Boston Spotlight – “Why utilising a specialist Exec Search and Permanent Recruitment agency can help you find the best candidates available” Interview with Bostonair’s Gemma Southwell.

This month, Boston Spotlight speaks to Gemma Southwell, Bostonair’s Executive Search and Permanent recruiter who setup a new recruitment desk during the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020

Q: Hello Gemma, could you provide some detail on your life away from work? Which hobbies and pursuits do you enjoy?

A: I am a keen swimmer, runner, surfer, skier and I also enjoy baking – something I do far too frequently! Unfortunately this year I have been more or less restricted to running, baking and eating!

My Fiancé and I have been busily planning our 2021 wedding which we are hoping will go ahead as well as renovating our very old house. I live close to the office and I look forward to the time that we can work there full time again!

Q: What is your professional background and can you detail your career to date?

A: I have worked within a recruitment setting for 7 and a half years now, starting in London before slowly getting closer and closer to home here in East Yorkshire. I have covered contract and permanent desks in that time, including headhunting for many C-suite roles.

Recently I have completed my Level 5 CIPD Diploma which is really useful, and helps me to view recruitment from my clients’ point of view, something I always try to apply to my work.

Q: Did you always intend to have a career in recruitment?

A: The truth is that recruitment was not a career I had planned upon. When I graduated I went straight to work at the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics where I lived on a docked cruise ship in the Thames for a few months.

Following this I worked in a beautiful village called Megeve in the French Alps for the winter season before I arrived home (with a few broken bones). I approached a recruitment agency in Central London and unusually I was offered a role with them, rather than through them and the rest as they say, is history!

Q: What is your personal style as a recruiter, and what approach do you find works in your search for candidates?

After several years in London as the only Northerner in my office I realised that my slightly softer and friendlier approach wasn’t something I wanted to move away from as I had been advised to do so, so many times. I am professional and thorough, but the nature of my role means speaking with candidates outside of business hours as well as my long-standing relationships with clients.

“I will remember that big birthday you mentioned and I won’t mind if a toddler happens to ambush our zoom or telephone call.” It is this human interaction that I love most about my role

Q: Why is it so important for organisations to consider using an Executive Search and Permanent recruitment specialist?

A: The simple answer for me comes from my experience over the past few years, as the majority of candidates I speak to simply are not looking to move into a new role until the right opportunity presents itself. Equally, many organisations may not wish to broadcast a vacancy at a senior level for many reasons. Confidentiality is the most important part of my role after all.

Q: What does Bostonair’s Executive Search and Permanent Solution offer?

A: Each role and client I work with is unique, so each process is completely bespoke. We utilise an integrated, partnership approach to Executive Search to ensure the best possible recruitment process, along with confidentiality, honesty, and professionalism.

“Everyone is busy and may not have time to look at opportunities  or may only be free in the early morning or late evenings so I adopt a highly flexible approach.”

Q: What are you most proud of achieving during your time with Bostonair to date?

A: I have had the opportunity to work on some extremely interesting projects, even throughout this turbulent year. I have won business and placed clients in Europe and Asia.

Q: What has working for Bostonair been like for you, and what would you recommend to others about the business?

A: Starting a new role in early 2020 only a few weeks before a National lockdown began was very worrying, not to mention how severely impacted the aviation sector was and still is.

It is really positive that Bostonair continues to weather this storm due to business diversification. I hope (with the recent positive news on vaccines)
the pandemic will come to an end in 2021. Above all I could not be happier to be part of such a fantastic team and I know things could be very different. I have also seen first hand how much each employee, contractor, and client appreciates these demonstrable values.

Q: So, Gemma, what else would you like to achieve in your career? Do you have any future aspirations?

A: I am keen to develop the Executive Search and Permanent recruitment desk over the next few years and to grow the team. Also building our customer portfolio is important and nurturing relationships is the key to future success.

If you have an Executive Search or Permanent recruitment request, please contact Gemma on 01482 679757 or For more information on the full range of Bostonair Group’s capabilities and services visit