“The best ideas come when you look at situations, opportunities, and challenges through multiple lenses”, believes the Founder & CEO, Hunton Executive, Vanessa Meikle.
Vanessa Meikle, the CEO & Founder of Hunton Executive provides executive search recruitment, management consulting, and executive career coaching that will lead you to exceptional success through extraordinary leadership. She aims to create a world of extraordinary leaders. She believes that every business deserves to be led by extraordinary leaders and that every individual deserves to succeed in their career.
With this noble mission, her company helps employers find the extraordinary leaders that will lead their business to unlimited success.
Vanessa helps people transform their careers by unearthing their extraordinary leadership capabilities to be noticed and selected for the jobs that accelerate their executive careers. Hunton Executive is a management consulting and recruitment firm dedicated to the executive workforce.
Vanessa joins Business Upside in this interview on her business mission, social responsibility, and entrepreneurial tips.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
BU: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: I have been in executive search and recruitment for over 18 years. There is a common theme within the executive search that is that most businesses focus on the client and filling the positions they have been hired to do. This is the right thing to do. However, what is also common is that many professionals, senior managers, and executives seek advice, support, and guidance from the consultants. But most executive search consultants and recruiters are very busy focusing on their assignments. This leaves a big gap in the candidate experience, often leaving them with doubt and questions. I wanted to create a business that focused as much on the person as the employer.
BU: How did you come up with the name of your company?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: Hunton is a small village in Kent, England. It is the village I grew up in and one that I have my most precious memories of. When I was thinking of a name I wanted something easy to say but also one that had a personal story behind it.
BU: Have you ever turned down a client?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: Yes, I have. I believe a working relationship needs to be positive, suitable, and beneficial for both parties. I will consider the executives and employers including their values and vision to determine whether the relationship will be harmonious.
BU: What is unique about your business?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: The success of the search and recruitment process is dependent on the quantity and quality of the executive candidates presented in the shortlist. To create an enviable shortlist you need to identify, capture, and influence the highest-quality talent to be interested in your opportunity. Probably more than all our competitors, we take the view that maintaining a long-term connection with potential candidates is essential.
Behind the scenes we spend a lot of time with a variety of leadership talent across the globe, through our Online Courses, Coaching Programs, and Exclusive Membership Programs. We invest a considerable amount of time coaching and nurturing executive talent giving us a growing community of talent to access at any time.
We are also constantly connecting, networking, and investing in the future of leadership through our Career Guidance Courses and Coaching Programs dedicating our time to the emerging leaders who will the future executive talent. What this means is that when we are asked to find somebody our phone calls are welcomed by a wider audience of candidates.
BU: How do you generate new ideas?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: By listening to people in different industries, levels of seniority, geographical regions, and most importantly people with different perspectives. The best ideas come when you look at situations, opportunities, and challenges through multiple lenses so you can see ideas from all angles.
Watch how the Hunton Executive Founder & CEO comes up with new ideas to overcome challenges and expand her business.
BU: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: Select mentors to guide you. Not just one. Select a coach that will advise you on business and leadership, not just be your cheerleader.
It is so important to have mentors from different ages, genders, generations, cultures, and industries. When you do you can listen to the advice from so many different perspectives. When you do it will help you to make better decisions. More informed decisions.
A mentor or coach is someone you trust. They are not a cheerleader but an advisor. They give you the feedback you need to hear, not always what you want to hear.
BU: How do you define success?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: Success is progressing today more than I did yesterday. This may be a big stride or a small step. Regardless, it is progress. This may be an article/blog that trends, completing an executive assignment, winning a new customer, receiving positive feedback, helping someone get their next job, being a mentor to someone else. The list goes on.
BU: Do you believe there is some sort of formula or pattern to become a successful Businessperson?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: It is important not to over complicate it. When you over-complicate things, you can get lost in activities that do not give you progress.
Keep the formula simple. Listen and act.
Work hard and keep moving forward. I believe that successful businesspeople keep going. They keep moving forward.
BU: How do you market your business, and which method has been most successful?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: We market our business in a few ways. We utilize marketing campaigns and social media engagement. We believe it is important to add value by teaching people, not aggressively selling our service. We are known as thought leaders because we are generous with our knowledge. Being a thought leader demonstrates trust and it is this that encourages people and employers to work with us.
However, word of mouth and referrals is the most successful method. It isn’t just the result we achieve but the experience people and businesses have with us. It is the experience AND the results that help transform careers and businesses.
BU: What motivates you to become an Entrepreneur?
Vanessa Meikle [VM]: To make a direct difference to people and business in the way I believe to be the best. This is how I can see my vision flourish. Creating a world of extraordinary leaders.
In the executive search market, I see leaders, employers, and entrepreneurs thrive and it inspires me to become a better entrepreneur.