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Executive Search

OVERVIEW

Why Choose Watermark

​​

Watermark has developed our expertise and reputation over 40 years of successful performance in the Australian market.

​We have a completion rate of 97%.

We do not delegate to junior consultants or Associates. The lead search Partner is actively engaged at all times and conducts all candidate assessment interviews and evaluation.

True in-house research. Our Research Team works closely with the Partners to develop and implement a targeted search strategy for each assignment.

Candidate care is at the heart of our assignments. We treat successful and unsuccessful applicants with the same level of respect.

Watermark prides itself on being nimble and agile to market. We are willing to think beyond the traditional end-to-end search to deliver a customised unbundled service.

  • 95% of our candidates remain in place two years after they commence their new role.

We ensure that our processes are free of inherent bias and we actively seek to present a diverse range of high-quality candidates.

​We have appointed 1 CEO every 4 weeks for over 40 years.

Watermark have an intimate understanding of the complexities and challenges associated with recruiting chief and senior executives and the probity requirements of government. Our processes are objective, highly confidential, robust, well-documented and can withstand rigorous scrutiny.

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OUR SUCCESS

Testimonials

We were delighted to appoint three senior executives to support the CEO on our ambitious growth journey. From the first conversation, it was clear that David Evans and Watermark understood the brief, could provide good suggestions on the market, and had excellent organisational and salary insights.

David actively led the search and assembled the appropriate team within Watermark to support this project. Throughout the entire process I was kept informed of the progress, timeline, and market feedback. David and Watermark identified individuals that not only fit the brief but importantly had a cultural alignment and connection to the purpose of the organisation. We were very happy with the whole process and the three senior executives that were appointed.

-Chairman, Private Equity backed organisation

​David and the Watermark Team provide outstanding service at all times but the GRA & GRLA Chief Risk Officer and GRLA Appointed Actuary Search assignments were particularly difficult given the need for absolute discretion in what is a small market segment.  Not only did David deliver wonderful outcomes, the Chair of the Board of Directors personally thanked him for his work and commented to me that David and Watermark’s service was the best she had ever experienced.  

David invests time to 100% understand the brief, including the all important nuances. Weekly written updates are a feature of the service as is face to face meetings at key times throughout the search.  For one assignment David recommended a Board simulation to assist differentiate two final candidates. This initiative proved invaluable in the selection process. 

David and Watermark set and deliver to a very high standard, including candidate experience. It is a testament to their approach that both successful and unsuccessful candidates have commented to me on the professional and positive experience they had during the search.  

I have absolute confidence in David and the Watermark Team and highly recommend them. 

-HR Manager, General Reinsurance Australia (GRA) & General Reinsurance Life Australia (GRLA)

​In my capacity as Group Head of Tax...I engaged Watermark Search, more specifically Robert Atkinson - Partner, on multiple occasions to conduct confidential Searches.  I have relied on Robert for many years to provide market insights and trends in recruitment across the tax landscape in Australia, with this information being critical in helping to set the strategic direction of our tax function.

Whilst Robert and the Watermark Team have always provided outstanding service, the appointment of the Head of Tax – Australia, alongside the Head of Investments Tax & Structuring assignments, particularly stand out given the complex and sensitive nature of the appointments.

Robert invested considerable time and effort to understand the nuanced complexity of the role, environment, and particularly the culture fit prior to recommending a bespoke pathway forward. Throughout the process we received regular updates and insights, which in turn helped inform the strategy, compensation and process, ultimately delivering a magnificent outcome for us on both appointments.  All of the people Robert helped us bring on board have continued to impress and grow their careers with the company.

Over the years Robert and the team at Watermark have continued to identify and appoint high calibre, high potential leadership appointments and I have every confidence we will continue to partner with Watermark going forwards.

​Group Head of Tax, Insurance Company

MEET THE TEAM

Our Search Partners

David Evans

David Evans

Managing Partner

Claire Crawford

Claire Crawford

Partner - Executive Search and Board

Daniel Nicholls

Daniel Nicholls

Partner - Executive Search

Robert Atkinson

Robert Atkinson

Partner - Executive Search

Jocelyn Santosa

Jocelyn Santosa

Partner - Executive Search and Board

Jennifer D'Arcy-Smith

Jennifer D'Arcy-Smith

Partner - Executive Search and Board

Peter Blair

Peter Blair

Partner - Executive Search and Board

Chris Grant

Chris Grant

Partner - Executive Search

Philip Whelan

Philip Whelan

Partner - Executive Search

Our Search Process

The Watermark Discovery Process is a holistic assessment process that uses qualitative and quantitative measures to turn a longlist into a shortlist.​

​The Watermark Identification and Attraction Process

​A dedicated team of experienced and qualified research consultants  work in partnership with the lead partner to identify target markets and potential industry sources and candidates.​

The team combine their research skills alongside our considerable track record to quickly source high-quality candidates, who we can then approach with details of the opportunity.​

​An extensive database of prospective candidates

​Watermark uses a market leading executive search software to build and maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date database of high-quality potential candidates.​

We combine it with other extensive databases as well as using advanced digital search techniques.​

​Industry Consultation 

​The Partner team at Watermark have built an extensive network of domestic and international industry sources spanning a wide range of sectors that we regularly consult with as part of our research strategy. Our extensive database also provides us with a broad range of additional industry sources for consultation.​

Contact Us

    We have placed:

    630

    Chief Executive Officers

    .

