Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions new clients ask us...


1. How does Collingwood Executive Search operate as a recruitment agency?

We are not a ‘typical recruitment agency’. We are specialists in Executive Search and Advertising-Led Selection. Our Executive Search consultants meet with you to understand your company culture and vision, business strategy and, of course, the role you need to recruit. Our highly skilled and experienced researchers and Executive Search consultants will work together to identify, entice and engage with the sought group of target candidates in order to successfully recruit the role.

To find out more simply book a free consultation call with our Managing Director, Doug Mackay.


2. What are the benefits of choosing Collingwood Executive Search?

If you don’t want to waste time and money on substandard hires and want to recruit the right person first time for your senior appointments, executive search is a robust and highly successful method of recruitment. But finding the right Executive Search company is critical!

We have helped our clients find highly skilled, culturally aligned, and high performing  employees since 2005. They have enabled our clients to improve, strengthen and ultimately add value to their company. Our specialist Executive Search team is dedicated to aiding our clients not just in hiring the best they can by providing data centred market insights but creating and defining those senior leaders / teams.

You will not only make the best appointment you can, but you will also invaluable market intelligence and general support throughout and once the recruitment process has successfully ended.

A partnership with Collingwood Executive Search will ensure you are well informed through regular update meetings and communication which helps to develop a collaborative and effective relationship with you.

Find out more about partnering with Collingwood Executive Search here.


3. What Industries do Collingwood Executive Search recruit for?

Although we do consider senior level roles within all sectors, we have developed Collingwood around a core number of industries and sectors. Our expertise here enables us to add more value to our clients as we live and breath their industries and are able to provide bespoke talent advice based on factual data.

Since 2005 we have been building our networks and partnerships in the following industries and sectors:


4. How long will it take to find a candidate?

All senior appointments can vary depending on the role that you are hiring for, and how niche the sought skill set, or experience might be. Other factors which also impact will be salary and location. All our recruitment assignments are project mile-stoned for a period of between 4 and 8 weeks through to our delivery of a candidate shortlist. However, we will listen to your needs and provide a suitable solution. For example, where a hire is very urgent, we could provide a more flexible approach focused on introducing candidates as we find them. Key to timescales is the initial groundwork completed by our consultants whilst collaborating with our clients – understanding their business, the role and candidate requirements fully. Collaboration with our clients has proved to be the most important factor when ensuring the successful delivery of an executive search project.


5. What happens if we are unable to find a suitable candidate?

In the rare case that a suitable candidate cannot be found that aligns to your initial brief, we will use the live market data to help guide the project to a successful outcome. It maybe that you need to compromise on an element of your requirements, but we will inform our discussion with facts that we have found from the project and also from our own experience in your industry. No matter what the situation, Collingwood are here to help you find that perfect fit and will always do our upmost to ensure your hiring role is filled first time, with the best talent the market has to offer! 97% of our retained searches were delivered successfully last year.


6. What additional services do you offer?

In addition to Executive Search, we also offer the following services:

Please click on the links for more information or, alternatively, book a free consultation call with our Managing Director, Doug Mackay.


7. What is your pricing structure?

As a true consultancy service, we recognise each customer is unique so we will never try to fit you into a rigid, one size fits all fee structure.

We create a tailor-made package for every customer, every time. This means our fee structures are developed according to each assignment, reflecting your needs and requirements at every stage.

We’re committed to being always transparent when it comes to fees. You’ll never find any hidden costs or surprising extras because we work with you from the outset to agree on fees that accommodate and accurately represent your requirements.

Typically our assignment fees are split into 3 stages:

  • Research Fee: Payable at the start of an assignment.
  • Working Fee: Payable on submission of a candidate shortlist.
  • Appointment Fee: Payable on acceptance of offer from the candidate.


8. How long have you been in business for?

Collingwood Executive Search was established in 2005 by Doug Mackay, founder and Managing Director. Fed up of the typical recruitment environments we all hear about, he set out to create a strong values orientated, family friendly culture, that focuses on delivering outstanding service to our clients. Doug envisaged an environment that was fun to work in, where personal learning was a priority, and a strong team ethic focused on solving clients' recruitment problems.


