We fully understand businesses’ need for high calibre leaders to facilitate their growth plans, export ambitions and to act as a brand ambassador for market-leading products and services.

Gary Crawford
Managing Director
Tech International

"On various occasions we found the best person for the job and this wouldn’t have been possible without 4c’s knowledge and expertise, and their reach outside of Northern Ireland."

4c Executive Search was launched in 2013 and quickly established ourselves as the leading provider of true executive search services in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and further afield.

Neil Stewart
Chief Executive
Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation

"I was impressed by the capability of 4c Executive to look outside Northern Ireland and as a result feel that I was presented with a much more comprehensive pool of candidates than had we looked only locally."

Experience Counts. The 4c Approach to Recruitment…

Published on: 2 October 2015

With over 15 years’ experience in the Northern Ireland recruitment industry, Ruth McDonald joined 4c Executive Search as a Search Consultant in February 2015. She tells Business Eye more about her role at 4c…

I started my career in recruitment at Diamond Recruitment Group, which was founded by 4c’s Managing Director and Principal Search Consultant, Gary Irvine – so in a sense I have gone full circle and arrived back where I feel I very much belong.

I have held a number of senior roles in the recruitment industry over the past 15 years and the strong experience gained in these roles have proved invaluable in my first few months at 4c.

The 4c approach to executive search and selection 

The pool of candidates into which we search tends to be made up of a key set of ‘groupings’. Whilst the ‘active’ jobs seekers will actively be seeking a career move, the ‘passive’ job seekers will be happy in their current position but will be keeping an eye out for better opportunities. The ‘inactive’ candidate, however, will be more settled with no desire or reason to move on from where they are. It is with this ‘inactive’ group that executive search proves particularly valuable – these people will often be the best in the market but will not be registered with recruitment firms or looking at job opportunities. Every assignment is very different and requires a fresh approach. Some clients will opt to go down the route of 100 per cent search and some will opt for 100 per cent advertised selection. Most will decide on a combination of the two, however, and this is the approach we recommend – since it covers off all of the potential candidate groupings.

The client

Since joining 4c I have worked on a large portfolio of assignments across a diverse mix of appointments, from Chief Executive to Functional Managers, and for a wide range of clients from Northern Ireland’s Top 100 companies as well as public sector or third sector organisations. Our clients tend to be companies seeking to appoint talent at a very senior level to fill business-critical roles within their organisations. They expect to be presented with candidates of the highest calibre, so we put a lot of effort into really understanding the role and getting to know their organisation and its culture before actively searching for candidates. We want to ensure that we only introduce people who are the best fit for the client’s organisation, to make sure there is that “match” from both the client and the candidate perspective.

The candidate

It is imperative that the candidate has both confidence and trust in a search consultant – not only that their application is in confidence but also that the consultant has their career and best interests at heart. We build strong relationships with each of our candidates and work closely with them to guide them through the process and to represent them with our clients. Quite often our candidates will become our clients and which leads to 2nd and 3rd generation assignments. For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of the job is when a candidate, who is ‘inactive’ and unaware of the opportunity until we contact them, ends up being appointed to a fantastic new role that they otherwise wouldn’t have known about without 4c.

The 4c team

We are a very experienced and growing team of eight people, each of whom is a specialist in their own right. We draw on one another’s strengths and areas of expertise and every member of the team has an integral part to play in ensuring that both the client and the candidate enjoy a first class experience. We want to do it right every time and the results speak for themselves. We have 100% success rate to date, which is otherwise unheard of in the executive search industry where the average is significantly lower. Now going into our third year, we plan to continue growing the company and ensuring that 4c maintains its position as the first stop for executive search in Northern Ireland.

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