How does your pitch really come across? Ask the headhunters


What are non-executive recruiters looking for in a board candidate? What do they want to know about you? And how does your ‘pitch’ really come across?


Women on Boards' Meet the Headhunters series was introduced last year to provide members the opportunity to connect with supportive search firms. 

In the virtual sessions, our guest headhunters share a brief insight into their work and what they are seeing in the market currently. With Claire Braund, they also discuss:

  • The search process: What’s in demand; is it women? Is it particular skills?
  • Tips for candidates wanting to be known by their firm.
  • Advice to a candidate that makes it to interview and beyond​.

The objective of the one-hour chat style virtual events is to enable attendees to get a view of what non-executive recruiters are looking for in a board candidate. What do they want to know about you? How does your ‘pitch’ really come across? This will vary depending on the headhunter as they tend to specialize.

  • Our next Meet the Headhunters webinar is on Wednesday 29 March, 5pm-6pm, with headhunters Jennifer D'Arcy-Smith and Jacinta Whelan - both from Watermark Search International.

About the headhunters

Jennifer (Jen) D'Arcy-Smith, Partner - Executive & Board Search, Watermark Search International

Jen is an experienced search consultant joining the Watermark Search International Melbourne team in October 2018 and is a member of the firm’s Board Practice. She focuses on Board, CEO and C-suite level searches and is trusted with high profile, often confidential, sensitive engagements. With more than a decade in executive search, Jen has managed complex Board and executive search assignments in both the public and private sectors in a diverse range of organisations that includes: government, healthcare, higher education, consumer, agribusiness, community and not for profit in Australia and New Zealand.

Jen has partnered with boards, chief executives, senior leadership and elected members in the appointment of directors and executives sourced through local and international networks. Prior to joining Watermark Search International, Jen worked as a Managing Consultant in the leading global professional and executive search firm and as a Principal Consultant with one of New Zealand’s longest established and respected integrated HR consultancies. Beyond Board and executive search, Jen has previously facilitated the development and review of chief executive performance management frameworks, organisational review and design management processes, executive talent management, and coaching & mentoring leaders.

Jacinta Whelan, Lead Partner - Watermark Search International

Jacinta is an author, thought leader and popular speaker on the concept of Interim Executives, Portfolio Careers and future ways of working. She leads the Melbourne office of Watermark and has over 25 years’ experience starting and leading Interim businesses in Hong Kong, New York and Australia.

Jacinta advises corporates and governments on the Executive Interim marketplace. She is regularly asked to speak to Boards and business leaders looking to stay abreast of the way organisations are engaging executive talent. The future of work has well and truly arrived – it is the NOW of work. The paradigm has shifted in how we engage with work and both individuals and companies are questioning what it means for them.

Previous headhunter experts

We have held other virtual headhunter events in 2021 and 2022. Headhunters who took part were:

Seamus Scanlon, Senior Partner - Executive Search & Advisory at Davidson - Speciality areas: Targeted search campaigns for organisations involved in the management or delivery of infrastructure or services to the community.

Dylys Bertelsen OAM, Chief Executive Officer, Windsor Group & Director, PA Research Foundation - Speciality areas: Providing strategic advice, service and capacity building programs to many of Australia’s most recognised not-for-profits


Vanessa Jolly, General Manager - Board Recruitment, Directors Australia
Speciality areas: boards, board committees and advisory councils.


Jeremy Wurm, Founder and Managing Director of Booker Consulting
Speciality areas: Director and senior executive search for Biotech, Health and Human services, member-based organisations and purpose driven sectors

Richard Evans, Managing Director TalentNation
Speciality areas: Sustainability, Environmental Management, Human Rights & Climate Risk



Gregory Robinson, Founder & Managing Partner, Search & Advisory, Blenheim Partners
Specialities: Senior International executive & board appointments, ASX top 50 & ASX 200, private & not-for profit organisations.

Rachael McLennan - CEO & Co-founder, People for PurposeSpecialty area: not-for-profits

Tom Mutch, Partner at Odgers BerndtsonSpeciality areas: C-suite, senior management and board appointments.

To register for the next Meet the Headhunters event click HERE

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