Getting to Know You: Emma Robinson, Founder & MD, Red Diamond Executive Headhunters

Emma Robinson

Emma Robinson, the founder and managing director of Red Diamond Executive Headhunters tells us what defines her way of doing business.

What do you currently do?

I run the business Red Diamond Executive Headhunters – from strategy through to operations. I am a hands-on leader, but I am also responsible for headhunting and have a range of clients. The roles I typically recruit are Managing Directors, Sales Directors, HR Directors, Operations Directors and Non-Exec Directors. I will often place a Managing Director within a company, then help to build a team around this person.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

I spent many years hiring senior leaders within finance. I absolutely loved to work with Finance Directors and business leaders, and as my experience grew I started to realise that my competition was weak. At the time I worked for a major market leading recruitment business – Hays PLC. I loved working here but I felt that the business was so big that we didn’t have time to give people proper care and attention – I hope that I’m not speaking out of turn but I do think this is typical of many big businesses. The people we placed were numbers and statistics – no time to build a relationship; no sooner had you made a placement you were onto the next deal. I was sure that we were missing a trick and I was right!

What defines your way of doing business?

We are boutique in every sense of the word – creative, exclusive, niche and sophisticated. These are rules we live by – the entire customer experience is defined by the word boutique and when we say customer, we mean candidates and clients (who are much of the same thing to us).

What do you admire?

I have just read Becoming by Michelle Obama – what an inspiring, talented and beautiful lady. 

Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

We are on a growth mission which I really should have been ballsey enough to do sooner. We’ve been sensible and always moved to the next level when we could self-finance – perhaps a loan or two would have been good for us in helping to scale the business a bit faster.

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Trust your gut instinct, it’s normally right. No is a VERY powerful word don’t be afraid to use it.