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Global Chairs

the world’s leading universities recognise that the worldwide search for exceptional research talent is extremely competitive and that identifying, engaging and securing such talent represents a major strategic challenge.

Perrett Laver has one of the largest Higher Education executive search practices in the world. On average, fewer than 20% of our shortlisted candidates apply as a result of public advertisements. Crucially, over 80% result from our proactive ‘head-hunting’ campaigns reaching a rich diversity of global talent largely untapped by the traditional methods of academic recruitment.



from our public

from our proactive



Global Chairs 1. Context 2. Opportunity 3. Identify, Engage, Secure 4. Our Experience 5. Our Values 6. Invitation

1 Context The largest and most prestigious research-led universities recognise that in order to lead the research endeavour to meet the most significant challenges of our time it is necessary to secure large-scale research funding and develop international, multi-partner research alliances.

Successful recruitment of world leading academic talent lies at the heart of this. As the university sector grows globally and as international faculty mobility increases, the demand for this world-leading research capability intensifies. The critical advantage

• Professional Expertise – ranging from awareness of international human resource issues through deep domain knowledge to leading edge administrative and technology systems;

• Global Knowledge –

rests with those institutions that have

familiarity with HE systems across the

the edge in professionally conceived and

globe along with established relational

executed recruitment of the world’s best

networks with the full range of the world’s

academic leaders.

leading academic institutions;

Perrett Laver has been privileged to give that edge to our university clients around the world by providing them with the ingredients of success in this key strategic area:

• Appropriate Resource – existing academic staff must not be deflected from thorough focus on their highest value add activities, namely research and teaching.

Phraseology employed by some of the world’s best universities as they seek to secure world-leading research academics shows how this very task has become one of their top strategic priorities:

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

• Investing in Academic Excellence • The Worldwide Search for Talent • Serious Brain Power • Building on our Excellence. Investing in our Future • Destination Top 100

the critical advantage rests with those institutions that have the edge in professionally conceived and executed recruitment of the world’s best academic leaders.

Context / 5

2 Opportunity

The world’s top universities are committed to the creation, dissemination and application of new knowledge in their research, teaching and impact endeavours. Institutions which have long formed the elite and institutions which have been transformed and have joined the elite have this in common: they have recognised that building the volume and calibre of their research activity by investing in academic leadership is the key which unlocks success in other areas.

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

research impact

student attraction

transformative research is not measured exclusively by the conventional metrics applied to publications, but also by the ability to tackle the major problems of our age.

domestic attention to league tables combined with rapid growth of the international student population (currently standing at around 2.5 million and set to triple in the next ten years) means that attracting the right number of high-calibre students is a top priority for leading universities.

Water, security, energy, climate change, governance, transport and health are just some of the interconnected and transnational issues facing society, and top researchers enable a university to speak with authority into these wider debates.

in view of their effect upon a university’s ethos, standing and research impact, recruiting world leading research academics in turn gives a university significant advantage in this fiercely competitive global student ‘market’.



at the heart of a world-leading university is its research activity. the community of individuals that lead this and the outputs they produce together drive the culture of an institution.

attracting and developing elite intellectual talent brings with it the opportunity to enhance an institution’s external standing.

by attracting the brightest academic talent, universities foster a culture and set of behaviours which result in a more vibrant academic community committed to the creation and application of new knowledge.

Whether measured by league table positioning or international ‘brand’, the research accomplishments achieved by world leading faculty have a powerful impact on how a given university is regarded.


income Generating power

the virtuous circle and the feedback loop of excellence in teaching and research has long been understood.

the current trend in research grant allocation is towards ‘rewarding excellence’ and favours international and multi-institutional research project. along with this, an increasingly important component of universities’ income comes from industrial engagement and professional/practitioner interaction.

research-informed teaching is fresh and authoritative and inculcates in students the skills and attitudes of authentic academic endeavour. in turn, the questions, insights, and challenges of the class-room over and over again provide a stimulus and a steer in the development of the very best research.

for these reasons, research academics who themselves are both recognised leaders within their discipline and internationally networked are especially effective at raising research and enterprise revenue.

opportunity / 7

3 identify, engage, secure

perrett laver’s three-fold strategy for sourcing outstanding academic leaders for your university.

perrett laver / Global Chairs

Identify, Engage, Secure / 9



Identifying Academic Leaders Problem Relying on your institution’s existing networks to find the best research talent in a given area will rarely identify the full range of potential highcalibre candidates. In addition to this, where this task rests with existing academics, it can be a time-consuming (and costly) distraction.

