Industry News

By Melanie Clark, Managing Director

The rise of the boutique executive search firms

Learn why boutique executive search firms like Azura Search are becoming increasingly popular in the hunt for leadership talent.

“Against the rising tide of technological advances, executive search remains a people industry. Hiring managers continue to seek the professional advice of a consultant they can trust to fill their senior leadership roles. Yet, a subtle shift is moving many of those hiring managers away from the traditional big-name firms."

Melanie Clark, Managing Director of Azura Search.

The popularity of boutique executive search firms

Increasingly, organisations are looking to boutique executive search firms to source talent for their most senior positions. Clients explain to us that they’re looking for a more personalised service - the ‘one size fits all’ process of the past no longer fits them. Boutique firms, which have the agility and flexibility to adapt more closely to their needs, are now in demand.

Efficient solutions

The boutique executive search firms also offer a compelling advantage in this highly competitive market - speed. Larger firms working with many clients often have more protracted searches, as well as stringent processes that allow little flexibility on timings. Clients demand swift results, and expect to pay on performance, rather than according to a fixed timescale.

"Boutique firms, which have the agility and flexibility to adapt more closely to clients’ needs, are now in demand.”

Melanie Clark, Managing Director of Azura Search.

Managing budget

With a raft of increasingly intelligent online tools available to any internal hiring manager, the decision to take recruitment in-house is a consideration for many companies. However, the time saving from using a boutique executive search firm is a substantial benefit, which in many cases can offset any financial savings made from clients undertaking their own recruitment. It takes specialist expertise to source the right person for a senior role, and these positions are ones that a business cannot afford to get wrong.  The boutique search firms also have long standing relationships with industry leaders, this is our world, and we are ready to make proactive approaches as a result.

A consultative approach

Increasingly we find that clients seek advice on a broader range of business matters. Being positioned to offer a more personalised service affords the boutique executive search firm the ability to consult to clients on their organisational structure and succession planning, for example. This personalised approach means boutique firms can truly understand the client’s business, to hear their needs and maintain the relationship needed to build an effective partnership.

The Azura Search difference

Azura Search wanted to offer something truly unique to the boutique executive search firm landscape. We have a partner-led approach with a central delivery team. Each client is served by a dedicated Partner who takes care of their search, from receiving instruction through to placing the candidate.

This structure allows us to deliver searches in the UK and internationally at speed. We don’t hand the search to a local team, who might lose the message or misinterpret the client’s needs. We’re able to serve our international businesses in a much smarter way.

With a very selective number of clients, we have fewer restrictions on the candidates we can source, meaning we can offer a far more diverse pool of talent, on a global basis. Diversity is important to Azura Search, and we have programmes in place to research and map new talent around the globe for our clients.

Looking ahead

We’re an international search firm, that makes us very resilient to what could potentially happen in the UK around issues like Brexit. With our experience placing 150 roles in 26 countries, we’re well placed to support some of the largest and newest businesses alike.”

For more industry insights, visit our News & Insights section. If you have an exec level position that you’d like to fill, please get in touch.