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Spencer Stuart

Associate, Consumer Practice (Retail, Apparel & Luxury Goods)

New York, NY

Position Summary

Spencer Stuart is seeking to recruit an Associate for the Consumer Practice (Retail, Apparel & Luxury Goods). This Associate will have the opportunity to help solve Chief Executive Officer, Board Director, and other C-level functional executive searches, while working in partnership with several core Consultants, with a focus on Retail, Apparel and Luxury Goods. With exposure to a broad set of clients and leadership challenges, this Associate will help to identify and develop diverse candidate slates as an essential member of the search team. The Associate role combines research, assessment, and relationship-building skills to deliver extraordinary service and value to Spencer Stuart clients.

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Successful candidates for the Associate position will have strong project management ability, writing skills, results orientation, rigorous attention to details, intellectual curiosity and ideally, understanding of the consumer retail industry sector. The Associate will enjoy the challenge of working internally with a variety of Consultants, and externally with diverse, senior-level executives and board members. Associates will be expected to acquire deep and insightful candidate pool knowledge over time.

The Associate will ideally be based in New York.

The base compensation range for this position is $100k -$120k per year. The actual base compensation offered within this range will be dependent on the individual's skills, experiences, and qualifications. This position will be eligible to participate in our annual discretionary bonus program.

Spencer Stuart also offers a competitive benefits package, which includes:

  • Retirement savings plan with discretionary profit sharing contribution and employer match;
  • PTO (minimum 15 days per year, increases with tenure), paid sick time (10 days per year), company holidays (12 days per year), and paid leaves of absence when applicable;
  • Comprehensive health benefits, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, and healthcare flexible spending account;
  • Life Insurance, and short-term and long-term disability insurance;
  • Wellness benefits, including an employee assistance program, virtual mental health program, and mindfulness program; and
  • Voluntary benefit options, including supplemental life insurance, identity theft protection, and whole life insurance with long-term care and critical illness coverage.

Key Relationships

Reports to

Director of Associates

Consultants (on an assignment basis)

Other key relationships

Practice Leaders/Members

Office Manager

Associates, Senior Associates and Consultants


Executive Assistants

Client Development Team (CDT)

Key Responsibilities

  • Contribute actively to the start-up phase of each search by participating in client kick-off meetings with the Consultant and assisting in the development of the position specification, search strategy and target list of companies.
  • Gather relevant information regarding the appropriate industries and target companies. Identify potential prospects and sources and represent the client effectively in the marketplace, discussing the opportunity with relevant executives.
  • Validate potential candidates through reference and source calls.
  • Partner with the Consultant to develop and present a slate of qualified candidates to each client. Anticipate what needs to drive the search to closure and be prepared to supply additional information, such as related industry/segment trends, market findings, reaction to the opportunity, compensation data, etc., gained during the course of a search.
  • Contribute to the preparation of position specifications, candidate presentations and reference reports adhering to the Firm's assessment methodology.
  • Communicate effectively with the Consultant and Executive Assistant, and remain fully abreast of search developments, in order to communicate accurately and credibly regarding the assignment.
  • Prepare organized information for the client progress reports/meetings by teaming with the Consultant and the Executive Assistant. Provide an informed perspective on prospects/candidates and how they match against the key selection criteria.
  • Be aware of activities and management changes in the relevant industry's sector; keep team members apprised of relevant developments in the marketplace.
  • Add to the firm's candidate pool expertise by continually identifying and introducing new talent to the firm. Ensure that up to date assignment, company and candidate information during the course of an assignment is always available for colleagues, by leveraging technology and information from the firm's state-of-the-art, proprietary database.
  • Contribute to responses to inquiries for new business, as well as business development initiatives.
  • Be willing and proactive about contributing to local, practice or firm-wide initiatives. Coordinate and share practice related information with colleagues for potentially broader distribution.

