How we make a difference

Rowan has over a decade of experience in founder-led businesses and is one of the leading Executive Search and Assessment firms for SMEs in the North-West region. It’s an exciting time for the business as we take on further investment from LCap, work closely with our partners at Drax Executive and open a London office.

We’re so much more than just an Executive Search business, though. Our ability to produce data-driven Value Creation Plans for our clients sets us apart from the competition. And our proprietary ‘Leadership Dynamics’ software gives us capabilities that other Search outfits simply do not possess.

We align ourselves with our SME clients through every stage of their growth journeys. We also work closely with PE Houses, supporting them as they invest in founder led SMEs.


Why Executive Search?


Careers in Executive Search allow you to build long-lasting relationships with both Clients and Candidates whilst also developing an understanding of a variety of industry sectors. 

An Executive Search Consultant can change the landscape of a company by introducing the right talent at the right time. And, because we work with our clients over many months and years, you get the satisfaction of seeing their business thriving with the support of the people you place.

Key Rowan stats

With a growing reputation across the North-West region and beyond, we’re an Executive Search and Leadership Advisory consultancy that delivers results:

92% retention at the Senior Leadership level (i.e. Associate Director and above) over the past 5 years

50% of our current team have been here for more than three years – a lifetime in recruitment!

In our last employee survey, 95% of our staff would reapply for their current position

£1billion generated in exit values for clients

Over a decade of success in the North-West

6 practice areas offer the opportunity to develop expertise: C-Suite, Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR & Ops, NED & Chair, Life Sciences

Close to 100% success rate across all divisions

30 staff

3 offices – Manchester, Lancashire and London

Our unique ability to assess an SME’s ‘Leadership Capital’ using our proprietary ‘Leadership Dynamics’ product suite leading to the creation of Value Creation Plans for clients.

Who Are We Looking for?

We operate a values-based internal recruitment system. Those values are:

Integrity – We believe in honesty at every stage of our processes and act with integrity no matter what. From our clients to our candidates and each other, we want to nurture our relationships and ‘do the right thing’ even if no one is watching.

Positivity – We are passionate about our work and tackle everything we do with a positive attitude. Our natural affinity to work with and support other people ensures that our colleagues, clients and candidates cannot fail to be inspired and excited about working with us.

Curiousity – Our natural inquisitiveness means we love to get to know and understand people, businesses and client briefs. We take a forward-thinking approach to every element of our work, never offering a one size fits all solution. 

Collaboration – We believe in the power of the team and People-Powered Growth. We work with our clients to ensure their teams are collaborative, and we make sure ours are too. We value our relationships above all else. We listen and we share ideas, working together as partners towards a common goal.

Rigour – We are driven by the desire to get it right first time – we operate in a market where that is essential and it is innate in our people. We are thorough, hard-working, and apply attention to detail in everything we do.   

Our people-centred approach to internal recruitment means we have team members with backgrounds as diverse as C-Suite positions, retail, HR, accountancy, professional services, agency and internal recruitment, law and even an ex-professional musician!

When we look around the office at every one on our team, we find they share some common traits. We are all…

  • Authentic
  • Tenacious
  • Consultative

…and if you genuinely think that you possess these traits and can demonstrate an aptitude for the role and willingness to learn, don’t worry if you haven’t worked in Executive Search or recruitment before – we’ll probably want to hear from you!

Key positions – why be an Associate Director?

As an Associate Director, you’ll be working directly with driven, creative entrepreneurial SME owners, helping them to drive business growth and shareholder value, and being rewarded for doing so.

You’ll have a team of Executive Researchers to back you up, so you can focus on the big picture – delivering Value Creation Plans to our clients, and appointing business-critical Board-level appointments.

Rowan’s reputation precedes itself, and our black-book of North-West clients includes some household names; Music Magpie, Social Chain, Beauty Bay, Bruntwood and the recently AIM-listed Made Tech, to name a few.

If you’re a real people-person with a genuine interest in business growth and the regional economy, this may be the ideal position for you.

Our Associate Directors have come to us from senior positions within Corporate Finance, Accountancy, Law, Marketing and various C-Suite positions. If you’ve got the knowledge of the marketplace, drive to succeed and truly believe in our mantra of ‘People-Powered Growth’, we want to here from you.

If you’re interested in joining Rowan as an Associate Director get in touch with us today at and a member of the team will be in touch.