    685

    Chief Financial Officers
    and Finance Executives

    • 416

    Chief People, Culture and
    Human Resources Executives

    719

    Chief Operating Officers
    and Operations Executives

Typical assignment timeline

Stage 1 (Engage): Define client’s needs including role profile​, develop assignment profile with detailed criteria to evaluate potential candidates​, define and execute research strategy, begin sourcing and approaches to candidates.

Stage 2 (Evaluate): Review long list with client​, screen candidates against agreed skills and competencies​, debrief with client and discuss emerging shortlist.

Stage 3 (Assess): Interview and present shortlisted candidates​, prepare detailed reports on shortlisted candidates​, arrange shortlisted interviews for client​, psychometric assessment if required​, formal referencing on request.

Stage 4 (Follow Up): Communicate to all unsuccessful candidates​, initial follow up with candidate and client at approximately the 1 month mark​, 3 month follow up, 12 month follow up.

  • From the first conversation, it was clear that David Evans and Watermark understood the brief, could provide good suggestions on the market, and had excellent organisational and salary insights... David and Watermark identified individuals that not only fit the brief but importantly had a cultural alignment and connection to the purpose of the organisation. We were very happy with the whole process and the three senior executives that were appointed.

    Chairman, Private Equity backed organisation
  • As Group Head of Tax...I engaged Watermark Search, more specifically Robert Atkinson - Partner, on multiple occasions to conduct confidential Searches. I have relied on Robert for many years to provide market insights and trends in recruitment across the tax landscape in Australia, with this information being critical in helping to set the strategic direction of our tax function. I have every confidence we will continue to partner with Watermark going forwards.

    Group Head of Tax, Insurance
  • ​Thanks for your assistance with our search for a CFO - we are particularly grateful for your analysis of our requirements and advice as to how best to provide for them. The quick response time and the quality of potential candidates suggested was somewhat awe-inspiring.

    Managing Director, Manufacturing
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How We Work With You

  • 01

    Approaches

    The highest calibre executives do not automatically ‘put their hat in the ring’ every time a head-hunter calls. We are skilled in highlighting the key selling points of a role and eliciting interest from people with the best fit.

  • 02

    Due Diligence

    Our due diligence process is thorough and provides the confidence Boards and Chief Executives require. Competency-based assessment and skilled reference checking is at the nucleus of our process.

  • 03

    Research

    Intensive in-house research is at the core of our offering and crucial for identifying best-in-market
    candidates for each search, particularly targeting those who are talented but not necessarily actively job-seeking.

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The Watermark Discovery Process

The Watermark Discovery Process is a holistic assessment process that uses qualitative and quantitative measures to turn a longlist into a shortlist:

  • Qualitative measures include::

    🔹 Discussing the candidate’s motivation ​for the role​
    🔹 Understanding the candidate’s expectations ​of the role​

  • Qualitative measures include::

    🔹 Determining cultural fit

    🔹 Assessing Leadership style​

  • Qualitative measures include::

    🔹 Situational questioning

  • Quantitative measures include:

    🔹 Competency based interviews using the Capability Framework agreed in advance

  • Quantitative measures include:

    🔹 Psychometric testing, if requested

  • From the first conversation, it was clear that David Evans and Watermark understood the brief, could provide good suggestions on the market, and had excellent organisational and salary insights... David and Watermark identified individuals that not only fit the brief but importantly had a cultural alignment and connection to the purpose of the organisation. We were very happy with the whole process and the three senior executives that were appointed.

    Chairman, Private Equity backed organisation
  • As Group Head of Tax...I engaged Watermark Search, more specifically Robert Atkinson - Partner, on multiple occasions to conduct confidential Searches. I have relied on Robert for many years to provide market insights and trends in recruitment across the tax landscape in Australia, with this information being critical in helping to set the strategic direction of our tax function. I have every confidence we will continue to partner with Watermark going forwards.

    Group Head of Tax, Insurance
  • ​Thanks for your assistance with our search for a CFO - we are particularly grateful for your analysis of our requirements and advice as to how best to provide for them. The quick response time and the quality of potential candidates suggested was somewhat awe-inspiring.

    Managing Director, Manufacturing