Sandra Le Blanc, Chairman, Spencer Private Hospitals
First Flight Non-Executive Directors quickly grasped what we what we were looking for in terms of skills and experience, including a useful discussion on how potential successful candidates would fit with the current Board of Directors and support / challenge the senior management team at Spencer Private Hospitals’
Sandra Le Blanc
Chairman, Spencer Private Hospitals
Rachel Barber, Customer Service Director, South Staffs Water
First Flight responded quickly and professionally to our Chair recruitment need. The support throughout the process through to successful appointment was thorough, swift and presented high calibre of candidates.
Customer Service Director, South Staffs Water
Nick Winks, Chairman, Watts Group PLC
I commissioned First Flight to find a non-executive director for Watts PLC, a company I Chair. Despite a tight and demanding specification, First Flight were able to produce a high class short list of candidates by the scheduled time. We selected an excellent candidate who has since joined our board. Throughout the process I was impressed by First Flight; with their professionalism and ability to deliver on time and with high quality candidates. I would not hesitate to use them again.
Chairman, Watts Group PLC
Graham Whitlock, Chief Executive, Dream Arts
We were reluctant to use our resources to pay for a recruitment agency and we didn't think we would be able to afford it however when we were introduced to First Flight we were immediately and understandably drawn to their approach and as it led to a successful candidate being appointed we felt their fees were not unreasonable.
Chief Executive, Dream Arts
Robert Goddard, Chairman, Hardide PLC
What really struck me was the quality of the First Flight candidates. By the time we got to the shortlist, we had four exceptional candidates and only one Board position available. When we narrowed this down to a final two, the choice was even harder: both candidates would have been a valuable asset for almost any Board and satisfied all our key criteria.
Chairman, Hardide PLC
Corinne Williams, HR Manager, Simplyhealth
First Flight have provided us with a new Non-Executive Director following two previous Non Execs they provided us with in 2011. Alex Pike is our latest appointment provided by First Flight, this followed their help with an evaluation of the skills we had around the Boardroom table and identifying where we had gaps. Alex brings to the Simplyhealth Board proven customer-first expertise plus strong entrepreneurial marketing and communications expertise, in particular with digital communications. We are delighted with Alex’s appointment and to have another woman on our Board.
HR Manager, Simplyhealth
Mark Thompson, Chairman, The Holmesdale Building Society
We gave First Flight a sensitive and challenging brief. They delivered quickly and intelligently. I was impressed by the expertise, financial services experience, diversity and all-round calibre of the non-executive director candidates they presented.
Chairman, The Holmesdale Building Society
Simon Richards, Chairman, Red24 PLC
I am delighted to welcome Lorraine Adlam (the NED recruited through First Flight) to the Board. Her appointment will bring considerable experience of the financial and insurance sector to the Company. Having had experience with fast growth companies, Lorraine is ideally placed to help the Company to accelerate its growth and to provide support to the management team.
Chairman, Red24 PLC
Graham Ayres, Managing Director, Weatherbys Ltd
Barrie Clatworthy, Managing Director, Carbonlights Solutions Ltd
The Chairman we recruited through First Flight Non-Executive Directors has proved a real asset and continues to deliver added value on an almost daily basis. I am very grateful to William Micklethwait and the rest of the First Flight team for their help, professionalism and incisive appraisal of candidates.
Managing Director, Carbonlights Solutions Ltd
Norrie Johnston, Founder and CEO, Norrie Johnston Recruitment Ltd
We asked First Flight to find us a Non Exec who could help us expand into technology and international markets. Norrie Johnston Recruitment is an ambitious and fast growing agency providing permanent and interim senior managers. Clients come to us because they like the fact that we're not just good at recruitment but our team are serious business people too. So we needed someone with an impressive corporate track record and a real understanding of professional services.
