How we work

As one of the UK’s top property and construction recruiters, Holtby Turner Executive Search finds outstanding people for real estate’s most important senior roles. Once we’ve done that, we work with clients to create an environment where talent excels and surpasses expectations.

Years of industry knowledge, an extensive network and specialist research help us identify and secure the best talent out there, time and time again. Our consultants have proven track records and in-depth knowledge of their practice areas. That’s why our team provides a level of customer service that is regularly praised as straightforward, dynamic and collaborative.

By thoughtfully building strong relationships with clients and understanding their individual culture and needs, we consistently deliver exactly what we say we’ll do, and are the first choice for many real estate businesses who know that only with great people can they achieve outstanding results.

Our Approach

We collaborate with our clients and value sincerity in all our dealings. So we work with you as we search, often coming up with innovative or unusual solutions or recommendations. By discreetly investigating the real estate market to find the most suitable candidates, we open up the search field.

Our skill lies not just in finding an exceptional person for your organisation, but in persuading them to join you, rather than one of your competitors. We don’t stop working until we have identified the very best person for the job, guaranteeing you a successful outcome.

With your business objectives alongside your corporate culture always in mind, our in-depth interviews, personality profiling and aptitude testing ensure that we present a highly relevant short list. Detailed reports on each candidate incorporate our own sector-specific expert observations and recommendations built on over 19 years of experience.

“As an Executive Director of Capita Plc. Holtby Turner were the most co-operative UK Executive Search firm that I used – placing over 40 candidates in 10 years. Their research is excellent, candidates always top rate and their understanding of our business ensured we achieved a great fit for our candidates.” Jonathan Goring View our case studies
“The team at Holtby Turner are determined to find the right person, not just any person.” Alan Froggatt, ex-CEO for CBRE, EMEA View our case studies
“It’s not easy to score three out of three excellent candidates for an Executive Board role here, but Holtby Turner managed it.” Director, Property and Infrastructure Consultancy View our case studies
“Candidates were a good fit - in experience and culturally. Holtby Turner’s process was well researched and thorough. I would recommend them unconditionally.” Chief Operating Officer, Developer View our case studies

Our Executive Search Process

The executive search process identifies the best available candidates in the market, not just those who are looking for a new job and whose CVs are sitting on a database.  Most of the best people won’t be looking for a change of role, but we can identify them and sell the opportunity to them in a compelling way.

The Job Brief

We work closely with you to produce a detailed job brief and determine the essential and desired experience that the successful candidate will need. Acting as trusted advisors, we might challenge your assumptions or suggest alternative solutions based on our knowledge of the market.

The brief will also explain the background of your organisation and the benefits of working for you, and outline future career prospects, becoming a sales tool to attract candidates.


With our in-depth knowledge of real estate and construction we research the market thoroughly using our network of high-level contacts, market information and formal research to identify the most appropriate potential candidates, also using a lateral approach to ensure that we locate people who are working outside the expected target companies.

We then approach these people, gaining their interest in the role and assessing their suitability via telephone profiling, before inviting the most relevant ones for interview.


We conduct formal interviews with the most suitable people using competency questioning, personality profiling and a general discussion to assess their experience, achievements, personality, motivation and career ambitions to confirm that they meet the requirements of your role in all respects.

The interview is a two-way process, and we also have to sell your role in the most compelling way to ensure their full interest.


We provide detailed reports on the selected candidates, usually three or four making up the shortlist. We will discuss them with you, explaining why we think they are appropriate, what they will expect from their next role and employer and the best tactics to use to convince them that this is the right opportunity for them.

With your agreement, we will make arrangements for the client interview process and provide you with feedback throughout this stage.


Once you have decided which candidate to offer the role to, we help with all negotiations until the contract has been signed and we also guide and support the person through the resignation process, a stage at which many job offers can fall through.

We can counsel the candidate on their real motivations for career progression, alert them to the possibility of promised promotions, pay increases and all the other ploys that can be used to make someone reconsider their decision to accept the new role.


Our involvement doesn’t finish when the contract has been signed. We work actively with you and the chosen candidate before and after they take up their new appointment to make sure that they are familiar with the organisation and their new peers, they understand what the full range of their responsibilities will be and that there is an agreed number of achievements and results for the first 90 days.

In this way, the new person will be able to make an immediate impact and integrate into the new environment as quickly as possible.

Diversity Commitment

Holtby Turner Executive Search underwent a rigorous appraisal of our way of working to be accepted as members of the global Association of Executive Search Consultants.

As signatories to the Government Department of Business Innovation & Skills’ code of conduct for diversity, we aim to provide long-lists that include 30% of women. Sadly, this can be difficult to achieve at senior levels in the industry due to the limited number of women in these roles. Within the property and construction industry, only 15% of roles are held by women, and this figure drops significantly at a leadership level.  Acknowledging this, we work with clients to redress this balance and ensure that the positive effects of diversity reach right up to board level.

Helping us do this is Liz Peace CBE, our Non-Executive Director and founder of Real Estate Balance, which champions diversity in real estate.

Professional Discretion

Our success is built on moving swiftly in the market with the utmost discretion and confidentiality, which are vital to the success of the executive search process.

We treat both clients and candidates with the same professionalism, never revealing market-sensitive information without prior agreement and not revealing identities until the appropriate time.

In certain circumstances, some clients prefer an advertised search approach.  We can manage an advertised assignment using the Holtby Turner Executive Search brand to preserve client confidentiality, or use the client’s brand to send a positive message to the market.

Our Organisation & You

At Holtby Turner Executive Search, we know that to attract the best, we must offer the best in return. We know our value is our people, and we’re proud to have intelligent and respected consultants leading our practice areas. Our collaborative and flexible approach best suits individuals keen to shape their area, and grow it entrepreneurially.

We’re meticulous in the way we work, requiring in-depth understanding of the real estate sector and our clients. But understanding and knowledge aren’t enough – they have value only paired with empathy and integrity. Life at Holtby Turner Executive Search is interesting and varied: one day you may be working with London’s oldest landed estates and the next for a luxury boutique hotel group from New York. The next week may be a global contractor or investment banker. Adaptability and creativity is required alongside specialist knowledge and a well-established network.

Matching cultural values and purpose is at the core of how we pair candidates to clients – and we treat our own search for talent in the same way. What we offer in return ensures that you feel generously rewarded, nurtured and developed for the expertise and energy you bring.

If you’d like to explore working with us, drop a note to Rebecca Titton on our central email via which we will pass to her directly.