Safety & Defence Executive Search Recruitment

We are experienced and internationally recognised for our work with manufacturers and suppliers of PPE for security & military operational personnel.


The UK's safety and defence sector is one of the largest in the world, with the country playing a key role on the global stage. In 2020, only the USA won more international defence contracts than the UK, and government figures value the sector at £8-10 billion in exports alone.

Europe, the Middle East. Australia, and North America are all key markets for defence and security contracts. In this high-value and high-competition sector, Spencer Riley's talent search specialists work to identify and secure top talent for our clients all over the world.

The Safety & Defence Executive Search specialists at Spencer Riley operate across all safety and defence verticals, we are particularly experienced and internationally recognised for our work with manufacturers and suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for security & military operational personnel.

Thanks to Spencer Riley's global network, we have reach on every continent and a good understanding of local trends and talent pools. We can search for the best candidates in countries the world over, to shortlist the skills and experience our clients need in order to excel.

Securing Skills in a Challenging Climate

Spencer Riley's talent search specialists appreciate the challenges of securing the ideal skill set in such a large and dynamic global sector. We pride ourselves on our ability to find the right person for the job, no matter how competitive the current climate.

We do this by maintaining open communications with our candidate base, so that we know who is actively looking for work and who could be attracted with the right remuneration package and other rewards.

Once a search is underway, we continue tirelessly until we have compiled a suitable shortlist that offers real value to your organisation. In addition to the background checks mentioned above, we can hold first-round interviews with all qualified candidates, to further reduce the administrative burden placed on your own hiring managers.

We will only put forward candidates that we truly believe are capable of excelling in the role. From C-suite executive positions, to managing directors and senior sales execs, we are here to help you secure the safety & defence personnel you need to prosper and to take full advantage of emerging opportunities in the ever-changing global landscape.

Find the ideal candidate

Doing More with Less

Our executive search specialists appreciate that the nature of security & defence jobs means that time is of the essence. When a role becomes vacant, you need the right individual to fill it as quickly as possible, without compromising on the calibre of candidates.

That's why Spencer Riley's teams work with drive and passion to reach out across our candidate network and find applicants who are ready to make the move immediately, so there are no unnecessary delays in restoring your organisation's manpower to full strength.

In doing so, we accelerate your overall time to hire, again freeing up more of your administrative capacity to focus on other tasks, and keeping your recruitment costs to a minimum by achieving rapid turnaround in each and every hiring process.

No matter whether you are looking to fill one senior-level security vacancy, or you have a continuing need for fresh talent at the highest levels of your hierarchy, we will work diligently and provide our best standard of personal service in every case.

Specialist Roles

Finding the Right Candidate for Security & Defence Roles

The security sector has some unique challenges and requirements, which again are especially pronounced at the highest levels of seniority.

Spencer Riley's global candidate database gives you unparalleled access to individuals with direct experience of working in defence and in the security services, and who can offer you the characteristics you need to fulfil the role:

  • Proven leadership capabilities over many years
  • Tenacity and ambition to achieve the highest standards
  • First-person experience of working on defence contracts

  • Understanding of market dynamics affecting safety & defence
  • Flexible, adaptable and enthusiastic to overcome challenges

Where required, we can comprehensively background check candidates, both vetting them to determine their suitability for the role, and ensuring that they have the correct security clearances for top-level defence roles.

As a standard part of our hiring process, this rigorous candidate vetting means our clients do not need to spend time qualifying applicants. You receive a shortlist of pre-qualified interviewees, any one of whom holds all the necessary credentials for the relevant role.

Our Approach

We take the time to listen to you and understand your business, the key drivers behind the hire and the importance in relation to your objectives

We will devote time to understand your business goals and role requirements and then develop a search solution that meets your specific needs

We will demonstrate unwavering tenacity, speaking pro-actively and confidentially with every individual with the right experience, in order to be certain we have secured the best person open to your opportunity

Safety & Defence

Further information on our recruiting process

RPO: Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Spencer Riley RPO is our Recruitment Process Outsourcing service, for security and defence organisations with ongoing hiring demand. As a long-term recruitment partner, we are able to integrate with your organisation and provide our closest consultation at all times.

We set milestones and KPIs, and periodically review our performance to ensure you know how well we are doing on your behalf. You gain the benefit of continuing access to the considerable expertise of our recruitment search specialists.

Although we will always work hard to understand exactly what our clients are looking for, Spencer Riley RPO allows us to go even deeper and establish a relationship based on long-term experience of your personnel and hiring demands.

Why Work with Spencer Riley?

Our proven track record of hiring for senior defence roles makes us the trusted partner you need. Spencer Riley's recruitment experts appreciate the challenges of the security sector and the calibre of candidates you need to fill various top-level positions.

We always offer a bespoke recruitment service for defence contractors, with fully vetted and pre-qualified candidates, so you can put your full confidence in our recommendations no matter the seniority and security level of the role.

You benefit from faster, more cost-effective recruitment, with less administrative burden placed on your hiring managers. We can even take the lead on remuneration negotiations using our unparalleled experience of current salaries, skills and benefits.

Still have questions?

Get in touch with us.

How we can help

Get Spencer Riley on Your Side

Get in Touch

To find out more or to make an enquiry about hiring for defence vacancies, please contact Spencer Riley today and one of our security recruitment specialists will be happy to talk you through your options for a single role or an ongoing RPO arrangement.

Safety & Defence

Our team

Meet our specialists in Safety & Defence.

Scott Ellam
Managing Director

Scott began Spencer Riley in 2014 after establishing himself as a leading consultant having completed a significant number of board level placements and assisting clients with acquisitions.


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Spencer Riley’s industry team of highly dedicated, specialist consultants’ pride themselves on gaining a full understanding of our client’s business,

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Bespoke Services

As well as the core sectors to which we recruit Spencer Riley has a proven track record for helping businesses in a wide variety sectors and getting the results required.

Our meticulous and pro-active approach means we are ideally placed to take on assignments in markets that sit outside of our core business areas. We are also well placed to help with a host of Private Equity Services, Outplacement Services as well with Mergers & Acquisitions

For more information and to discuss your unique situation then please get in touch.

Contact us today

Spencer Riley’s team of highly dedicated, specialist consultants’ pride themselves on gaining a full understanding of our client’s business,

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