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Nigel Wright champions 'no silos' approach to global recruitment


Nigel Wright delivers search assignments on a global scale. These assignments are typically for large multinational, as well as SMEs and Private Equity backed ‘scale-up’ businesses and involve the identification and selection of senior domestic and international talent for key strategic roles.

Companies with multinational operations, particularly in emerging markets, are realigning their hiring strategies to take advantage of the evolving global employment market. The era of the short term expatriate solution for establishing and stabilising an international office is disappearing. Expatriates are staying in overseas markets longer than they used to; incentivised by a positive economic outlook, career development opportunities, greater autonomy and higher salaries.

Businesses also want a different breed of talent today. Experienced, but also highly mobile, multi-lingual and with an intrinsic understanding of the new ‘global’ economic landscape. And its not just expatriates they seek to hire; recruiting and nurturing local talent is considered vitally important, as is attracting highly educated, skilled and ‘multinational’ native talent back home. Regional, non-native managers are also coveted, as companies seek to build regional knowledge but also diversity into their executive teams.

According to Nigel Wright Group Executive Director Mark Simpson, ‘The best talent could exist anywhere in today’s global economy and as a search and selection firm, having the flexibility and capability to find it is what ultimately makes you stand out in the market.’ The reputation and capability of Nigel Wright Executive, the search and selection arm of Nigel Wright Group, has grown consistently over the last ten years due to its proven track record of working alongside firms from significant sectors, helping them to build their capability in domestic and overseas markets.

With an established and integrated network of executive professionals and research teams, fluent in multiple languages, Nigel Wright believes it has a unique offering in today’s market. With over 15 specialist consultants recruiting at executive level (between £100-250k+ salary) at any one time, the business also has no country restrictions and it offers clients a truly global approach to search, by utilising its teams across its network of offices who work together to get the best results.

The executive search teams offer a wide variety of services including individual search mandates, ongoing service agreements, talent pool creation and talent mapping. These services stretch across emerging markets as well as mature western markets. Often an assignment will involve deploying one senior consultant to liaise at the executive level of the client, and coordinate the project on a multiple regional basis, with Nigel Wright’s teams.  

Nigel Wright Executive’s main focus is C-Level, General Management, Commercial and Operations (Supply Chain & Manufacturing) as well as strategic management, specialist adviser and Non-Executive Director (NED) roles at the local, regional and group level. Specific discipline specialists exist in all of Nigel Wright’s offices and again, these experts share market knowledge with each other as and when it is pertinent for a particular search assignment.

As Simpson noted, ‘We have built up a vast amount of internal knowledge of our specialist sector and disciplines, which continues to grow as we embark on new projects in new territories. Furthermore, we have found developing our global executive search capability has enabled us to be even better at it in the North East of England, where we have been established for the longest.’

Nigel Wright is truly international, however the business takes pride in being effective at the local level, within the countries and regions in which it operates. For Nigel Wright’s candidates this means they have the benefit of what Simpson calls the ‘no silos’ approach; once a candidate is identified and registered on the database ‘they can be immediately represented in any of our markets across Europe and beyond.’

This kind of seamless operating model according to Simpson, isn’t prevalent among multinational executive search firms and together with Nigel Wright’s deep knowledge of its chosen markets, desire to deliver and ‘one team’ approach to sharing knowledge and information, means that the business is often selected as a recruitment partner ahead of the established firms such as Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles, Russell Reynolds, Egon Zehnder and Korn Ferry.

The results are excellent too.  Over the last two years Nigel Wright has successfully identified talent in, or relocated talent to 34 countries including Malaysia, USA, Canada, Algeria, Nigeria, Cameroon, United Arab Emirates, India, China and Australia as well as multiple states in Western and Eastern Europe. This comprised in excess of 250 executive level assignments; some of the roles and clients were a Regional Manager for a global telecommunications business, a Global Brand Innovation Manager for a multinational consumer goods company and an HR Director and Commercial Director for two world famous beverage brands as well as various roles at CEO, COO and CFO level.

Headhunting in or outside of Europe always requires exceptional market intelligence and Nigel Wright has consistently shown an ability to quickly understand territories and establish relevant networks to get results for its clients. Its team of international consultants and researchers have also been able to seamlessly conduct business in remote places and have faced cultural, linguistic, political and logistical challenges; yet still retained excellent standards of customer service.

According to Simpson ‘Having the capacity to effectively source talent either ‘on the ground’ or bring in the best talent from the around the world is essential to support our client’s growth.’

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