There are many qualities that make a great executive search consultant: integrity, excellent intuition, deep industry knowledge and a wide network of connections being just a few. But more than that, in C-suite and Board recruitment, it’s about becoming a natural extension of the client’s leadership team. And also knowing the client’s business – and the wider market – almost more than the client may know themselves.
Louise Harrison, who joined Warren Partners in December 2023 as a Partner for Consumer & Digital, is arguably better placed than most to understand the challenges that clients face, as she spent some of her career in-house at Tesco in global executive search.
“When you’re on the other side, it’s a whole different ballgame,” she says. “Very quickly you understand how to manage stakeholders, the pressures that those stakeholders face, and the metrics on which the executive leadership teams are targeted – which in this case was all around cost, quality, and speed. Then, when you move back into a search firm, as I did, you have a greater understanding of some of the challenges that they’re facing internally.”
Throughout her career, both in-house and at other executive search firms – including Headline Partners, which she founded – Louise has faced challenges, but she is particularly passionate about advocating for diversity in leadership. She’s worked tirelessly to ensure that women have a voice in the boardroom, especially in male-dominated industries. Educating clients about the importance of diversity and helping them navigate the leadership hiring process in a way that promotes inclusivity is a key focus for her.
What she finds most rewarding about her work is the impact she has on her clients. Louise views her role as more than just a headhunter; it’s about advising clients and challenging them to think broadly about the personalities in the existing boardroom and expertise needed.
“It’s about helping clients to think about the bigger picture and the cultural dynamic that already exists – and how they want to see it evolve in the future,” she says.
Louise’s success in finding exceptional candidates, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, aligns perfectly with Warren Partners’ commitment to diversity. She emphasises the importance of leaving no stone unturned, continuously refreshing the candidate pool and building strong relationships to entice top tier talent who may not be actively seeking new opportunities.
“Our researchers do a phenomenal job at identifying talent across the landscape. And then it’s really my role to entice people into the business. That means working hand in glove with the client to really create the most compelling pitch that opens up the pool and entices the very best people in the market. Because the very best people aren’t usually looking for a move,” she says.
Warren Partners’ values and culture were instrumental in attracting Louise to the firm. She appreciates the focus on integrity and long-standing partnerships, and this shared vision and alignment of values drew her to the organisation. And as Louise embarks on her journey with Warren Partners, the company is excited to have her expertise and passion onboard. Her dedication to diversity, commitment to building lasting partnerships and unique background, make her a valuable asset to the Warren Partners team and its clients.