We met four experienced and knowledgeable candidates who all met our brief, but one was outstanding, and I am very pleased that he has decided to join our board. We are in the recruitment business ourselves, so we know what good headhunting is all about, and in the specialist field of NED recruitment, First Flight absolutely delivers.
Founder and CEO, Norrie Johnston Recruitment Ltd
Ian Hilditch, CEO, ETL Systems Ltd
Using First Flight for the first time was a great experience for us. They took the time to meet and discuss with us in order to clearly understand our needs and the outcome was fantastic.
At every stage of the process they were assessing potential candidates against our requirements to ensure the best fit from a cultural point of view, as well as from a skills and experience perspective.
Our experience with First Flight met our expectations in various aspects of the candidate placement process. We have found First Flight colleagues to have an excellent ability to search identify and match candidates to the role requirements and competencies, which combined with their strong awareness of our culture and brand, adds great value to the partnership
CEO, ETL Systems Ltd
Seamus Creedon, Chairman, Reliance Mutual
First Flight has a clear value proposition and I liked the way they worked with us to clarify the role specification. For each position we met several strong and viable candidates which meant that the final decisions were not easy, so I was grateful for the way William Micklethwait (First Flight's London Practice Director) supported our team and helped us engage with each candidate. The result is that, with First Flight's help, we have found two very different new Board members who both have the experience and skill-sets we were looking for.
Chairman, Reliance Mutual
Karen Wilson, CEO, Origin Housing Ltd
This was the first time I had used First Flight so I did not know what to expect. William Micklethwait took full responsibility for the NED search. I found William to be very personable and easy to deal with. The communication was good so I always knew where things were up to. The whole process was well managed and straight forward for me as a client, and importantly the outcome (we wanted) was achieved.
CEO, Origin Housing Ltd
Bill Williams, CEO, CEME and Director of The HSSMI
I have used several London head-hunters in the past to find Chairmen and Non Execs. First Flight Non-Executive Directors Ltd had an efficient process and produced a strong shortlist that exceeded my own, and the Nominations Committee's expectations. First Flight was less expensive than the more traditional headhunters and provided HSSMI with an excellent Chairman. I would certainly recommend them.
CEO, CEME and Director of The High Speed Sustainable Manufacturing Institute (HSSMI)
Clifton Melvin, Chairman, EcoHydra Technologies Ltd
Gabriela Vinader, Director, Monica Vinader Ltd
As a fast growing, Venture Capital-backed company, we need to recruit high-calibre Board members and advisers who can understand our brand, give practical help and strategic guidance to our management team and satisfy the requirements of our VC investors. First Flight have successfully shown that they can find people who can do all that.
Director, Monica Vinader Ltd
Gordon MacSween, CEO, Captive Media Ltd
I was recommended to work with First Flight and I have to say it's been a slick, straightforward and ultimately very successful process. Good understanding of the brief, quick responses and corrections along the way, a good mix of candidates - more than originally promised and some were outstanding - and reasonable charges. I would certainly recommend William Micklethwait and use First Flight again.
CEO, Captive Media Ltd
Richard Conner, Managing Director, Assembly Studios Ltd
William Micklethwait (First Flight's London Practice Director) was first referred to us by a trusted partner to help us recruit a new Non-Executive Chairman. William and the rest of the First Flight team provided us with excellent advice, managing the search, shortlisting, interview and selection process very professionally, keeping us up to date, offering timely and appropriate advice along the way just when we needed it. It was almost like William has a sixth sense for what a company like ours is really looking for. The chairman First Flight found for us had exactly the track-record we wanted, and is already making a significant positive contribution to our business. We have already recommended First Flight to others in our network and consider William's expertise part of the unofficial value we can add to our network and clients.