Key positions – why be a Researcher?

Maybe Business Development isn’t your thing, but if you love getting under the skin of people and finding out what makes them tick, then this might be the position for you.

As an Executive Researcher with Rowan, you’ll be at the cutting edge of what’s happening in the marketplace, forming long-term relationships with senior candidates over a number of years and career moves, and creating the best possible shortlists in collaboration with your Associate Director.

Our Executive Researchers are detail-oriented, meticulous, and enjoy creating compelling approaches to grab candidates’ attention.

You won’t be doing cold-calling, instead, you’ll support our Associate Directors on the senior appointments they’ve been mandated on. You’ll be their ‘eyes and ears’ in the marketplace conducting research and reporting back on market trends, competitor activity, candidate movements and more. You’ll also make approaches to potential candidates and, whilst our ground-breaking ‘Leaderships Dynamics’ software will allow you to automate searches, administrative tasks and much more, the job is still very much people-centric.

In collaboration with your Associate Director, you’ll help to create shortlists and longlists of candidates, conducting competency-based interviews and making determinations on which candidates are right for the position. You’ll have contact with our SME clients; helping to take briefs, and creating briefing documents and job ads.

This is a business-critical role, and a chance to truly make a difference to the growth plans of our SME clients, whilst being rewarded for the appointments you help our Associate Directors to make.

If you’re interested in joining Rowan as an Executive Researcher get in touch with us today at and a member of the team will be in touch.

Our Executive Search Process

The Search

This begins with a thorough market-mapping exercise of companies in, or aligned to, our client’s strategic plan, sector, customer base, products, location and services. Our professional Research team will then conduct a detailed, in-depth search to identify relevant individuals with the skills to meet the brief.

Assessment and Shortlisting

When the longlist is complete, we use our intimate knowledge of our Client’s requirements to create a shortlist. We then assess our shortlisted clients using our bespoke behavioural profiling tool, PACE, along with 121 interviews before presentation to the client.


After the client chooses the right candidate for the position, we will transparently present the offer to the candidate, and espouse the benefits of working for that business.

We will act as an objective mediator, helping to prevent any potential conflict in the early stages of the client/candidate relationship, managing any pitfalls, such as counter-offers, as great candidates are valuable to a business.

We regularly check in with both candidates and clients – it makes us happy to see our candidates thriving and our clients enjoying ongoing success and business growth!

Who We Work With


Our main focus has always been on SME growth, and we usually work directly with founders and stakeholders.

Rowan implicitly understands the struggles and tribulations that SME founders experience, and what’s needed to grow an SME to the next level. Often, it’s a case of helping an SME founder to understand that, whilst they’ve done incredibly well to grow their business to its current level, it needs specialists to take it to the next level. This can be in the C-Suite, or Finance, Sales, Marketing, HR or Operations functions.

With over a decade of experience in the regional SME market, we’re uniquely placed to address and advise on these challenges.

We also regularly work with PE-backed SMEs too, and understand the significant changes that often need to be implemented. We are experts at identifying the skills, traits and credentials that candidates require to succeed in the PE world


Private Equity

Rowan is a PE-backed business, and everything we do, from Executive Search to Value Creation plans and more, is of PE standard.

50% of the appointment we make are to support primary transactions, and we have close ties with most of the main PE outfits in the North-West, meaning we can easily introduce SME founders to the right people in the right PE houses when they’re thinking about taking their business on the next phase of its growth journey.

Why join us?

If you’re ambitious and looking for a new challenge, we want to hear from you.

If you’re a part of our team, you’ll be involved with so much more than simply making senior appointments – you’ll be an integral part of your client’s strategic direction and growth journey.

We give you the opportunity to develop your skills, stretch yourself, develop knowledge of multiple sectors and become an invaluable part of our clients’ growth journeys.

We’re an inspiring, positive and optimistic company where energy and enthusiasm are put to great use. When you join the Rowan Group team, you’re guaranteed high levels of support to achieve your professional goals.

We also have a sharp focus on team cohesion, harmony and well-being and take real pride in our ongoing ESG efforts. We offer a range of market-leading benefits, flexible working and more. Please take a look at our blog (link) to see some of our ESG efforts in more detail.

If you’re interested in joining Rowan, get in touch with us today at, and a team member will be in touch.