a rigorous personality and values assessment to ensure they fit with our client’s unique organisational culture. Both hard and soft skills are assessed with particular attention to the candidate’s people skills and leadership qualities when recruiting for senior management positions.

Our Consultants are fully qualified practitioners of psychometric assessment tools endorsed by the British Psychological Society and as such we can use testing to provide extra insight and granularity for each candidate should clients wish. Each search assignment is bespoke and the assessment methods are selected depending on the client and their candidate specification.

  • Biographical Interviews
  • Competency Interviews
  • Psychometric Assessments
  • Behavioural Assessments
  • BVC Values Assessments

Accuracy through understanding

Disciplines Recruited For Include

C-Suite & Board Level

For C-level appointments, our assessment involves a full review of the board’s current team profiles, using qualitative methods that give an invaluable level of understanding of who is required to complement existing personalities and skillsets. Understanding the company culture and the unique behaviours of executive board members is paramount for understanding how to assess senior executive candidates through the search and for supporting our clients to make the right decision when it comes to appointing their next senior team member. Typical appointments include…

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Managing Director
  • Commercial Director
  • Sales Director
  • Marketing Director
  • Finance Director
  • Operations Director

Chair & Non-Executive

The shape of the boardroom is changing. The increasing need for flexibility and the phenomenal rise of the portfolio director in recent years, have meant the need for a good relationship, with a well-networked and highly-capable search partner, is critical for businesses which want to steal a march on the competition with the knowledge and experience of their senior advisers. Highly networked and with a lengthy pedigree of introducing seasoned Non-Execs and Chairs across our specialist markets, we know the key to getting the best from a NED or Consultant in the business is making sure they fit with your company culture and gel with the executive team.

If you’re considering recruiting either a part-time Chair or Non Executive Director to your business, give yourself the security of working with a supportive partner, who takes the time to learn your goals.

Our tips for recruiting the right NED to your business…

  • Fit, fit, and fit again should be the priority. Make sure there’s a close cultural match with the business and the chemistry is right with the CEO and executive team.
  • Make sure there is a clear understanding of expectations on both sides of the fence, eg: on issues like role clarity, levels of involvement, time commitments, presence onsite, stakeholder management etc.
  • Gain alignment of the purpose behind the appointment and make sure everyone is on board with what the hire is for.
  • Make sure the credentials are there – take up references, carry out third party checks, ask for evidence of prior achievement and historical successes.
  • Determine the value proposition before hiring – ask does the candidate provide the solution to the original challenge or dilemma? ie: Can their experience and style answer the problem or are we being distracted by other areas of value, such as useful networks or contacts etc

Middle Management

According to a recent ILM report, UK businesses are suffering a skills shortage in middle-management. An overwhelming 93% of leaders polled cited concerns that low levels of management skills were having a direct impact on their organisation’s ability to achieve its goals. Here’s the good news: we’re in tune with the issue and we know how to help.

We don’t just look for obvious ‘hard-skills’ in our managers. We understand the value of less-obvious ‘soft-skills’, like inspirational people leadership, a sound ethical bedrock and rock-solid resolve in the face of adversity. These are things that a database approach or contingent approach just won’t assess, but we know that if we get these things right then our placements endure and the client gains value for many years.

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Sales & Marketing

Our early recruitment heritage was in sales and marketing recruitment. MD and founder Rob McKay previously held country management roles with the UK’s largest sales and marketing recruitment business BMS before moving into executive search. Having learned the limitations of volume-focused database approaches to recruiting sales and marketing personnel, we take a more considered, bespoke and targeted approach to recruiting sales and marketing people for our clients.

Whether you’re looking to recruit new business developers to open doors in new markets, experienced account managers to nurture customer relationships and grow existing business, or a strategic marketing manager to develop intelligent marketing plans and creative digital campaigns, we take the time to understand your individual commercial aims so that we can tailor our recruitment to find you the best possible solution.


The days when UK-centric search strategies were enough to acquire the best talent in the market are gone. Today’s market demands a global reach and that means finding a search partner with global capabilities.

With multi-lingual research capability and the resources to put boots on the ground in any given territory, our international search services are utilised by companies which want their project to be delivered by the person they brief, from start to finish.

Unlike larger Plc recruiters, who farm out briefs to overseas offices for someone else to manage, we are highly experienced UK-based international recruiters, who can invest time to learn the client’s business here in the UK before mobilising to other countries to assess candidates up close and in person.

Over the last 20 years we have successfully recruited senior‑level positions in the following countries…