Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

Attracting a top tier talent base

Sarah Hopkins, Director of HopkinsLongworth - an executive search recruiter explains how they built a strong client base, consisting of Arsenal FC, Starbucks and Wagamama...

Attracting a top tier talent base


Why did you decide to set up your own consultancy?

It has always been my ambition to set up my own consultancy to provide a high level of client and candidate care for senior bespoke recruitment.

I co-founded HopkinsLongworth in April 2014, building on my experience in talent acquisition gained at Whitehead Mann, GKR Search & Selection and ResourceBank. Jane Longworth, my co-founder and I had previously worked together when she was a client of mine. We shared a similar vision in terms of the value set for clients and candidates and have complementary skills.

We have grown a UK and international business and created a strong model with flexible resources. Whilst Jane and I lead the business, we have a virtual team of high calibre researchers and recruiters, many of whom are multi-lingual, who are based across the UK. We engage them according to the requirements for individual clients, which means that every assignment has the most appropriate resources to deliver excellent results.

How difficult was it, to generate a client base consisting of successful businesses including Arsenal FC, Wagamama and Starbucks?

Jane and I have built a strong network over many years. Our contacts, many of whom are previous clients and candidates, know that we take great pride in our work. It has been a real endorsement of our capabilities that HR Directors from such a wide range of high-profile businesses have chosen to retain HopkinsLongworth – and, as our reputation for high quality work has spread, we have been able to grow our client base further.

“We want to remain a boutique consultancy - the 'go to' organisation for senior resourcing & recruitment needs in the UK and overseas.”

How has the market changed since your inception?

It has become increasingly competitive and fragmented. We have had to evolve our services to reflect the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) environment that we are all operating in. For example, in response to client requirements and the need to supplement stretched in-house HR resources, we have recently launched an HR Interim practice to provide clients with experienced HR resources on an interim, contract or consultancy basis – often at very short notice.

What are your plans going forward?

We feel passionate about building on our expertise and working with our experienced multilingual talent team to grow our pan-European client base.

We will continue to add new services in response to client demand whilst building on our Executive Search, Interim, Market Mapping and Consultancy practices. We want to remain a boutique consultancy – the ‘go to’ organisation for senior resourcing and recruitment needs in the UK and overseas.