Managing Director, Assembly Studios Ltd
Tim Hall, Managing Director, POD food Ltd
When I started POD back in 2005 we had an idea to open a food retail outlet to serve healthy food but we had little funding and only a basic business plan. I met Chris Spencer-Phillips who was enthusiastic about the project and from his database came up with several high calibre potential Non-Executive Directors from whom we chose Nicholas Payne Director, former Director of Grand Metropolitan Foods who rolled out Burger King in the Middle East and Asia, Alastair Eperon, former Director of Boots with responsibility for food and drink, Nicholas Rowe, former MD of Diners Club & Vice President of American Express and Chris Upton, former Group FD for Arcadian International Plc - a £60m hotel and leisure club group. They all invested which strengthened our balance sheet and helped us get underway.
Establishing such a strong management team and Board has made it easier for pod to negotiate with landlords and fund providers and enabled us to establish the business as a significant healthy eating retailer with multiple outlets and avoid many of the mistakes I see other start-up companies make. We are very grateful to Chris for providing his services and enabling our objectives to become reality.
Managing Director, POD food Ltd
Mark Goodale, Chief Executive, Reliance Mutual
I would like to thank First Flight for presenting the Society with such a diverse but high quality shortlist of candidates to choose from. Oliver and Sophie, our two new Non-Executive Directors, will undoubtedly have a very positive effect on the Society's governance.
Chief Executive, Reliance Mutual
Peter Orr, MD, Intelligent Mobile
We were introduced to First Flight and met with William Micklethwait and found we had a great connection with him as he fully understood our business sector and our requirements. Very quickly, we were given an incredibly strong short-list of Non Exec candidates, all of whom met our brief very well. I was really impressed by the standard of the short-list we were given so quickly. For any business looking for a Non Exec, I would strongly recommend First Flight for its service levels, understanding of the Non Exec market, quality of contacts and value for their fees.
MD, Intelligent Mobile
Kevin O'Shiel, Chief Financial Officer, Chubb Insurance Company of Europe S.A
I was very happy with the service I received from First Flight, they produced an excellent long list of CVs in a very short time and the service was professional, straightforward and the bench strength of the candidates they provided was impressive. Their approach makes the process easy and transparent. The Non-Executive Directors they have introduced to Chubb are working out well.
Chief Financial Officer, Chubb Insurance Company of Europe S.A
Phil Hames, Director, The Business Software Centre (TBSC)
First Flight has shown a great understanding for the needs of our business and have been instrumental in providing us with well qualified NEDs who are making an active contribution to The Business Software Centre. First Flight is unique in providing a highly professional and valuable Non Exec service unrivalled by any other organisation. I would recommend their services to any entrepreneurial business who need to strengthen their Board.
Director, The Business Software Centre (TBSC)
COO of City Hedge Fund
Our Hedge Fund Company required a Non-Executive Director and First Flight had been recommended to us by a City contact. We found that they provided a very professional and speedy service. Once we had agreed the specification, they supplied a short list of very high quality candidates within 10 days and, in the end, we were seriously considering engaging more than one NXD as we were so impressed with the overall quality of the candidates. I thought First Flight's fee was very reasonable and the overall service could not be bettered and we would not hesitate to recommend other companies looking for a Non Exec to use First Flight.
City Hedge Fund
David Taylor, MD, Cork Guard Ltd
Your business concept of providing experienced and successful Non-Executive Directors is very sound and meets a very important need which is poorly addressed by others who often provide ineffiective Non Execs and charge too much! No other organisation I have encountered meets the needs of early stage companies such as mine for additional high calibre management talent which I could not afford in any other way.
MD, Cork Guard Ltd
Chris Blackburn, CEO, SportingNation Ltd.
I am very grateful to William Micklethwait, First Flight's London Practice Director, for introducing us to a range of well-qualified potential Non Execs, but the two we chose were always the stand-out candidates. They have the experience, expertise and contact networks that can really help a growth company like ours. Even in the few weeks that we have been working together informally, they have already made an impact, helping us refine our business development strategy, providing us with some useful introductions and enhancing our credibility with potential overseas investors.
CEO, SportingNation Ltd.