Meet our Team
Neill Donald is Founder & Director at Linum Consult. Neill has worked in the industry for over 25 years and has supplied talent to some of the largest construction projects in the world.
Could you give us an overview of your career within the industry?
I came into international recruitment in 2006, having lived and worked as an ex-pat in France for the preceding twelve years, where I had fully integrated into the French culture, learnt to speak French fluently and managed multiple businesses within a French legal context. This first-hand knowledge of international business was extremely beneficial and easily transferable to the recruitment sector; enabling me to quickly set up a client base, and more specifically, be a valued point of contact for candidates embarking on their first overseas posting.
In terms of recruitment, my international network is geared towards the Executive Search arena on major civil engineering projects where I have successfully hired C-level candidates over the last 15 years. My first successful Executive Search was for a CFO on the Dubai Metro Project back in 2008. From there my network has gone from strength to strength, this successful hire was quickly followed by the recruitment of a CEO of a leading French Project Management Consultancy (confidential) in Qatar. With such an established network, Executive Search continues to be my key focus through to today, having recently placing the General Manager for SIXENSE in Hong Kong and the Head of UK Finance for the BBV JV on HS2. As we speak, I am managing two executive assignments, one in the UK for a CFO and one Regional CFO for Riyadh in Saudi Arabia (both highly confidential)…
In terms of operations, I have been a Co-founder and Director at Linum Consult since 2012, where my primary focus is managing and running the company to ensure that we achieve our goals. In December 2020, we opened our first international office in Lyon, France. This has enabled us to continue to work with our EU customers on a like for like basis, mitigating any potential problems that could have arisen due to BREXIT.
What has changed most in the industry over your career?
Without a shadow of a doubt, technology. When I first started in international recruitment, the database was considered to be the most valuable financial asset that a recruitment company could have. Now, with the rise of social media, every single client at the press of a button can access 80 million candidates, more or less ending certain benefits aligned with a database. However, recruitment is still a people business and as such both candidates and clients like to do business with people that they know and trust, so the key is to adapt with the times, or we will become obsolete. The rise of A.I. in the search for candidates will be the next massive game changer.
What’s been the highlight?
Setting up both Linum Consult Ltd and Linum Consult France SAS. We have a great team, a great brand and we are a trusted partner to some of the worlds leading players in Renewable Energy, Civil Engineering, and Mining & Machine Parts.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the International Recruitment Sector?
Be thorough, be driven and be tenacious. All these things sound quite clichéd, but there is immense competition out there and the landscape is constantly changing. Find a niche and make sure to deliver quality, not quantity.
What advice can you give leaders when managing businesses and teams through times of uncertainty?
Be prepared for the unexpected. Stick to a core delivery model, up-skill your team where possible and keep your team happy.
We only have one life and the work life balance is absolutely critical.