Director of International Masterplanning and Landscape
There are lots of things that us executive recruiters look for when we take on a role. Like you, we want to know how good an opportunity this really is. We try to cut through all of the meaningless statements and look deeper to see what kind of bed we are asking our applicants to lie in.
Is this hire about saving a company that is struggling? Do they have more to gain from this than you do?
Is there something that needs fixing or is it more about evolution and market opportunity?
What is the culture is like? Do people work in harmony or is there infighting and territorial squabbles?
Are they organised? Will they be a firm that gets things done in an orderly manner?
Are they open minded to change? How well will they handle the integration of this person?
Where do they sit in terms of industry perception? What is the quality of their work like?
Have they got a sensible succession plan in place that might include the new hire?
Can they pay the right money for the best people?
It's all important stuff, especially when the people we are seeking to court will already be in a job where they are seeing lots of success.
The good news is that this particular client has come out in flying colours on all fronts. Not only do they run a very successful practice that is perceived to be the leader in pretty much all the services they offer, they also came across as a very nice bunch of people who are brought together buy shared values and a drive to deliver the best schemes possible, not just for their clients but also for the generations of people (and wildlife) who will use the spaces long after we are all gone. That's the company culture, work quality and company reputation boxes all firmly ticked.
The practice is travelling very nicely so this isn't an SOS hire. They are doing well enough to even be opening new offices. The reason for this planned hire is that there is a huge opportunity for them to piggy-back some of their recent projects and to expand their international offering of masterplanning, urban design and landscape services. At present the role is being shared by a couple of the board directors. They are overstretched and can't give as much time as they think the international market needs. They'd like this person to become part of the stretageic management team from day one. There would also be a planned route to some share kind of share the company, particularly as some of the more established Directors begin to lower their hours in the run up to retirement. That is both the 'succession plan' and the 'good reason for hiring' boxes firmly ticked.
The company ios very well organised. So well oreganised in fact that they share 3 year business plans with all staff and give regular updates as to how well they are doing in terms of meeting those objectives. They go to exceptional lengths to ensure communication lines are open and information flows freely between colleagues and clients at all levels. They never want good ideas to be overlooked and they always want to realise both people and projects full potential. Oh, and they aren't one of these practices that will accept unrealistic deadlines and fees form their clients and then work people to midnight every day of the week and then bring the in at the weekend too. Instead they opt to charge their clients senisbible fees for the highest quality work that can be acheievd within realistic timescales. All very sensible and most unlike a lot of practices in the design industry! Again, this more than adequately ticks the "organised" and healthy "company cultuire" box.
So, all in all, I think it's fair to say that this really is a top opportunity that should be grabbed with both hands even if you only have a very slight urge to look at pasture new. Quite simply, opportunities this good don't come along very often.
We'd like to hear from Landscape Architects, Urban Designers or Architects with masterplanning experience in terratories outside of the UK. You will already be operating at Associate Director level or above, and have a strategic role within the company you are presently employed in. It is most likely that the indivdual will be based in London where the majority of the international team is located. For this reason, we require any people who apply to be eligible to live and work in the UK. Candidates will be great deisgners and leaders. All applicants should have a proven ability to generate new business.
Salary is negotiable and likely to be six figures plus package.
For a confidential conversation, please contact Stephern Glands 02073185891