Executive Search

RM 6002

When you’re recruiting for leadership roles, making the wrong appointment can be time consuming and expensive. Get it right and the results can be transformative. Recruiting this kind of high-calibre person requires a more focused, forensic approach, one that can discreetly delve into a deep pool of passive talent, too. We headhunt the best person for the job, not just the best person who is available. We mitigate risk, delivering a good return on investment by ensuring you find the right fit first time, every time.

Working exclusively with an expert talent ally is a proven path to attracting, retaining and developing the right people. Lot 7 of the framework enables you to commission on a retained and exclusive basis. It is an executive search model designed specifically for senior roles, including HR, Finance, Commercial, Marcomms, Property, Project Delivery, Corporate, covering Grade 6 – SCS4 (or equivalent) and Non-Executive Directors and is designed to ensure you get it right!

To ensure your next senior-level appointment is the right one, speak to:

John Lavictoire, Director Seymour John Public Services (UK): 07921 480947

Maria Edwards, Associate Director, South Wales: 07734 768375

Emma Hughes, Director, South West: 07872 142465

Case study
Financial Controller and Senior Management Accountant, Higher Education

Against the backdrop of increasing commercialisation and competition in the higher education sector, our University client required two experienced senior finance professionals to lead the organisation through the next stage of its development. As senior finance recruitment specialists, we were commissioned on an exclusive basis to headhunt suitable candidates across both the public and commercial sectors. Outlined below are the stages we went through to successfully secure the right fit for these requirements.

Stage 1: Defining the role profile

Face-to-face client meetings enabled consultation with key stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the organisation – its culture, challenges and objectives – and the roles – the technical requirements and key responsibilities as well as the necessary emotional intelligence and interpersonal attributes desired.

Stage 2: Mapping the recruitment journey

Created detailed person specifications and an agreed recruitment timetable. (It is crucial that not only the client but also candidates understand the process and important milestones – longlists, shortlists and interview dates – in the recruitment journey, so everyone can plan accordingly.)

N.B. Using a specialist recruiter fills prospective candidates with confidence. And in a candidate-led market, where competition for the best senior talent is fierce, this is crucial. The best candidates have options. To attract them, you need to make a good first impression. Taking them on a clear, well-designed recruitment journey does just that, reinforcing the credibility of your organisation.

Stage 3: Exploring the talent pool

From market insight garnered from experience marketing similar roles in this sector, we recommended the positions be advertised on job boards (Accountancy Age, Executives Online, Totaljobs, Jobsite, GAAPweb, plus the Seymour John website). We also designed a bespoke campaign microsite. We created tailored adverts describing the opportunities as well as capturing the critical requirements, skills and transformation challenges the University was facing. We also headhunted ideal candidates from our pool of passive talent. Together, this generated 35 candidates.

Stage 4: Long and short-listing

Through a focused set of screening questions and face-to-face competency-based interviews, nine candidates were long-listed. Working closely with the client, this was whittled down – through a refining process of assessment and profiling – to a shortlist of three high-calibre candidates for the Financial Controller position and two for the Senior Management Accountancy role.

Stage 5: Assessment, profiling and evaluation

As an integrated consultancy our clients enjoy the benefit of expert assessment and profiling by our People & Change strategic HR consultancy team. This was an invaluable interview aid for developing questions that probed strengths and areas for development, providing the client with the objective, in depth and accurate insight to make informed decisions. (As part of a selection process these tools take you beyond a limiting and not always reliable past-performance-and-experience approach to a more holistic, accurate and predictive model that also profiles a candidate’s personality, emotional intelligence and interpersonal style.)

Stage 6: Offer management and salary negotiation

Seymour John handled the verbal offers and acceptance process, using our market insight to advise on equitable remuneration and benefits packages as part of the contractual negotiations. This was followed up by written confirmation from the client.

The one thing our candidates value above everything else is timely communication, throughout the process. As such, our consultants provided feedback to the unsuccessful candidates, within 24 hours. We also conducted all referencing, eligibility to work checks and supported the onboarding process by getting candidates to complete the relevant University paperwork prior to start.

Stage 7: Onboarding and in-post support

Making a good first impression is crucial for retention. It is important that the onboarding process, therefore, is managed successfully. A crucial part of the recruitment journey, it helps reduce the risk of failed placement and aids retention by reinforcing the positive decision the candidate has made in choosing your organisation. We were in regular contact with the client and the successful candidates throughout the onboarding process, supporting the appointees through their notice periods to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

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