Leadership More Important than Ever
Published on: 14 January 2015
As we enter what could potentially be a turbulent year for the local economy, strong leadership from Northern Ireland’s business community will be more important than ever.
Public sector cuts will start to be felt in 2015, which will create new challenges for all sectors of our economy. But at 4c Executive Search we have begun the New Year with a tangible sense of optimism. Both established local firms and corporations who have recently invested in Northern Ireland are recruiting for high level positions – illustrating the confidence they have in their own businesses.
And we believe the private sector business leaders we have here in Northern Ireland are of the high calibre needed to help our political leaders navigate the wider economic difficulties caused by shrinking budgets.
That’s why we are proud to be sponsoring Ulster Business magazine’s 2015 Leaders in Business issue which profiles some of our best known and up-and-coming managers and entrepreneurs.
It’s a commonly aired view that Northern Ireland lacks the depth of leadership talent that exists in other parts of the UK and Ireland. The theory is that our historic political situation and the resulting low number of global companies locating here meant fewer executives have honed their skills in an international corporate environment.
While that is true, the level of talent which exists in Northern Ireland should not be underestimated. We have surprised some of our largest corporate clients by finding excellent locally based candidates for senior executive roles when they had assumed such individuals could only be found in Great Britain or further afield.
We’ve done that through the process of executive search. It’s what differentiates us from the many recruitment companies out there. And as the economy gains momentum and the competition for talent heats up, it is an approach more companies are engaging with as they seek to fill business critical roles crucial to helping their companies grow. Executive search is an in-depth, methodical process, used to target and attract senior-level talent. Candidates are usually already employed in a senior post at the time and are considered to be what we call a ‘passive job seeker’ in the unadvertised job market – they are happy in their current role, but may be interested by being made aware of other opportunities.
When we are recruiting for a role we don’t start with an existing list of candidates. Instead we treat each role individually and employ independent researchers to identify the best people for that position right across the UK and Ireland – which increasingly includes ex-pats for whom Northern Ireland is once again an attractive career destination. Our own company is growing too. Such has been the demand for 4c’s professional search services in Northern Ireland that we’re adding further consultants to an experienced team that is fast becoming the market leader.
The leaders profiled in the following pages hail from different sectors of the economy. Their businesses are thriving and their successes show we have some world class organisations and individuals here.
With Invest NI bringing in new international companies in sectors such as IT, financial services and legal services and more of our indigenous firms operating in far flung export markets, the opportunities for our leaders to develop have never been greater. 4c congratulates those featured in the 2015 Leaders in Business list and we hope their stories will inspire further success in the many other great companies in Northern Ireland.