Formerly holding senior executive roles in the Defence & Aerospace, Engineering and Security sectors, Chris’s experience included general management, engineering, commercial operations and both domestic and international business development. More recently Chris has been engaged as Managing Director for International blue-chip as well as SME organisations where he has delivered business re-engineering, MBO’s and international company acquisitions.
More recently through his own business, Headstrong Consultants, Chris has leveraged his extensive management and leadership expertise to offer advisory and coaching capability to corporate executives and boards.
Through his eminently qualified team at Headstrong Consultants, Chris offers a bespoke service model, tailored for unique corporate needs. The model has at its hub the Acquisition, Development and Retention of talent. This incorporates proven services in executive training, mentoring, organisational restructure, succession planning, talent search, selection and placement.
Equipped with a wealth of experience, Chris offers strategic guidance and advice to senior executives and boards on investment finance, (private equity and venture capital), mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures as well as supporting technology start-ups and owner-run businesses.
Chris has been active on various Advisory Board having held the following positions:
- Business Mentor and Member of the “Pitch for Business” Panel at The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy
- Mentor and Business Advisor at The Jamie Oliver Foundation
- Business Advisor at Young Enterprise.
Finding the best individuals in the market has never been more challenging. Owing to the unpredictable and changing times we live in there are currently a considerable number of candidates in the available market. Identifying these candidates is a relatively simple process and often carried out by generalist recruiters who find the candidates and then transfer the assessment and selection responsibility back to the client. This generalist approach delivers no more added value than advertising for the role directly and lacks the diligence and processes required to provide companies with the results they need and deserve.
The real skill and value of executive search is in the selection, assessment and validation of carefully identified candidates. Headstrong’s experience has shown that these candidates - the ones with the experience and capability to fulfil challenging roles - often stay under the “radar screen”, remain committed to their current employers, are unlikely to post their details to web sites and are not attracted by advertising.
The whole purpose of proactive recruitment is to bring into consideration candidates that might not be otherwise identifiable in the market. The cost of a bad hire can be considerable so expediency and first-past-the-post should be ruled out as viable options.
The advent of online candidate sources can be viewed as both a blessing and a curse. While candidates appear to be available in numbers, workaday recruiters are restricted to addressing only the visible market, which tends to mean that only the mediocre are readily sourced while the “best of breed” remain out of sight.
Headstrong Consultants specialise in a narrow sector of the market and are dedicated defence sector experts. Specialism gives Headstrong a deep and thorough knowledge of the market, its unique culture and emerging trends. During the last decade we have delivered a wide range of searches for international clients and success can be measured against our 93% repeat business.
While client awareness is important in many business endeavours, to achieve success in the defence and security sectors executive search can only be delivered with a thorough understanding of client needs. Headstrong’s critical understanding of requirements is borne out of a strong track record of working and running organisations within the sector. This level of extensive experience is essential to gain empathy and provide vision to support specific individual requirements.
An intangible but highly significant aspect of successful candidate delivery is the ability to engage with individuals and quickly gain their interest, respect and understanding while an opportunity is explored. The most talented individuals do not tolerate unfocused and low-knowledge approaches. Trust provides a platform to drive through the assessment, suitability, vetting and requirement matching, all of which need to be managed skilfully.
A real hazard in the recruitment process is that the hiring organisation may not have a realistic understanding of the quality of candidates available. If the issue only becomes clear late in the recruitment process, there is the potential for failed assignments and arguments about commercial terms and fees. Headstrong benchmarking provides a way of de-risking the process by providing clients with an early sight of ability range so their expectations are based on clearly defined profiles. See Benchmarking download on the right of this page.
The economic downturn of the last few years has affected candidate outlook and can potentially distort our view of candidate suitability. Real skill is required to assess individuals who are currently seeking a role and are out of employment. Their motivation has to be gauged carefully as a drive to secure a role at any cost will not result in a long term solution for the client or the individual.
Having worked extensively across the defence and security sectors for so long we know where many of the high performers are situated. Headstrong has developed trusted relationships with organisations and individuals that enable us to advance client and candidate needs in total confidence. We may well have a solution-in-waiting although we would never mobilise it until we have fully understood and defined your requirements. From a defined brief, we can build a strong candidate case from our knowledge, contacts, industry sources and pure search methodologies.
The Headstrong approach to resourcing results in accolades that are equally positive from clients and candidates who have been through our process. View our testimonials.