9. What sets you apart from your competitors?

Our clients say that we are authentic, values-driven, friendly, passionate about what we do, resilient and relentless in our objective to find the candidates they need. Many of our clients have been working with us for over 10 years and we have become friends. We are certainly not stuffy suited and booted recruiters and are proud to be an extension of their business.

We make no outbound calls to win new clients. 75% of our annual revenue comes from repeat clients, 20% comes from clients referring us to their network and the remaining from inbound enquiries.

We never give up. It is common that the person our clients ask us to find doesn’t exist 100% and so we collaborate regularly with them to present market intelligence and discuss the kind of candidates we can attract for them. Headhunting usually involves some sort of compromise but our clients regularly end up with an even better candidate than they set out to find.

For a “boutique” executive search consultancy we have a huge amount of knowledge and experience and have also recruited in over 25 countries to date!


10. Do you offer any guarantees or warranties?

To be open, placed candidates leaving for whatever reason inside the first six months to a year has not happened. Over the past 18 years we have not had any candidates leave within the first six months.

Why? Because the level of service that we offer ensures that:

  • We fully understand the requirement, together with cultural fit, of the person.
  • The process – initial headhunt, our interviews, the client’s interviews, managing the offer process, and keeping in touch with both party’s post start date – ensures any misalignment or misunderstandings are managed in a timely, amicable manner.

Appreciating there is a cost, perceived risk, and faith in partnering any retained Executive Search firm, we can offer a free replacement for a period of the candidates’ employment. For us, the traditional recruitment model of offering a discounted price on a sliding scale, does not work for you, the client. Essentially, this means you have paid money out on a candidate that has not performed as expected and you’re ultimately left with the same problem – an unfilled vacancy for a much-needed senior member of your team.


11. Can you provide references or testimonials from past clients?


We would expect any potential new client to want to take references including speaking to our current or previous clients. We can arrange this for you.

In addition, you will see some testimonials included in our Case Studies, which are also broken down into sectors.


12. What is your turnaround time for delivering services?

We take a project mile-stoned approach to all of our recruitment assignments. This means we listen to your needs and will then be honest with how long we think it will take us to provide you with a qualified candidate shortlist. Our target is to deliver a shortlist within 4 to 8 weeks, but it does depend on the complexity of your brief to us.


13. What is your cancellation policy?

In the rare event of a client cancelling a retained service for any reason, our full fee will become due as outlined in our contract, which is signed prior to the commencement of any work.


14. Are there any hidden fees or charges that I should be aware of?

We’re committed to being totally transparent when it comes to fees. You’ll never find any hidden costs or surprising extras because we work with you from the outset to agree on fees that accommodate and accurately represent your requirements. 99% of our fees only involve a recruitment fee. We sometimes ask for you to invest in specialist advertising, but this is pretty rare.



Some other questions you may have...


Do I have to pay for this service?

Yes, our Executive Search service is paid for.

All hires are different and, therefore, we usually bespoke our fee structure to take account of this. There are no hidden costs and fees are split into three:

  • Research fee - payable at the start of an assignment.
  • Working fee - payable on submission of a candidate shortlist.
  • Appointment fee - payable on offer of employment by the client.


Where are you located?

We are located in the heart of Cheshire, UK more specifically Tarporley. As many of our clients are international, we mainly operate remotely, and can assist you whenever suits, any time and any place. Although you are very welcome to drop into our office for a tea or coffee and meet the team behind our success!


Do you hire outside of the UK?


The majority of our hires are based outside of the UK, namely in USA and Europe. We have recruited in over 25 countries to date, but a lot of our work is in Europe, Middle East and North America.


What is your success rate?

We have a 97% success rate in completing the executive search assignments we are retained to recruit. The other 3% is usually where a client changes their mind and no longer wants to recruit the role or perhaps choose an internal or network referred candidate.


Where can I find your case studies?

We are very proud of our case studies and you can find them here broken down by sectors.


Doug Mcckay

Still have a question unanswered?

Schedule a call with Doug, our Managing Director today to answer your question!

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