Executive Search

Our Clients in the Retail, Leisure, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Distribution Industries could arguably be said to have experienced more significant changes than any other Sectors over the last ten years due to the rise of internet shopping, changes in consumer spending, digital transformation and changeable supply costs.  


With the above in mind, Board Members, Executives and Non-Executives are under increased pressure to determine the right strategies for their businesses whilst simultaneously ensuring that the Customer continues to receive a quality, value driven and differentiated service that will enable them to continue to grow in an ever evolving world.


We are an award winning recruitment specialist, (being named Best Recruiter in the UK due to our commitment to service and quality) and therefore excel in sourcing talent for our clients within their Executive Functions.

Recent Roles Filled

  • HR Director, Healthcare Brand
  • HR Director, Environmental Waste Business
  • Head of Talent, Food Retailer
  • Merchandising Director, UK Fashion Brand
  • Retail Director, International Clothing Retailer
  • Head of Retail, Electrical Wholesaler
  • European Business Development Director, Specialist Manufacturer
  • Operational Director, Serviced Offices Provider
  • Chief Operating Officer, Property Business
  • Sales Director, White Goods Retailer
  • Brand Director, Specialist Food Retailer
  • Marketing Director, Healthcare Brand
  • HR Director, Niche Lifestyle Brand
  • Finance Director, Furniture/Homewares Retailer
  • HR Director, UK Based Hospitality Chain
  • IT Director, Leisure Complex
  • Head of Buying, Homewares Retailer
  • Category Director – Flooring Retailer


Our Retail and Leisure Executive Search team have considerable experience of working with leading Retail and Leisure brands across the UK.  We understand that for our Clients the risk attached to employing the wrong individual for one of their key roles is monumental.  At McCarthy we therefore ensure that our proactive, innovative approach is combined with robust account management and a clear customer focus which ultimately means consistent delivery of the right candidate for each assignment.

Our extensive experience working within the field of Retail and Leisure Recruitment as well as the fact that we are all ex-retailers ourselves means that we have an in depth knowledge of the Retail and Leisure markets and their operations, which, in turn ensures we nurture strong relationships and broad networks.  We feel that we combine the benefits of working with a London Boutique with local knowledge and un-paralleled relationships and we are passionate about not only accessing the best talent but also staying connected to them!

We recruit for a wide range of clients across all Retail and Leisure Sectors and can work to a wide range of client briefs, however, typical roles our Executive team recruit for include:

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Operations Director
  • Retail Director
  • Commercial Director
  • Sales Director
  • Brand Director
  • Director Level positions across Head Office Functions including:
    • Finance Director
    • HR Director
    • Marketing Director
    • IT Director
    • Head of Procurement
    • Head of Buying
    • Head of Merchandising
    • Head of Digital
  • Regional, District and Area Managers
  • Divisional Manager

Our Recruitment Methodology

At McCarthy Exec our Executive Team thrive on identifying, assessing, developing and recruiting the very best talent for our clients via a thorough process which can be flexed and adapted according to our client’s needs. 

Never has it been more crucial to not only attract, but also retain the very best talent at a Senior Level, therefore at McCarthy Exec we ensure that only the finest and most appropriate candidates are hired through our comprehensive, fair and meticulous search and assessment methodologies.  We believe that a truly successful partnership between us and our clients depends upon a relationship built on empathy, open communication, trust and honesty; and these are the hallmarks of the McCarthy approach. 



Our Process

Identifying your needs

  • We seek to spend quality time with Key Stakeholders to understand the role, the culture and the type of person you require.
  • We will also provide advice on salary, job title and terms and conditions to ensure the position is competitive within the wider marketplace

Identifying the Talent Pool

  • We will identify prospective candidates in the market
  • We will mine our database for suitable candidates
  • We will identify other suitable options from other sectors

Attracting candidates

  • We will provide advice on appropriate advertising options, timing and costs as well as providing copy writing and creative design for advertisements
  • We proactively sourcing and headhunting talent based on your criteria
  • We develop a candidate information pack


  • We will handle candidate information professional and sift applications against the job and person specifications

Engaging Talent

  • We keep close to candidates throughout every stage of the process and update you as a client accordingly


  • We undertake a thorough competency based assessment as well as providing psychometric profiling of your choice should you wish to include it.  We will then aim to present a shortlist of three to four outstanding candidates who meet the brief and provide you with choice

Presentation of Candidates

  • Detailed assessment reports for each shortlist candidate are shared with you, assessing their capability in relation to the brief, particular areas of strength and potential development opportunities. You should feel absolutely confident that all the candidates put forward at this stage have the expertise required for the role

Supporting your selection

  • We will assist you in making the right choice for your business and are happy to sit in on the interview panel if required

Securing the placement

  • We will assist with reference checking, managing notice periods and maintaining candidate engagement and momentum whilst contract negotiations are underway

On boarding and retention

  • We support the appointed candidate through their notice period, initial induction and beyond, keeping in touch with them throughout their employment


The Team at McCarthy Executive Search believe that Senior Retail and Leisure Candidates need a level of service that is totally transparent. We provide consultative advice on your career, realistic opportunities available to you and provide you with valuable yet constructive feedback on how to make the most of your skills.

If we are currently recruiting for a suitable retail position for you, then we will take you through a comprehensive screening and interview process, followed by giving you a full brief on the role for which you're being considered. Of course, you will want to do your own research into a prospective employer, however, we will support you by providing you with detailed brand information as well as the inside intelligence we gain from our client partnerships.

We are an award winning recruitment specialist, being named Best Retail Recruiter in the UK due to our commitment to service and quality. We are well connected across the Retail and Leisure Industries and have well established partner relationships built up since our inception in 2005. Our Retail and Leisure Executive Team truly know the market, they are well networked, have their ear to the ground and are able to provide you with a range of advice including: Interview skills, CV Writing and assisting you with working out what you really want from your next role. As we work with candidates at both Senior Management and Director Levels we will seek to help you find the very best role for you within the Retail or Leisure Industry that will match with your skills, experience and desires in order that your next job move truly enhances your career.


Contact Us

To find out more about our in-depth specialist service, call our Retail and Leisure Executive Team on 0161 828 8726 and let's talk. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

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