Executive Search

In addition to our excellent contingency recruitment service, we also offer Inspired Executive Search – the bespoke executive search facility for headhunt assignments across

  • Academic university presses, academic book and journal publishers, publishers of digital archives and courseware, learned and scientific societies and institutions, Open Science and Open Research publishers, library suppliers and distributors, medcomms and scientific communications departments with a range of organisations. 
  • Professional - membership bodies, B2B publishers, Charities, NGOs, publishing services, distributors, digital agencies, pr agencies, marketing agencies, financial institutions, legal institutions, professional services
  • Educational - Schools publishers, higher educational publishers, edtech companies, 
  • Trade - Adults fiction and non-fiction, children's publishing, consumer publishing 

This is the perfect solution for c-suite level appointments, offering a full view of the market to gain an exact fit for the role. We advise this approach for senior level hires, where hiring the right person will add immediate value to the company revenue, productivity and staff performance. 

With a successful track record of helping our clients to build their businesses for the future, you can be confident that Inspired Search will provide you with an excellent selection of candidates. 

Get in touch with Abigail and Suzy directly to discuss your executive search requirements in complete confidence; alternatively feel free to use our general contact details

Key Features

Inspired Search is ideally placed to manage your headhunt recruitment needs when you are seeking experienced executive-level talent, whether you are looking to bring in skills from other industries or further publishing expertise. Our key features include: 

  • An extensive network, inside and out of the publishing industry 
  • First-class recruitment technology 
  • Up-to-date market intelligence 
  • Fully trained consultants 

What We Offer

From fully understanding our clients needs, to the final stage we will be there every step of the way. Including market mapping, longlist to shortlist selection, interview management and candidate feedback, right through to final job offer, we ensure a tailored service to suit each search requirementSome of the reasons why our clients choose to return to use our executive search service again and again include: 

  • Discreet and confidential search strategy  
  • Step by step client-centred approach 
  • Comprehensive needs analysis  
  • Positive brand building  
  • Candidate welfare 
  • Extensive reach 
  • Market insight 
  • Integrity  

Key Personnel

Inspired Search was launched in 2017 to build on the continuing executive level recruitment success.  Abigail and Suzy partner with publishing companies and information content providers, of all shapes and sizes, to source for them leadership, senior management team and executive level positions. This varies from replacement roles, interim roles, new divisional heads, MDs, VPs, NEDs and of course C-Suite positions. 

Contact Abigail and Suzy directly today to discuss your executive search requirements in complete confidence

Abigail Barclay, Search Director | Email: a.barclay@inspiredselection.com | Tel: 0203 668 6727

Suzy Astbury, Managing Director | Email: s.astbury@inspiredselection.com | Tel: 0203 668 6731

Click here to meet the rest of the Inspired Selection team and find out more about our professional consultants. 

Thought Leadership

We have published white papers on hot topics relevant to the industry, including: 

  • Making an Executive Appointment in Publishing: Hiring industry expertise or fresh perspectives 
  • Planning for the Future: Why the approach to succession planning needs to change 

If you are interested in reading the whitepapers, please contact us to order your free copy. 

Keep an eye on our Blog for the latest posts with executive search news and information about current trends and future developments across the publishing sector.


What Our Executive Search Clients Say About Us


I would thoroughly recommend Inspired Search/ Abigail Barclay to anyone looking for a thorough, professional and effective recruitment service. Abigail took a brief and produced a detailed talent map across the industry within 4 weeks. She handled the interviews with searching, targeted questions really pushing candidates to explore their skills and experience. The shortlisting process produced 6 potential candidates all of whom were well-equipped to fill the role. This was no mean feat and the great thing was I knew she had looked in even the less obvious places so I was sure I wasn’t missing any hidden talent. The whole process took less than 3 months to appoint a senior executive role without absorbing a huge amount of my time as Abigail had done all the ground work. Finding the right person is hugely important and I know we’ve got the very best candidate in place.

Huge thanks for a job well done – I’d certainly recommend this headhunting service to anyone in the industry.

ALISON GOFF, CEO Octopus Publishing, Hachette


This was a key senior appointment, and Abigail searched for and selected an impressive range of candidates. She was good at capturing their backgrounds, and finding the fit for us…The fact that it was quite hard to select the final candidate was testament to the quality of people she had put forward. There was a strong final shortlist, and I am very happy with the appointment we have made.

OLIVER GADSBY, Chief Executive, Rowman & Littlefield International


Abigail is an exceptional recruiter. Her positive and enthusiastic approach is engaging. But more than that, she has a very good grasp of her assignments and publishing generally. It has been a pleasure to work with someone who is both so personable and professional. I am happy to recommend her to candidates and employers alike.

JONATHAN GRIFFIN, Head of Product Development, IFIS


In setting out to find a new CEO the Boydell & Brewer Board knew it would need expert support and assistance. We gave Inspired Selection a stiff challenge and tight criteria to follow. From the start. Abigail demostrated detailed market knowledge and an efficiency that made it clear we were in safe hands. The process worked well and the guidance we received was invaluable. The Board made an appointment which met all the criteria and put us in a strong position for the future.

MICHAEL BREWER, Non-Executive Chair, Boydell & Brewer


Abigail Barclay approached our search as a genuine collaboration, and embraced the chance to learn about the ambitions of each of the scholarly publishers involved in the UPG group, and then channeled her research into a wide ranging and astute cohort of candidates. She was transparent, creative, and communicative throughout the process, and has remained engaged in Simon Gwynn's success in the managing director role.

CHRISTIE HENRY, Director, Princeton University Press

What Our Senior Level Candidates Say About Inspired Search:


Abigail at Inspired Selection was brilliant throughout my job hunting period. She assessed my skills well in the initial interview and assisted me with my interview preparation which definitely helped me land my dream job! Her communication and feedback was excellent too during the process. Her manner was professional with friendly guided encouragement, which allowed the process to run smoothly. Highly recommended.

TOM FEATHERSTON, Operations Director, Ingram Lightning Source UK Ltd