heather thomas

Pearson Partners Profile

As featured in our Q3 2013 Searchlight newsletter
What was your first job, and what was it like?

My first job was cleaning homes for my father’s custom home building business at the age of 8 in Houston, Texas. I’ve always been an overachiever and tenacious. I convinced my father to hire me rather than a cleaning service to clean his spec homes. While I was no “Merry Maids,” I learned at a very young age the importance of hard work and having an entrepreneurial spirit.

How and when did you get started in the executive search business?

I started my career in management consulting at Carreker Corporation (now Fiserv), a Dallas boutique consulting firm that specialized in process improvement and change management for the banking industry. From there I held several business development management roles for financial services companies such as Citibank, American Express and US Bank. Later I was a regional vice president for eight years in interim executive staffing with Robert Half Management Resources. This was a great stepping stone to executive search because in filling interim roles, I was consulting with my clients to solve mainly short-term but specific organizational issues. This experience gave me a great foundation for retained executive search, and I joined Pearson Partners in September 2013.

Why did you feel this was the right field for you? What do you love about your job?

I enjoy understanding how businesses run their operations and playing an integral role in building out their leadership teams. I’ve built incredible relationships with my clients and candidates, both professionally and personally, and truly want the best for both parties. It gives me great pride to be considered an expert in my space by connecting the right people with the right companies, where both parties benefit from the relationship. I love that my clients know they’ve found the best fit for their company, and my placements get to do something they love while contributing to the success of the company.

What are some highlights of your career so far? Tell us about your best days or proudest moments?

Some of the proudest moments in my career have been the honors and awards I’ve received at Robert Half for being recognized as a top producer in the worldwide organization. But most importantly, it’s the little things that have had a greater impact on my life, such as a simple thank you from my clients, and building teams that love working for them. I take pride in positively impacting my clients’ and candidates’ lives by guiding and assisting them in their executive searches.

What drew you to Pearson Partners?

I was really impressed by Pearson’s leadership team as well as the firm’s values and market reputation. Pearson Partners is a boutique firm that has deep knowledge and proven industry and functional experience, hands-on partner execution, access to top talent without many of the off-limits restrictions of large search firms and comprehensive assessment and talent development. That unique mixture of qualities helped me know this is the right firm for me.

What is your philosophy or approach when it comes to client relationships?

I cultivate relationships where I have my clients’ needs and interests at heart and see through their eyes. I strive to keep my clients abreast of industry trends and things that may be of interest to them either personally or professionally. My clients can count on me to always deliver results with high integrity and honesty.

What do you like to do outside of the office? Hobbies or passions?

I am passionate about my family and friends, as they have shown me what is beautiful in life. I have strong compassion for others and enjoy doing community service, which has helped me appreciate the beauty and blessings that I experience daily. I have an adventuresome lifestyle, and I enjoy traveling and exploring, expanding my perspective and appreciation for other cultures. I love outdoor sports like tennis, hiking and repelling, and I enjoy the solitude of Bikram yoga. Being active and healthy is part of my life.

What motto do you live by?

William Shakespeare wrote “Good counselors lack no clients.” When I am delivering my very best to my clients, that is when I feel successful. I believe that character is more important than intelligence for success.

If you had to make a career change tomorrow, what job would you choose and why?

I would be a therapist. I enjoy diagnosing a problem, coming up with a treatment, and then continually following up with supportive therapy. In many ways, it’s very similar to what I do in executive search every day.