A labour of love

I’ve engineered my business strategy so that from time to time I travel a lot. This month has been one of those times.

Key reasons that I do this:

  • I really like history, architecture and art and would gladly sell a kidney to be allowed to skive off to obscure cathedrals and art galleries when I think no one’s looking
  • The above being a terrible business strategy I hide my ulterior motives behind a business strategy
  • That strategy is, that to be taken seriously as a medtech headhunter I need to spend time with a lot of people

Those people comprise three groups:

  • Candidates – because let’s face it you’re not much of a people person unless you meet some people. Geography, time and finance mean I can’t see everyone but I’ll always try to let you know that I’m in town
  • Client and potential client company management. Well. Duh. I’m not going to be very persuasive as a headhunter unless I take the time and trouble to find out as much as I can about my clients and their businesses
  • Investors – well this is different. VC’s, Private Equity and Family Offices are rarely directly clients but they are influential.

So far as I can tell, in medtech I’m one of a handful of recruiters in Europe who take the time to actually sit down with all the categories above as often as practicable everywhere from Spain to Denmark.

How’s it working out then?

Well thanks for asking.

Thanks to the art and history obsession I’ve made friends with some really interesting historians. If you haven’t made friends with any medievalists yet I suggest that you do.

The other stuff – well the time with candidates has led to many mutually useful conversations. There are people in Spain, Ireland and Cambridge who are there because we sat down and had a coffee in a draughty station concourse/noisy cafe/hotel lobby and six months later the perfect role just happened to float across my desk.

The time on site with clients? Well two decades of looking at labs, production lines and boardrooms means that I can write briefings that make sense, brief candidates and sound like I know what I’m talking about (because I do) and, stand well back, offer meaningful consultancy. It’s not a trivial briefing point just to able to explain to a candidate how to find the site.

The investors? That’s a little more confidential just now but yeah, its paying dividends. If nothing else it lets me understand that there’s often more than one way of looking at things and that some emperors do indeed walk about naked.


Posted on: 25th September 2018 by Ivor Campbell

Into his fourth decade of search Ivor has a voice with stories to tell, observations to make and the odd picture to share. Mostly related to the day job.

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