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I began my career at M & S and spent the next 20 years in the UK, Spain and USA with major retailers including Burton Group, Sears and Laura Ashley. In a change of direction, I took on the role of Director, Retail Personnel and Training at Arcadia Group in 1999 before joining New Look as Retail Operations Director where I consolidated my skills with an Executive MBA from Henley Management College.
Building on my HR and Operations experience, I researched the retail recruitment sector where I identified a gap in the market. In 2004, I teamed up with former colleague and great friend, Pauline Wood to start a specialist Executive Search business, court & spark consulting. With a twenty year career in retail and fifteen years in executive search, I’m extremely experienced and I know what good looks like. I’ve worked hard to build long standing relationships and I have built a strong reputation as someone to be trusted and who works with integrity, honesty and discretion
I’m Colin Barnett and with 30 years in the recruitment and talent sector, I have built up a broad range of experience solving talent challenges across all sectors. Now working independently, I am capitalising on this experience; working with organisations to identify needs and challenges, shape and implement solutions across all talent-related areas from employer brand, media channels and messaging to assessment, recruitment technology, the entire candidate journey through to onboarding.
Some of you may know that “court & spark” is the name of an album by Joni Mitchell, released in 1974. It was a commercial and critical success and remains her most successful album. The song is about a relationship and when our two founders (Pauline Wood and Claire Beasley) where thinking of a business name – Pauline suggested song name (she was the Joni Mitchell fan).
Business is about relationships, especially long-term ones and we have always been determined to keep in contact with clients and candidates alike regardless of whether or not we are actively doing business with them.