SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When SPMB Executive Search earned the #1 spot on Silicon Valley Business Journal’s list of top executive search firms, you might have expected the firm to throw a wild celebration for its dedicated recruiters. But that’s not how the 40 year-old company rolls. As partner Mike Doonan says, “Trophies get dusty very fast in Silicon Valley.”
Resting on their laurels just isn’t part of the company game plan. “It’s not about us,” Doonan explains. “Our focus is on client success.” While that might sound like a platitude, it’s common for CEOs and executives to consult with SPMB partners not just on critical hires, but also on general business and professional matters. Partner Chris Johnson agrees. “We are not a one and done type of search firm. We are in it to help build management teams that enable our clients and investors to achieve their goals.” The strategy is working. In 2016, almost a third of US tech IPOs were SPMB clients as were two of the largest tech mergers and acquisitions to take place so far in 2017.
Being genuinely useful to members of such an exceptional client roster requires a company-wide commitment to deep learning – about a client’s company, philosophy, culture, message, and business style as well as about technological innovations and industry-wide challenges and trends. That depth of knowledge doesn’t come easily or quickly. In fact, over the last few years, SPMB has deliberately slowed its pace of growth in order to maintain the focus on quality over quantity. Hiring and deploying highly trained and knowledgeable staff doesn’t come easily and can’t be dictated by expanding market demands. Rather than finding ways to maintain their momentum, Mike Doonan says, “…it’s more a question of how best to contain our momentum. Given the demand in the market, we could double our staff if we wanted to. But we believe in the long game.”
By tapering growth, SPMB strives to maintain the exemplary level of service their clients have come to expect. Their quiet dedication to clients and unwavering commitment to thoroughness and individualized service has found them at the top of a highly competitive and ever-evolving field. Dave Mullarkey, a Managing Partner who has been a part of the firm’s evolution over the last seventeen years says, “It’s never been a goal to be at the top of this list: it’s not about volume. The goal has always been to be known as the best, make an impact, and do excellent work for our clients.” Though the company never expected to land on top, if SPMB keeps doing what they are doing, they’ve got a good shot at staying out in front.