We made a huge decision around 7 years ago that helped us to transform our business, Collingwood Executive Search. Attracting new clients is essential for any business and we have always done it by delighting the clients we have and marketing. For the first 8 years of Collingwood's life we invested heavily in Google Pay Per Click and this strategy was a huge success if you look at it from a revenue and phone ringing off the hook point of view. We measured our Return on Investment as money spent versus fees generated and I now realise that this was a very naive and flawed approach!

Maybe because I am a older and life has a way of making you relook at your priorities but I would approach our marketing strategy totally differently knowing what I know now.

The huge decision 7 years ago was prompted by our marketing agency partners asking me how I would describe our aspirational client. I couldn't answer. I had never really given what makes a great client much thought. The CEO of the marketing agency worked with me to create our "Guiding Principles" which essentially lays out the criteria that now acts as our bible which has since created a lot of happiness. 7 years ago our team worked hard to input into the type of client they wanted to work with. We envisaged who would want to jump out of our beds for on a very cold, wet and windy Monday morning. We suddenly realised how amazing it would be to work with clients that we shared values with, could have a laugh with and who ultimately respected us as their Trusted Advisors in recruitment. There was a lot more consideration but this was ultimately what changed our direction.

The last 2 years since the pandemic hit have been amazingly positive for Collingwood. The client partnerships we have built have been extremely supportive and valuable for both parties as we have negotiated these very unfamiliar waters together. It is true to say that we have never had so much fun and shown so much grit and resilience to delight our clients. It is amazing what you'll do for clients that you respect and actually enjoy working for.

Anyway, this is possible for any business, it just takes some brave decisions.

The even better news is that more and more companies feel like they want to take the same approach and work with a like minded recruitment partner. The result has been a record number of new clients approaching us!