Solution Perrett Laver’s global outlook, market

We investigate and speak with the editorial

intelligence and extensive experience in

boards of world-leading journals, with

finding talent enable us exhaustively to map

those who are identified as major research

the global landscape thus ensuring that the

grant-holders, with members of research

best individuals are identified and approached.

assessment panels, learned societies and academies in various countries, and

Our experience of global searches for

keynote speakers at international academic

Professorial appointments has yielded a

conferences in order to ensure that we have

relationship with around 120,000 individuals

thorough coverage.

of whom the strong majority are senior academics currently serving in the world’s

In what becomes a highly iterative process,

leading universities across a range of

our researchers are able to cover the relevant

academic disciplines.

‘candidate universe’ thus IDENTIFYING outstanding academic leaders for your

This qualitative and person-specific information serves as a starting point for a given search. However, the use of this existing knowledge is a very small part of candidate identification. Our researchers conduct original, intensive, and global search on each assignment, identifying both authoritative sources and potential candidates and directly approaching them leading to a very large number of conversations with relevant academics.

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs


identify our researchers are able to cover the relevant ‘candidate universe’ thus identifYinG outstanding academic leaders for your university.

identifying academic leaders / 11



Engaging Academic Leaders Problem The strongest candidates for a particular position are rarely aware of the opportunity since they are unlikely to be actively seeking new employment. Even when they become aware, they will have a variety of professional and personal questions and concerns which can only adequately be addressed by multiple conversations with a trusted intermediary.

Solution Perrett Laver gains the attention of the high-

Multiple conversations with these individuals

calibre individuals that we have identified

enable a relationship to develop in which

through nuanced and well-informed advocacy

candidates’ concerns and questions can

combined with subtle persistence. The very

be addressed with attentiveness and

fact of being personally approached and of

precision. In these ways Perrett Laver’s

speaking with a professional third-party can

work is powerful in ENGAGING outstanding

be decisive in prompting a candidate to engage

academic leaders for your university.

with a particular appointment process. This engagement deepens as Perrett Laver provides potential candidates with an accurate, comprehensive, candid, responsive, and compelling presentation of the university, the department and the position in question.

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

engage perrett laver’s work is powerful in enGaGinG outstanding academic leaders for your university.

engaging academic leaders / 13



Securing Academic Leaders Problem There is a long journey to travel between getting a strong research leader to indicate his or her willingness to be considered as a candidate for a given position and getting that individual to agree to a mutually satisfactory contract with the university. A thorough and equitable appointment process must be put in place, often complex logistical challenges must be met, detailed contractual negotiations must be concluded and alongside all of these, the developing relationship with the individual must be sensitively handled.

Solution Perrett Laver’s deep experience

• Lab space

Perrett Laver’s ability to identify

of the challenges of this phase

• Research support needs

and discuss these issues in the

of making senior appointments,

• Research grant transferability

earlier stages is of benefit to

• Movement of teams & PhD students

reducing the likelihood of time-

to process enables us to offer thorough support to our university

• Teaching loads

problems from emerging further

clients in these matters.

• Tenure

down the line.

combined with our purposeful attentiveness both to people and

A move from one university to another, often from one country to another, is a life-changing one for any individual. Issues involved with such a move can

• Compensation • Pension • Other Benefits • Leadership Opportunities • Spouse/Partner Career

candidates and the university alike, consuming, or even deal-breaking,

Combined with our administrative attention to detail, the logistical support we provide, and our ongoing candidate relationship management, these approaches

relate to academic provision,

• Children Education

career progression and more

• Housing & Relocation

assists you in SECURING

personal and family matters

• Cultural Fit

outstanding academic leaders for

such as:

• Lifestyle Considerations

your university.

