Let’s Meet the Founder

So, why the ‘Big Bee Search’? Isn’t the name a bit too funky for a legal recruitment business?

Bruno: Legal recruitment, just like any other form of recruitment, relies on the individuals within, the name came from an acronym of the founders, and I am quite fond of bees and their work ethos, so I found it appropriate to name the company the Big Bee Search. We search for the best solution for candidates and clients.

What makes you want to set up your own firm ?

I have worked for a few recruitment companies in the past, and I found that recruitment companies can be classified into 3 types:

1) Building up to sell: these are companies that are lacking in long term ethos and development plan. If you ask them what they stand for, they will throw you a bunch of waffles in terms of how they want to be the best, biggest company in the market. These companies exist solely to make money without any solid principle or ethics. They usually ramp up in their recruitment drives 12 months prior to their exit.

2) Companies that exist as lifestyle businesses: these are companies that are founded by good recruiters, but have no drive to grow apart from facilitating a certain lifestyle for the founders.

3) The legacy firms: these are rare, I know only of a few. These are the companies whose founders are still active, involved, and have key relationships with certain clients. They don’t stop working on their development. Profit making is not the only goal. Assisting clients and candidates is equally important to them.

The Big Bee Search is founded on the last principle. I could no longer work for companies that have no ethos, apart from making money. The Big Bee Search aims to assist its clients and candidates in all aspects of their growth and hurdles. We wish to be there, and we choose who we work with. We work with clients whose vision we share and whose ultimate goal is more than just profit making.

How much competition are you faced with in the market?

Recruitment is simple and complex at the same time. Yes, competition is strong in the sense that there are numerous recruiters out there. But I have little competition in regards to my knowledge and experience. Recruitment ultimately comes down to the individual. There is only one of me. My advice is uniquely coming from myself. Clients who know me trust me and choose to work with me. I advise on what I know best. I don’t see competition as an issue at all.

So what are the core values of the Big Bee? How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

Professionalism, Precision, Discretion. It sounds like a cheesy catch phrase, but it is not. We will always be professional with the individuals that we deal with. A career is as precious as a new born baby; it takes a lot thinking and investment to develop your career properly. I have witnessed terrible actions by recruiters in that they get a CV and make dispraising remarks towards that individual; or that they besmirch the client that pays them, due to a lack of professionalism. This is something that will never settle well with me.

Professionalism is the key for me, in all forms: treat others as you wish to be treated – the golden rule.

Precision: we give you the best solution to your problem. We offer you routes to market that are not always visible. We advise you on the most commercially viable solution as opposed to taking on a mandate that is impossible and illogical.

Discretion: We treat information with care and sensitivity. We don’t shout about our achievements. Our rewards come from watching the assistance that we give grow and spread. We assist clients and candidate in highly sensitive matters. Coining a phrase from Mohammed Ali, “fly like a butterfly sting like a bee” is our motto.

Can you tell me something about your recruitment experience?

Where to begin? I have seen good things and bad things. I can only tell you what I have taken out of recruitment: when you have a requirement, may it be of a candidate or a client, you work to fulfill that requirement. And you know you are making somebody’s dream come true; that is my reward. That is what I wish to emulate throughout the growth of the Big Bee Search. It is the fulfillment of dreams, the consolidation of plans that make us different.

How would you like the Big Bee to grow?

I wish to grow alongside our clients and our candidates. I wish to nourish the next generation of recruiters who want to be in this business for the right reason. We do not put profits before our principles, and growth will be organic with the addition of likeminded individuals Money is the byproduct of what we do. The goal is to help legal professionals in the fulfilment of their dreams.

As the world becomes more connected, the requirements of individuals become more global. We position ourselves in such a way that we fulfill the requirement of clients from a global perspective.

I heard that you were not planning to become a recruiter on the outset? What did you wish to be?

That is very true, I fell into recruitment, and have been in the business for a long time. Initially I believe I wanted to become a pilot, yet, let’s say poor vision hindered that dream. As we grow, our dreams change, ultimately it was the morals instilled by my parents and my ethos that made this career my vocation.

What brought you to legal recruitment?

A combination of factors, my legal experience, my sales experience. But ultimately it was my morality. I have always been fulfilled in helping others. Legal recruitment is the combination of all factors. In addition, I am servicing in an industry I know very well, and assisting individuals that have devoted a long time nourishing their careers.

How do you give back to the community?

We work alongside various charities in the local community. These include Rolledome, a charity that assists youth in rollerblading as a means of socializing and keeping well; as well as a local Pigeon Racing Society, which honours veterans and engages the elderlies in an ancient form of sport.

What are the elements you consider utmost important in building a team around you so as to make a success?

To work with people who have visions, drives, and enthusiasm; whose mission is to serve others and not themselves. People who care about other, and have ethics and morality.

Bruno Navalha
Bruno NavalhaManaging Director
Bruno is one of the key founders of The Big Bee Search. Before setting up his own company, Bruno has been the ‘go to’ recruiter for most Energy and Oil & Gas solicitors in the City of London as well as in the international market. He has true expertise in and a real passion for the energy industry, and has recruited for the biggest companies and law firms worldwide. Now being his own boss, Bruno is involved a diverse array of assignments. He is a member of the AIPN, which is the exclusive community for Energy specialists, including both legal and non-legal professionals.

Eren Wong, Managing Consultant

Eren has a background in both in-house and private practice legal recruitment. She started her legal recruitment career in recruiting qualified lawyers into City law firms, and subsequently joined a different company to develop her experience in recruiting in-house counsels. Her sectors of focus include TMT, IP/T, life science, fintech and real estate. At the Big Bee Search, Eren assists clients in both private practice and in-house. She is also a key founding member of the Big Bee Search.

Given Eren’s trilingual background, she also provides corporate Chinese Mandarin training to all kinds of companies and law firms who wish to develop a corporate partnership with Chinese clients or investors. During the training, participants learn not only Chinese language, but also the quintessential Chinese culture as well as business and social etiquette that can be utilised in a business context.

Please click here for more information.
Career Development

“We do not point out a direction for you. We simply light up the way for you so that you can see for yourself.”