An Inspired Announcement – Abigail Barclay promoted to M.D. of Executive Search division, Inspired Search.

An Inspired Announcement

Abigail Barclay promoted to M.D. of Executive Search division, Inspired Search

Inspired Search, the Executive Search division of Inspired Search & Selection, is a successful and valuable service for the publishing industry in both sourcing leadership talent and in its role as a thought leader. 

The division was launched in 2017 by Search Director, Abigail Barclay, following Inspired’s existing track record of success in Executive Search and evidence from the company’s own research which showed a strong demand from the market for such a service. Specifically, the data highlighted the importance of change and the need to reach audiences in new ways when making an external leadership hire. Inspired’s success, scale and deep market knowledge was perfectly positioned to not only leverage its network within the leadership level but also, and very importantly, represent the publishing industry to those outside of it in order to attract them in. The combination of insight, network and rigorous research has been the cornerstone to the division’s success ever since, which has been able to make impactful, powerful and diverse introductions of leadership talent to businesses within the publishing and information services sectors. 

Inspired Search has experienced a trend of YOY growth ever since its official launch in 2017, at an average rate of 15%. In the last fiscal year, ending March 2024, it beat this trend with an increase in revenue of 17%. This recent growth in an otherwise challenging economic climate is testament to the division’s loyal and growing client base, robust methodology, excellent network and deep market knowledge. Alongside the growth in revenue, the division has played an increasingly vital role in thought leadership for the industry, having published four white papers of its own already. The topics of these papers have been: hiring executives from other industries, succession planning, return to work and women in leadership. The latter has received extraordinary traction and its impact on the wider industry conversation about inclusive cultures was recognised by the REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation) who awarded Abigail Barclay with the 2023 Agency Star of the Year award. 

quote from CEO of Inspired

Looking ahead, Abigail Barclay will now step up to be the Managing Director of Inspired Search, reporting into Suzy Astbury, CEO & Owner of Inspired Search & Selection. Abigail will continue to lead the Executive Search division into its next growth phase which will deliver its clients even more value with enhanced services and partnerships. Announcements will be made throughout the year - and beyond - all of which will be designed with support to its growing community of leaders in mind. 

Abigail Barclay said, “I am so excited to be taking this step and leading Inspired Search forward into its next phase of growth. Its with huge gratitude to Suzy and the Inspired business for all of its support, to all the Inspired Search clients for entrusting us with their business-critical appointments, to the Inspired Search candidates for sharing their wonderful careers with us and to the industry for continuing to value our executive search service that I take on the role of MD of the division. Publishing leaders are shaping the future of the industry for its next workforce generation, and for its readers, and it’s a true privilege to have front row seats to witness the expertise with which this is being executed.’ 

Suzy Astbury said, “It is a pivotal moment for Abigail and Inspired and I cannot express how proud I am of everything she and Inspired Search have achieved in a short amount of time. I’m brimming with excitement about the future of Inspired Search under Abigail’s leadership."

If you are interested in having a confidential conversation regarding your own leadership career, making an executive hire for your business or indeed in the role of executive search yourself, please do not hesitate to contact Abigail Barclay directly on: 

020 3668 6727

Abigail Barclay contact details




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