Ideal Experience

  • Progressive business experience in executive search, strategy consulting, or a relevant professional services environment with significant time spent in client service
  • Advancement of skills and knowledge evidenced through promotion or tenure
  • Superior project management skills demonstrated through experience working in a high-performance environment where multiple projects and competing demands are the norm
  • Excellent communication skills shown through clear, structured and concise written and verbal presentation
  • Undergraduate degree required, postgraduate degree a plus

Critical Capabilities for Success

Project Management

Plans, manages and drives own efforts to identify and develop a slate of quality candidates as measured by consultant, client and candidate feedback. The successful Associate will do this while handling multiple projects with competing deadlines, working with individuals who have differing styles, and managing challenging expectations:

  • Takes an end-to-end view of each project and the required resources; works at pace and with attention to detail while managing competing deadlines and priorities; has a sense of urgency.
  • Understands the search process (from internal kick-off to referencing); asks questions to understand; and is proactive.
  • Works on multiple projects; meets deadlines and is resilient under pressure; delivers on commitments on time or notifies as early as possible if deadlines will slip.
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm, tenacity and intellectual curiosity; action-oriented; deals with problems immediately.
  • Is results focused and flexible; demonstrates a strong work ethic.

Candidate Development

Develops qualified and interested candidates for portfolio of searches. A successful Associate will develop excellence in search strategy to build strong contact management lists:

  • Observes and asks questions to fully understand the issue; synthesizes information from a variety of internal/external sources, despite possibly having ambiguous or incomplete information.
  • Gathers relevant data from a variety of sources, including views gathered through Third Party Sourcing (TPS), to help determine broad capabilities, gaps, qualifications/fit; articulates reasons for fit to spec in a succinct manner.
  • Determines priority of which potential candidates to approach.
  • Adds meaningful notes on Quest, diligently uses the initial assessment feature.

Credibility and Influence

Communicates effectively both in writing and verbally; has "gravitas" (executive presence) and is able to build relationships. Able to hook candidates and convince consultants to meet them, building a strong internal brand:

  • Interacts with a range of internal and external stakeholders and candidates with differing styles and egos, understanding and appreciating what is important to each.
  • Becomes a credible and authentic professional by observing colleagues and emulating role models.
  • Adapts verbal and written communications according to expectations for role and audience, specifically how to be confident, succinct, concise, prepared and professional.

Market and Candidate Knowledge

Obtains and incorporates knowledge to enhance client work in a meaningful way. Knows how to get information, effectively uses the available firm resources, developing and sharing candidate pool knowledge:

  • Identifies executive movements in the market and updates Quest (ideally in real time) and colleagues; asks questions and shows interest in networking.
  • Has a genuine interest in/curiosity about people and businesses; and has an understanding of businesses and their interrelationships.
  • Understands how to identify and navigate the various relevant sources available (Quest, Passport, Global Information Services, Hoovers, LinkedIn, etc.).

Developing Self and Others

Develops self and others; seeks and provides feedback, modifies own performance or behavior based on feedback. A successful Associate is constantly growing, learning and enhancing his/her skills and capabilities:

  • Seeks and is open to feedback from colleagues, placing value on self development efforts; seeks opportunities for growth.
  • Is self-aware and open to changing one's own behavior.

Firm Values

Champions the Firm's values, culture and Code of Conduct; engages, participates and collaborates with others. A successful Associate, who people like working with and who may over time also have a leadership role:

  • Accepts others' opinions and encourages teamwork.
  • Brings cultural awareness and sensitivity to each interaction with colleagues.
  • Participates actively and contributes to internal activities; engages with office and practice.
  • Represents Spencer Stuart well by speaking positively about the Firm and aligning behavior to Firm values.
  • Conducts themselves in a way that is consistent with the Firm's values.

Spencer Stuart is a proud equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We are committed to non-discrimination without regard to actual or perceived race, ethnicity, creed, color, religion, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), national origin, immigration status, ancestry, age, marital status, protected veteran status, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any basis prohibited under applicable federal, state or local law.

Client-provided location(s): New York, NY, USA
Job ID: SpencerStuart-R3770
Employment Type: Other