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

can be critical as Perrett Laver

secure our approaches can be critical as perrett laver assists you in seCurinG outstanding academic leaders for your university.

securing academic leaders / 15

4 Our Experience Perrett Laver has one of the largest Higher Education executive search practices in the world, having assisted on the appointment of over 50 Vice-Chancellors/Presidents and more than 400 other senior appointments ranging from Pro-Vice Chancellors/Vice-Presidents, Dean of Faculties, Heads of Departments and Research Institutes, as well as Professional Service Directors.

As we have developed advisory relationships with many of the world’s premier universities, it is their recognition that the

University of Adelaide University of Birmingham

recruitment of world-leading academics is a

University of Cambridge

strategic priority that has led us to develop

Chinese University of Hong Kong

our ‘Global Chairs Practice’. We have recently been privileged to provide full executive search service in support of senior academic appointments across the full range of academic disciplines for a large number of universities, including:

City University, London Imperial College London University of Leeds London School of Economics and Political Science University of Manchester Murdoch University National University of Singapore Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan University of New South Wales University of Oxford Queen’s University Belfast University of Warwick Xi’an Jiatong-Liverpool University

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

Global Reach Perrett Laver’s Global Chairs Practice has

than ten full professorial appointments at one

been pleased to provide support to a growing

time. The map below illustrates the global

number of universities around the world as

spread of shortlisted candidates in a recent

they have undertaken high-volume research

phase of one such campaign:

leadership recruitment campaigns of more

Global spread of shortlisted candidates for senior academic appointments


36% N u m b e r o f C a n d i d at e s

Other 1–20




Data from 20 representative senior academic searches conducted for Queen’s University Belfast during 2011.




10% A s i a - Pa c i f i c

20% North America

Our Experience / 17

5 Our Values The work of Perrett Laver’s Global Chairs Practice itself reflects some of the key values which led to the establishment of the firm in 2001 and have characterised it ever since.

Societal impact It is our conviction that the research,

International Staff & Global Outlook

teaching, and outreach activities of the higher

Whether measured by national

education sector have an almost unparalleled

background, linguistic ability,

power to impact society. We are privileged to

international service experience or sheer

have offered professional support to many of

global mind-set, Perrett Laver’s staff has

the world’s most transformative institutions

a breadth and diversity which enriches

in the areas of higher education, global

our working experience and serves our

development and health.

global clients well.

Partner Relationships with our Clients

Purposeful Attentiveness

We work closely and candidly with

initial briefings all the way through to

our clients to achieve the best possible

completed negotiations for the successful

outcome, search by search and campaign

candidate, we offer the same purposeful

by campaign. We offer transparent

attentiveness which we have applied

processes, open communications and

to gaining a deep understanding of

an ability to see the world through

global HE and to developing a powerful

our clients’ eyes which has led to the

methodology to put at the service of

development of many long-standing client

universities around the world in their

relationships in which we have moved

recruitment of senior academic leaders.

from merely offering a professional service to becoming trusted advisors.

Perrett Laver / Global Chairs

At every stage of the process, from

Our vision is to influence society through a new breed of leaders for a changing world.

Our Values / 19

6 invitation as one of the world’s leading executive search firms, perrett laver has a depth of relevant experience, a powerful search methodology, rich sector knowledge, and a values-based commitment to the transformative power of higher education which have enabled us to provide outstanding professional service to our university clients. We would be pleased to discuss with you ways in which we can support your university as it recruits the research leaders of tomorrow.


perrett laver / Global Chairs


8–10 Great George Street London SW1P 3AE UK T: +44 (0) 20 7340 6200 F: +44 (0) 20 7340 6201 W: www.perrettlaver.com E: globalchairs@perrettlaver.com

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Perrett Laver — Global Chairs  

Perrett Laver — Global Chairs Practice

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Perrett Laver — Global Chairs Practice