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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 Sue Willis. I have been working with Claire Beasley at Court & Spark Consulting since 2009. My career spans over 30 years in Retail in people focused roles, initially in corporate retail as an HR Specialist with high street names such as BHS and The Burton Group where I built my career learning the business of Retail and HR. Taking this experience I moved into Talent and Executive Search working in partnership with clients to fulfill their talent needs. I have been lucky enough to work with many international retail brands of differing scale and product areas.
I have a deep connection with Retail and an extensive network that has built and evolved as the industry has changed. I have worked hard to build my reputation as someone of integrity who clients trust to deliver a high standard of professionalism and candidates trust to represent them at their best.
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.