One thing all job descriptions have in common is an overly-long, and therefore unattainable, list of requirements.

But to find the right candidate, prioritisation is key.

We have developed an evidence-based approach which enables clients to articulate the 5 or 6 key things – the core criteria – for their brief, allowing us to find and assess candidates against what is actually important, and to compare them against each other to debate strengths and weaknesses.

One criteria is always cultural fit.


Search is a tried and tested process which has been refined over the years, and much of our approach reflects this best practice.

6-step EPP search process laid out in arrows, left to right

But, believing they get us to better results, we consciously do some things differently:

Working with the Vice Chairman, we mapped the global performance director landscape across sports, assessing career journeys and skillsets as much as specific experience and capabilities. The result was a new Head of Performance solutions who brought Olympic and team sport experience to a newly created role.

Having successfully completed a VP search another headhunter had struggled with, Pandora engaged us in an on-going partnership as retained consultants. Since April 2020, we have helped fill 19 roles in various geographies and departments, and counting …

We’ve partnered Bath Rugby on a number of hires over the years, most recently placing two department heads and now working with them to help bring these teams together with combined hires who can flex across roles and responsibilities – true specialist-generalists.


For roles where the candidate pool is small and well-established – or likely to be brought via agents – we have developed a bespoke selection process.

This allows us to focus our time and energy on working with our clients to help them choose the right person, at the right time, within the context of their brief, rather than looking for those they know, or who make them feel comfortable.

For these types of roles, e.g. a Head Coach, instead of conducting a full search, we run an evidence-based process to help key stakeholders and senior leaders make decisions as an aligned group via a set of properly defined criteria.

21st Club logo

Usually involving both objective data and subjective inputs and often bringing in our partners, 21st Group, to give a different view, our selection process provides a framework both to inform decision-making and ensure all understand the decisions they have made – whilst still ensuring we bring any lateral thoughts or undiscovered prospects, to the table within the same flat fee.

Gut Analysis & Data Feel

Head CoachEngland Lionesses

With a brief to help maintain the progress the Lionesses had made to get from 14th to 3rd, and criteria based on philosophy and development, we built a competency based framework to select the top 6 candidates out of hundreds of prospects. Phil Neville was the solution, gaining buy-in from players and stakeholders alike.

Head CoachSwansea City FC

Individuals only succeed with the right support. Using a combination of data, context and market and club understanding, our selection process allowed the leadership team to make the informed decisions that led to the hiring of Steve Cooper and a place in the play-offs. We then successfully searched for a Head of Recruitment and Performance Analyst to complete the team.


We are not for everyone. We look to create an environment of challenge and support, bringing strong opinions, lightly held, to debate with our clients. But, if you think we might be for you, feel free to reach out to one of our partners here:

Let's Do This