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AAW People

AAW People’s search offer is strategic, bespoke and personalised, because every organisation is different and each campaign we work on is unique. We’ll work in partnership with you to find the right person for the role.

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Impeccable executive search

A strategic and intelligent approach to recruitment

AAW People has rapidly built a reputation as the go-to recruitment consultancy for securing leadership roles in the non-profit sector.

We create that unbeatable offering for our clients and candidates by combining our founders’ strategic insight, personal track records and extensive networks in the third sector with some of the best and most highly-respected recruitment consultants in both the charity and commercial sectors.

Our consultancy approach means we will spend time getting to know your organisation, staff, chair and trustees, as well as your strategy and culture, to help determine what kind of candidate would thrive in your organisation over the long-term.

From there, we will fully support you through the search and selection process. Included in our service is the exclusive AAW Assessment Day, led by one of our founders, which provides our clients with a thorough candidate evaluation in advance of the client panel interview.

From the outset, the team at AAW People exceeded our expectations for the recruitment of our Chief Financial Officer. We received advice on the likely market, the job structure and salary level, excellent recruitment materials were produced and we felt fully informed of progress at all times. Most importantly, the quality of candidates was really high, and the robust procedure meant we felt that both the candidates and our panel had the opportunity to fully explore the vital fit required.

Emily van Lier, Chief Philanthropy Officer | GFFP (Global Fund for Forgotten People)
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Case Study | MQ Mental Health Research

Finding the right CEO for MQ

When MQ approached AAW People in January 2020, they had been seeking a permanent CEO since 2017.

For a variety of reasons, campaigns and appointments with big, well established search firms had failed and during this time they had sought a variety of leadership solutions. This period of leadership disruption had coincided with several strategic issues and therefore the urgency to find a new CEO, but naturally the right CEO, was very high.

AAW worked very closely with the Chair of Trustees, other trustee members, associated high level volunteers and the Acting CEO (a Trustee herself) to develop and implement a campaign that led to the successful appointment of a new CEO. Key to this appointment was also working with the senior staff members at the charity (who had all naturally been affected by so much change) and ensuring that they were brought along at every stage and confident in our ability to deliver.

As an indication of the trust and confidence that the charity has in the AAW Group, AAW was asked to help develop a strategy and plan around their income generation (which has now been pivoted to a COVID-19 lens) and provide coaching support to a senior leader.  In addition, AAW has been asked to help the charity appoint two-to-three new Trustees later in the year. 

AAW were a great search partner for MQ when we were seeking a new Chief Executive earlier this year. Their extensive operating experience was crucial in understanding the brief rapidly and accurately. The team’s extensive sector network then proved to be critical in delivering a focussed and efficient search. I would recommend them without hesitation.

Dr Shahzad Malik, Chairman | MQ: Mental Health Research
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Finding a Chair for a New Era

The annual Jeans for Genes campaign raises money for charities supporting people affected by genetic disorders and has been run as a campaign within a range of charities from Great Ormond Street to Gene People for almost 30 years.

In 2021, the Jeans for Genes Campaign became an independent charity and has embarked on an exciting start-up phase, full of opportunities to re-imagine and innovate.

A whole new team and governance structure was needed and AAW were delighted to support a key part of this process – the recruitment of a Chair of Trustees. Evidently a very special person was needed to chair this new charity – someone who was both comfortable with the ‘ambiguity’ of a start-up scenario, but also an individual who had deep experience of leading and working with Boards.

We knew that AAW were the people to help. Following a 4-week search campaign, AAW presented the charity with several highly talented and qualified candidates and a successful appointment was made swiftly.

Helping charities appoint Boards of Trustees, Development Boards and Chairs is a key and growing part of the AAW People service and something the AAW teams love working on!

AAW have a great reputation as the ‘go to’ for Fundraising Directors roles, but in the past couple of years they have built up their reputation and credibility in terms of the recruitment of other key Leadership roles including Chairs and Trustees. The service and care I received from Ali and the team was exceptional – they were supportive at every step and really helped us secure a brilliant Chair – they were also just really nice people to work with! I do not hesitate to recommend them.

Leesa Harwood, Interim CEO | Jeans for Genes Campaign

The People Team

Ali Kurn

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Principal consultant. Ali has worked in recruitment consultancy for over 20 years and has in-house and agency experience across the not-for-profit and commercial sector. Working closely with Mark and Imogen, Ali project manages all our search campaigns.

Imogen Ward

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Principal partner. Imogen has worked in leadership roles in the conservation, health and education sector for nearly 25 years. She is a Director-lead for a range of clients at AAW and has also been a principal consultant on many of our senior executive search campaigns.

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Tobin Aldrich

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Principal partner. As a former Director of Fundraising and Communications and a Trustee for several top 100 charities, Tobin is an essential part of our People offer, adding depth and the strategic insight needed for every campaign.

Mark Astarita OBE

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Principal Partner. A former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising and Director of Fundraising at the British Red Cross, Mark has extensive networks across the charity sector, and specialises in our Interim recruitment.

Suzie Spooner

Suzie Spooner

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Senior Consultant & Researcher. Suzie has worked in the recruitment sector for 16 years. She was ranked as one of the top consultants at Brook Street and the highest performing consultant at CF Appointment’s NFP division.

Quinton Seemann

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Senior Consultant. Quentin has over 20 years’ recruitment experience, working both agency side and as an in-house recruiter for several INGOs, including Save the Children and Marie Stopes International, sourcing candidates and managing recruitment for global campaigns.

Anton Packheiser

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Senior Consultant. Anton has over 13 years’ experience of recruiting leadership roles in the non-profit sector. He is an Ex-Divisional Director at Harris Hill and he established the Charity Recruitment function, primarily recruiting for head and Director-level positions, at Next Employment.

Jane Medley

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Operations Manager. Jane is responsible for managing all logistics in relation to search campaigns. Jane built her career working as a PA to executives in the advertising industry and running her own ‘virtual PA’ service for commercial clients.

Jo Hastie

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Jo is the AAW Group’s Communications Consultant, managing the website, Insight blogs and other communication projects. Jo has worked in the non-profit sector for 25 years in fundraising, campaigning and communication roles for a range of charities.

For more details about AAW People