Collingwood Celebrates it's 10th Birthday

We all frequently say that time passes us by all too quickly and in the case of Collingwood Executive Search, it is very true. Can you believe that we are 10 years old today! A veteran in the rapidly changing world of executive headhunting.

Like so many others, I “fell into” the recruitment industry in March 1997. My now wife and I relocated to Cheshire to be closer to our families and through my job hunting, a “boutique” executive search consultancy asked me to consider joining their growing team as a graduate trainee. The industry didn’t have the best of reputations even then and so, against my dad’s advice, I decided to accept the opportunity and give it all I had. I didn’t have much understanding of the recruitment industry but what I did know was that my new boss lived and breathed strong values and ran a business founded on client partnerships. The fact that he played golf and supported Liverpool FC were added benefits!

I was surrounded by good people who provided a lot of help and support during the eight years I spent there and I will always be grateful to them. I worked closely with our Key Account Director for Marconi Communications, one of our “house accounts”, who helped me develop the skillset to be a leading headhunter and ultimately the freedom and autonomy to travel Europe and the Middle East, networking in the international telecoms community to build new senior level commercial and technical teams for our client. Not a bad job for someone in their 20’s.

As much as I enjoyed my 8 years, the more I discovered about how my client Managing Directors built their businesses, the more I realised that I could create a very different culture and value proposition in executive search by starting a new business. After much deliberation and encouragement from several of my most trusted advocates, I decided to go for it. What was the worst that could happen?

I founded Collingwood Executive Search on two simple principles;

  1. To create a values-driven, work/life balance culture where employees love coming to work for the personal development, camaraderie and passion to do the right things by clients, candidates and their colleagues.
  1. To build long-term client partnerships based on trust with people we enjoy spending time with and helping to recruit senior level, high calibre people who will make a positive impact on their business.

10 years on and these remain our core drivers and the reason that we are still standing and indeed growing when so many other SME’s and recruitment consultancies have been and gone.

The 10 years have in no way been plain sailing and have included a very challenging recession that arrived very quickly in 2008. Strangely though, the recession was the best thing ever to happen to Collingwood and we flourished throughout it. Our international expertise and reputation for “finding needles in haystacks” provided our clients with a very supportive hand and ensured their teams were best in class within their respective industries.

We have generated an abundance of great memories which are difficult to capture in one short blog and so here are some our top 5's:

The top 5 brands that have chosen to work with Collingwood:
Success has never been about working with global brands but I must say that we are very proud to have been chosen by several high profile companies, emphasising that little old Collingwood really can punch above its weight.

  • BUPA
  • Haribo
  • Honeywell
  • RNLI

Our favourite 5 cities, out of over 21 countries we have recruited in to date:

  • Istanbul
  • Lille
  • Moscow
  • Santander
  • Siena

Our favourite 5 roles within our specialist sectors:

  • Operations Director for an innovative aviation SME
  • Finance Director for a utilities services contractor
  • Managing Director for a global rail manufacturer
  • Sales Director for a growing specialist food manufacturer and distributor
  • Medical Director for a leading international healthcare group

We have loved every minute of the last 10 years and are really looking forward to what the next 10 has in store for us.

Thank you to all the clients and candidates for the incredible journey you have been involved in with us and here is to more of the same!

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