Retained Executive Search for Digital Leadership and Transformation Roles
Princedale is a London-based executive search firm specialising in placing senior digital leaders into global brands across a variety of sectors including luxury, retail, travel, FMCG and FinTech. Retained executive search is where we thrive.
Recruitment done well should be a breeze - it starts with clarity and an accurate, compelling brief.
We've honed and developed our approach over our 25 years in the headhunting profession, to deliver rigorous processes that are proven to work.Begin your search
Our independence means we can be significantly more thorough than many larger firms. Our processes have been honed over 25 years in the sector taking what works best and discarding the rest.
At Princedale, unlike at some bigger firms, what you see is what you get. Just one of the many benefits of choosing to work with an independent executive search firm is that we personally see to every aspect of the search so you'll never converse with a senior member of the team to agree your search, to later find that the legwork has been handed to a more junior member.
We put every search in prime position at Princedale, each is as important as the last and we take the same care, with those rigorous processes, with every one. We work on a max of 5 at any one time; we've found that is the magic number to maintain our enviable success rate.
"Ru, You played such a critical role in creating this opportunity at Atomico for me, so a huge thank you for finding me and convincing me to take the interview in the first place. It's worked out wonderfully well."Thomas Wehmeier – Partner, Atomico
"Working with Ru was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. Princedale quickly got their arms around a complex brief and nailed a brilliant candidate at the first interview. Smart guys and no bullsh*t"Daniel Hegarty - CEO & Founder, Habito
"Our heartfelt gratitude to Ru and his team at Princedale Partners for their outstanding efforts in finding us a great candidate for our organisation. From start to finish, their professionalism, expertise, and commitment to excellence have been outstanding. A thorough understanding of our requirements, combined with their extensive network of candidates, enabled them to identify the ideal fit for our organisation."Annie Reading, SVP Human Resources, Audio Network
Our Retained Executive Search Process
1. Job descriptions are so last year
Most clients come to us with an old or rough job description. The first thing we do is tear it up. We spend time with the key stakeholders, defining the role, remit and key deliverables, yes, but we're as interested in defining the person and character that would be the best fit.
We discuss the expectations, the challenges and any potential trade-offs (asking the hard questions to ensure clarity and alignment) culminating in a freshly written brief which accurately describes who we're searching for. This accuracy and clarity is critical and our clients often comment how refreshing it is that we take the time upfront to get it right.
We write the brief afresh in collaboration with you to accurately and authentically define:
- The role, remit and key deliverables
- The person and character
- The expectation, challenges and potential trade-offs
2. Mapping the market
Talent is borderless - we go deep and wide across markets and geographies to ensure absolute thoroughness.
Lindsay, our Head of Research, gets to work thoroughly mapping every relevant organisation to come up with a long list of top names we want to explore. At this point in the search there are no limits. We draw on our extensive networks across markets and geographies, searching internationally to ensure thoroughness.
We make discreet enquiries, take references and explore every last avenue to construct our long list of top contenders.
3. The benchmark candidate
Next, we identify our benchmark candidate. This person is the first dart on the dartboard - a top notch individual from our immediate network.
After we personally look at 200+ potential individuals, what follows is the shortlist of the 5 best possible recommendations.
4. Princedale interviews the most relevant candidates
Interviewing is one of the tasks which I consider essential to carry out myself.
Ru personally conducts in-depth, competency based interviews with each individual. Each interview is recorded and written up, assessing knowledge, personality type, interview skills and fit.
I invite the most relevant candidates to interview with me. These are in-depth, competency based interviews which allow us to once again check our findings against our brief and ensure that we have indeed found the best potential talent for your role, business and culture. Each interview is recorded and hand written up, assessing knowledge, personality type, interview skills and crucially, whether that person will be a strong fit for the culture of your company.
Skills, qualifications and even track record are only a small part of the picture. We place great importance on EQ and character!
5. Presenting our top notch recommendations
We present the shortlist to you, along with the detailed market intelligence report. This gives you all the marketing insight, feedback and trends informing our recommendations, allowing you to fully understand our reasoning. We will discuss our findings in-depth to give you a well rounded picture of the market as it is.
6. We support you through confidential and swift but thorough client interviews
We support you through confidential, swift but thorough client interviews, with me on hand at every stage. We can provide a discreet location for interviews to take place, ensuring that privacy is upheld. We manage communication with all parties and, critically, expectation management on both sides.
When interviews are complete we are there to support you in making your final choices and will extend an offer to your preferred individual.
At this critical stage, we move extremely swiftly and efficiently to ensure your choice is secured, offer extended and a mutually beneficial start date agreed.
7. Extending an offer to your preferred individual
We move swiftly and efficiently to ensure your choice is secured, and offer extended and a start date agreed.
8. Going the extra mile for clients and candidates - we're in it for the long term
We take great pride in our placements but measure our success on the longevity of the hire. Our clients' and candidate's best interests are our primary concern. Making the successful appointment is half the story, the long term success is the other.
After care, both for you and the successful candidate, are a priority for Princedale. We check in with your new hire at regular intervals in the first year, ensuring that any bumps in the road are ironed out and all parties are happy. Our clients' and candidate's best interests are our primary concern. Making the successful appointment is half the story - long term success is the other.
We view longevity - tenure of appointment - as a measure of success. Many of our placements are still with the same company 5+ years later, making our recruitment fees a great investment.
Contact Princedale to begin your