Career Stories

By Melanie Clark, Managing Director

Advancing my career at Azura Search

Melanie Clark is Managing Director of Azura Search. In our interview with Melanie, we learn about the path that brought her here, what she’s achieved so far and what it’s really like to progress your career at Azura Search.

Melanie Clarke, Managing Director at Azura Search

Tell me about your role here

As Managing Director of Azura Search, it’s my role to build a brand for an executive search business that has been successfully operating for six years within the Altum Group. I want Azura Search to be well known in the industry as a highly reputable international search firm and maximise our potential to give back to our charitable foundation; Altum Foundation.

What were you doing before this?

Before I joined Azura Search I was the Business Director of the executive search division within a FTSE 250 recruitment consultancy. I was keen to build on my experience of working in a larger company, the rigour that brings, and use it in a boutique environment. My previous employer also had an entrepreneurial culture that stood me in very good stead to join and scale a fast-growing boutique firm.

"The opportunity to build a new brand from what was already a hugely successful practice was one I couldn’t pass up."

Our Charitable Foundation

Why did you decide to progress your career at Azura Search?

I had known Altum Group’s co-founder, David for many years, and he came to me and sold me the vision of what he wanted to create for the business. I was wowed by the success they’d already seen in their first six years - they had a truly international scope and a huge number of leading brands among their clients. The opportunity to build a new brand from what was already a hugely successful practice was one I couldn’t pass up.

On meeting more of the team, I realised the people here are essential to that success. I really believed in what we could create together - I could see myself forging a successful career within Azura Search and contributing to the wider Altum Group as a board member.

What have been the challenges since you came onboard?

The first challenge was deciding on a visual brand that reflected who we want to be. We identified with the Northern Lights because they’re so rare - our modern approach in the traditional world of executive search is similarly unique.

The next challenge for me was in bringing some rigour in the way we deliver for our clients in a relatively young business. I worked really hard for the first few months to make sure we had an efficient engine room so that we could get searches right first time, and at pace. It was essential to do that without stifling our entrepreneurial spirit, so I had to find a balance.

What have the highlights been for you, since you came on board?

The biggest highlight was beating our targets in the first quarter - we really exceeded expectations, and that was a big achievement so early in my tenure here.

It’s been amazing to see the buy-in that we’ve had from everyone we’ve met - they really believe in our story, our purpose and our approach. The feedback we’re getting is that this is the right time to be offering a fresh approach to executive search - that kind of response is exciting.

It’s also been great to work with such big brands on their senior-level roles. To secure a great CFO for a very well-known company so soon after joining was very rewarding.

What does 2020 have in store for you?

2020 will be all about getting the Azura brand out in the market. We want to see some real buzz about the great service we provide and hear people talking about the way we’re shaking up the executive search industry.

We’re growing the business, so we’re also looking to take on new executive search consultants who want to make their career at Azura Search. I’m genuinely excited about growing the business and doing that with all the values I hold dear, alongside some very talented people.

Who would do well in a career at Azura Search?

It’s a lovely culture - everyone works hard here, but we have a giggle. The talent we’ve been able to attract has blown me away, and I think it’s down to the culture we’ve fostered here.

At Azura Search, we work as a team and people genuinely want to help each other.  As a result, it’s a fun and supportive environment.

There really is a clear and achievable progression route to partner here. We have an Operations Director who is dedicated to offering learning and development opportunities and she’s one of the best trainers I’ve ever met in our industry. The training and support you’ll receive at Azura Search is incredible, and I think that’s quite rare in a boutique firm.

To learn more about the team and the opportunities we have available at Azura Search contact Mel via email at [email protected]