Table of Contents Hide
Executive search is a complex and competitive field where only the best thrive. Novo has been doing that for two decades and counting. As the company celebrates its 20th anniversary in executive search, we’re provided with the perfect opportunity to take a look back at their remarkable journey and all the industry changes they have witnessed over the years, discover the secrets behind their success and get a glimpse of what might be coming next for executive search and talent acquisition.
20 years of excellence with Novo
Change is both necessary and inevitable in every domain of activity and no one understands this better than a company that has managed not only to survive but prosper in a fast-paced environment for twenty years. Novo is a leading executive search and selection company based in the UK with an exceptional track record in recruiting board and senior level executives across a wide range of industry sectors in 35 different countries.
When discussing the changes that have occurred in the executive search industry since the company’s founding, Novo’s veteran directors point out that automation and the numerous technological advancements that have appeared over time have been the main drivers of most of these changes. In keeping up with the times, Novo has benefited greatly from investments in technology and online research tools.
“Technology has been the biggest change. The development and popularity of LinkedIn has made contacting and connecting with the business world far easier and it’s become huge to help recruitment,” says Susannah Mallaghan, Divisional Manager at Novo who has worked with the company for 11 years.
“Video conferencing has also made connecting with people and meeting candidates/ clients far easier and better for the environment. This has also led to much more flexible working, which is very important to candidates these days,” she adds.
Apart from the transition to digital and the many perks it has provided, there have also been numerous challenges along the way, especially from an economic perspective, with plenty of ups and downs that Novo has managed to pull through.
Matthew Searle, Director at Novo with nearly a decade of experience in executive search, adds that the competition has increased considerably with, “many more firms in the sector now.” He also notes that while the majority of these firms, “use outsourcing of research to cut costs, Novo completes all research in-house to ensure the highest standards.”
Overall, it’s been an interesting two decades for Novo in the ever-shifting executive recruitment space; two decades strewn with countless milestones, exciting progress and extraordinary achievements that have turned Novo into the flourishing company it is today.
Proud to be an executive search powerhouse
Given the industry’s highly demanding and dynamic nature, one can’t help but wonder what has helped Novo maintain their competitive edge for so long and establish themselves as leaders in the executive search field.
The company’s success can be attributed to many factors. First of all, Novo boasts an impressive client retention rate due to their work ethics and the high level of professionalism they demonstrate at all levels, as they strive to deliver quality and value to each and every one of their customers.
The focus on senior appointments at larger companies and substantial investments in technology (SEO, custom CRM, premium search tools, online advertising, etc.) have greatly contributed to Novo’s growth over time. Furthermore, the high director retention rate and strong internal recruitment practices combined with heavy investments in training and development have helped Novo achieve and sustain a leadership position in the industry.
It’s also worth mentioning that Novo has excellent working capital management and their determination to keep the course and stick to sourcing exceptional executive talent instead of drifting to contingency recruitment has kept them going even in times of economic downturn and uncertainty.
In terms of strengths and achievements, performance figures speak for themselves. Since the company’s launch 20 years ago, Novo have worked with over 8,000 CEOs and MDs, with an assignment success rate of 95%. Novo’s consultants have on average over 15 years of experience in executive search, 75% of their assignments are with existing clients, and 70% of projects involve international executive search.
But it’s probably best to hear about Novo’s strong suits from the people who have contributed to its development. For Josephine Watkins, working at Novo for the past ten years has meant focusing on, “developing long standing client relationships which enable us to assist with the development of client’s businesses, enable growth and success.”
The greatest source of pride for Matthew Searle is, “the growth of the company, its financial performance and stability/security. Also, the list of fantastic leading national and international companies that have trusted us time and time again to help them appoint the best people to their boards.”
After developing their Legal & Accounting Divisions, relationships and success over the last 20 years, Novo has now become the practice of choice for over 20% of the UK’s Legal Top 200 Law Firms. Being an early adopter of e-search technologies has enabled them to attract executive-level candidates quicker and more efficiently, thus providing clients with a competitive advantage.
According to Dale Perrett, Founding Director at Novo, the company excels at, “showing flexibility to adapt to changing markets, technological advancement, changing commercial opportunities and challenges.” Having a team of professionals who are committed to delivering quality results for clients, professional, hardworking, and demanding of themselves and others also brings satisfaction and plays a crucial role in the progress of the company.
Looking towards the future
After 20 successful years in the industry, Novo looks towards the future with hope and enthusiasm. Thinking about what might lie ahead for the company and the executive search and selection sector at large, many of Novo’s long-serving executives envision further tech advances that will probably result in new opportunities as well as obstacles.
“I have started utilising the power of AI to be more effective in delivering search assignments and I expect this to become a more and more powerful tool,” says Jonathan Shepherd, Research Director for Novo. He also believes there’s going to be a, “further push for diversity in executive level hires, as well as a continued drive in remote working to ensure that this isn’t a barrier for attracting talent.”
Whether these predictions will come true or not remains to be seen. For now, Novo continues to do what they do best: put all their years of expertise and innovative search tools and methodologies at the service of their customers and match talented business leaders from all across the world with key roles for each company.