A digital headhunter: 2014 the year in reflection

Two years since establishing Princedale Partners I am proud of what we have built as a specialist digital headhunting and talent advisory firm. As we look back on 2014 I thought I’d share some of the snippets of what we have achieved and learnt as we look forward to 2015 and growth…

  • We’ve worked hard not to overstretch ourselves, only working on four searches at any one time. In my experience too many consulting firms overstretch themselves. We won’t, we believe we will be successful over the long-term if we invest more time upfront, are tenacious in our headhunting, focused in our delivery and stick to our core focus on commercial digital leadership appointments across Europe.
  • Our simple mantra. We want to partner with no more than five clients in each of the following consumer sectors; Retail, Marketplaces, Consumer Goods, Gambling/Gaming, Media, Financial Services and Travel. This way we can do the most thorough work for all clients without tying ourselves in knots. These relations will be longstanding and mutually beneficial like any good partnership and we as a firm will be able to maintain our important ethics and not fall in the trap bigger search firms fall into in trying to work with too many clients.
  • I have learnt to say no. We cannot be all things to all people and when clients have asked us to help with roles outside of our core focus we have been clear from the outset, often recommending other firms that are better placed (i.e functional technology specialists). We have enjoyed a trial partnership with a contingent recruitment firm that helps clients at the middle management level (60-120k salaried appointments) ensuring that the clients who we can’t help at that level are looked after. What goes around comes around.
  • Interim Practice Launch: We’ve been delighted to have been able to help clients with several interim appointments through 2014 covering; Digital Marketing, CRM & Customer, Online Trading, Digital Strategy & Transformation specialists with day rates of £850 – £1750 and terms of 3-9 months. This specialism will be a focus of growth in 2015.
  • One of our clients that we have done the most amount of work with over the two years is an international consumer foods group. Not what I had envisaged but a terrific project that we made four placements with. I expect there will be many more consumer goods business wanting to sell, market and more effectively engage through the digital channels cutting out the retailer and I predict this will be a focus in 2015.
  • We like to work with businesses of all sizes be it; listed, mid-size and start-ups. In 2014 we have worked with Coca-Cola, Argos, Nike and eBay but also smaller fast growing businesses like; BuyaPowa, First Utility and Secret Escapes. We’re keen to work with more mid-sized growth consumer businesses in 2015 and feel well placed to help here whether that’s taking talent from more established business or from start-up’s.
  • We were very proud to be invited to no.10 Downing Street to meet the Digital Advisor to the Prime Minster earlier this year. A great honour and terrific experience. It’s massive by the way!
  • Digital Business Leaders Drinks Party: We hosting our annual cocktail party in the summer that involved a heated ping-pong competition at Bounce in Holborn. Great pride was felt in bringing esteemed digital leaders together from across the consumer business world and we were delighted with the feedback and the write-up we got in the Evening Standard! No slideshows on us but people we rate sharing perspectives across digital.
  • In 2015 and with a strong foundation for growth I’m particularly excited to be looking at hiring an experienced Headhunter/Partner to work with to augment our position and grow from here. We’re also currently assessing the opportunity to open an international office, more soon.
  • And finally… We will be launching our Digital Advisory Boards service (DAB’s) for corporate clients in Q1 2015 in partnership with a high profile author on the subject of Technology Disruption for CEO’s that want to ensure they are up to date on future disruption and not caught sleeping at the wheel. This neatly complements our Executive Search and Interim Placement specialisms and sets us up to help Boards across Europe with greater digital understanding before recruiting.

To all clients and job-seekers that we’ve had the pleasure to work with this year, thank you and we look forward to supporting you in 2015.

Rupert Jupp
MD, Princedale Partners

So here’s to 2015 and Reflection
Highlights of a Digital Headhunter looking back on 2013
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