Ellis & Co case study: Sherrington Associates

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It’s a difficult task looking for talent and ensuring you have found the best person for the job.

But not for the team at Sherrington Associates, a boutique executive search firm based in Chester.

Established in 2014 by husband and wife team Rob and Joanne McKay, the team of four recruit, coach and mentor executive and non-executive directors for clients, both domestically and overseas.

“Business relies on efficient and effective leaders and managers,” said Rob, managing director.

“The art of creating senior teams whose skills and attitudes complement each other's is one which eludes many organisations.

“Our strength is assembling and enhancing teams of talented leaders who share a drive and commitment towards a common purpose, namely an organisations goals and objectives.”

Rob and the team’s day is immensely varied, from consulting on board-level recruitment projects with clients, coaching senior executives, facilitating workshops and interviewing candidates.

“Our heritage includes working with clients over many, many years to really understand what makes their people tick,” said Rob.

“Delivering complex search assignments for mid-level roles through to senior-management appointments.”

A familiar face in Chester’s business scene, Rob is also Chair for the Institute of Directors in Cheshire, working on IoD projects that focus on key issues affecting directors, including corporate governance issues, professional development and chairing member events. 

Rob admits that working with his clients is the most satisfying part of his job.

“Working with clients that have a meaningful organisational purpose and recruiting leaders who can support that purpose is incredibly satisfying.

“We work with some incredible clients who really make a difference, from large charities like Chester Zoo through to small sustainability-motivated start-ups like Bikmo.

“Recruiting leaders means you can directly contribute to the success of their work which is hugely rewarding.”

It’s no secret that the recruitment industry has been hit hard by the impacts of Covid, with a 70% reduction in new permanent jobs in March 2020 alone.

“This year has been the most challenging I’ve experienced in my 20 year career,” said Rob.

“However hiring has picked up again and as businesses restructure and adjust their operations to the new landscape, this is creating exciting new opportunities.”

Prior to Covid, the team at Sherrington were already working with clients to embed ‘sustainability culture’ by recruiting and developing leaders who could help them become resilient to future threats and contribute towards mitigating the risks associated with global challenges like climate change.

“The pandemic has created a surge of interest in the sustainability agenda and this means we have even more opportunity to support clients with the recruitment of sustainable leaders, but also broader culture change programmes,” said Rob.

“The benefits of embedding sustainability culture are immense and supporting clients to transition from a culture predicated only on delivering shareholder value at the expense of sustainability, to one that centres on achieving social and environmental value as well as financial value is incredibly exciting.”

The team is proud of the strong relationships they have built with their clients, contacts and local businesses over the years.

One of those long standing relationships is that with their accountants – Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers.

“Ellis & Co helped us form the company back in July 2014 and have been incredibly supportive throughout our journey,” said Rob.

“We see them as a true partner and their personal service during the lockdown period was exceptional.

“In a crowded market of accountancy firms, we’ve chosen to stick with Ellis & Co for one reason… they genuinely care about the success of our business.

“Over the years they’ve become more than a transactional provider of accounting services and more like a true partner to Sherrington,” he added.

“I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Ellis & Co to anyone who wants a personal partnership approach from their accountants.”

For further information about Sherrington Associates click here.