Testimonials for a Leading Executive Recruiter
David Smith has been one of the top executive search recruiters of talent for Canada’s marketing and advertising industry for over 20 years. During this time David has become a trusted advisor and confidante for clients and senior marketing executives alike. His key insights, industry knowledge and keen ability to stay up-to-date on the latest intelligence has helped make David an integral part of his clients’ strategic planning.
David was able to do for us in two weeks what we had been trying to do for two years – find an amazing talent that would be the perfect fit for us. He brought an incredible range of interested candidates to the table that were beyond our wildest dreams. David listened to what we were looking for and then found us someone that surpassed our expectations.
David has been my go-to guy for my entire career. In have always trusted him to find and recommend only the best opportunities- both in terms of the calibre of the position and its suitability to my style and personality. In addition to this, he also brings a deep understanding of the industry – a trait that really makes difficult decisions feel that much easier.
David isn’t a headhunter…he is an industry encyclopedia, strategic thinker, mentor, guidance counsellor, ass-kicker and overall, amazing guy. If you’re putting your career in anyones hands, these are the hands.
In my various encounters with David, I have found him to be insightful, astute, and perhaps most important, discreet. He has impeccable professional integrity, something of rare value in today’s world!
While I’ve never had the pleasure of being placed by David, I have had the opportunity to work closely with him on a number of opportunities. His dedication to finding the right fit for both the employer and the prospective employer is obvious and he has provided a wealth of valuable career advice for me. His connections within the industry are legendary as is his reputation for decorum and confidentiality
David is a life long mentor and all around fantastic guy. His depth of knowledge and experience is only matched by his sage wisdom and insight. While he lacks the fundamental skills to win most football bets, he’s always willing to lend an ear and give you his honest perspective and advice on the things that really matter.
It was a pleasure working with David. He was very professional and efficient. I hope to work with him again.
David is relentless in his pursuit of excellent results. He is a creative problem solver. A consummate professional, David is always looking for opportunities to bring people together, connecting them to accomplish tasks and meet their mutual goals. I’ve turned to David for assistance many times and he’s always responded – quickly and with helpful answers.
I called David for some career advice over ten years ago. We met over coffee and I was immediately appreciative of his honesty and good counsel. His only concern was what was right for me. Since that meeting, Dave has continued to be a trusted ally in this business, and I count him as a valued associate and a great friend.
David has provided our firm with excellent recruiting skills and results. On a personal level, he has assisted my entry into the advertising world with sage advice and counsel. I highly recommend David’s knowledge of our industry, the results he brings and his professionalism in how he transacts his business.
David is good to work with when opportunities work out and when they don’t. When I came back to Toronto, David represented me with an Agency. I ended up taking an opportunity with an Agency that David was not working with. Some recruiters might have been hard to work with afterwards. Not David – he kept in contact and was continued to be a valuable resource in my career development.
David is the consummate professional when it comes to recruiting great talent! He has clearly defined his playing field, and spends the required time and effort necessary to truly know the players. David’s value equation integrates depth of knowledge, with a personality that is professional, high energy and fixated on an outcome that drives value back to the business.
David has been one of the best sounding boards/advisor/one-man steering committee I could have asked for. For years he has helped me with not only guiding my career and challenging me to think differently about running a creative dept., but his knowledge and depth of our industry has helped guide my department to some wonderful success.
If you’re looking for a better understanding of the big picture and where you and your career fit into it, David’s one of the best in the business. He listens, he advises and – this is the best part – he takes genuine pleasure in watching the people around him succeed.
Dave has been an important resource in both my lives in this business. First, as a creative professional trying to find the best opportunities for professional growth, and now, and more importantly as the founder of a creative company trying to be the best in the world.
David always has an wealth of knowledge to share, not just regarding the talent he brings forward but about the business in general. He is great at assessing talent and helping find the right people for the right fit. He is candid, honest and always operates with great integrity. David also happens to be one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure to work with in my career.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dave at key moments in my working life when I was looking for new opportunities to further my career. Anytime I have worked with David, he was successful in finding the right fit and getting the deals done. Dave’s become a friend and a strong resource helping me manage my career.
David proved to be an invaluable partner in helping me recruit top creative talent to my department. His counsel touched on virtually all HR aspects of running a creative department. The right staffing,compensation, retention and structure. His in-depth knowledge and experience make him a must have resource in today’s competitive marketplace.
David is someone who “gets it”. With a great combination of strategic insight, industry knowledge and practical know-how, David is superb at bringing the right people and resources together to build great campaigns!! I would work with him again in a heartbeat!
Dave is a professional of high integrity. A dependable colleague who is always current on business & strategy, he gives sage counsel. When he speaks, it’s wise to listen!
When the time came to leave my first entrepreneurial venture, David Smith was one of the few people who reached out to me instantly, made time to listen to my hopes and future dreams and fears and offered to help. I have lots of time for David Smith.
David knows everybody!
For me, Dave was always one of my go-to contacts for job opportunities. He had a broad network, was discreet, and impartial (not always the case with recruiters, in my experience). He was smart enough to understand how important fit is for both parties, and was more interested in achieving that than burning a bridge.
I have worked with David on a few occasions throughout my career. David has always proved to be thorough, tenacious, and knowledgeable about any project he is engaged in. He is always committed to 100% satisfaction with any process from the beginning to end. David is a professional in every sense of the word.
David is a pro. He negotiated the best freelance contract I’ve ever had that set me up to be well protected in case of downsizing. A brilliant touch in today’s economy.
Throughout my career – and especially at those milestone moments early on when certain decisions had a large impact on my career – David has been a font a excellent advice and support. Aside from being one of the most connected people in the Ad business, he knows the business and can help one make the most of their career in it.
On more than one occasion David has saved my butt, big time. Not only was he the go-to recruiter when the agency needed to find top-notch talent in a hurry, he has also opened up several doors for me personally. He overdelivers, every single time. I can’t recommend him more highly.
David is a valuable resource that delivers on many levels and many varied briefs. Always understands what I am looking for.
David is one of the most connected recruiters I have had the pleasure of working with. His knowledge of the industry is great and he has the creativity to put something in front you that you weren’t expecting. Connected, Smart and Creative. I’m pretty sure that’s the recruiter trifecta.
David has a finely tuned radar that can detect a candidate’s style, passion and capabilities. He inspires confidence and a sense of security – with David, you know everything is going to work out right. If someone is looking for a partner who has great people skills, great organizational skills, and a sense of quiet confidence, David is your man.
David is one of those rare individuals that approaches recruitment with the long view in mind. Sage and wise, he is one of my most trusted career advisors. I would not make a significant career decision without picking up the phone to speak to him.
If anyone asked me to name the best recruiter in town, my reply would immediately be David. Absolutely no hesitation. He’s considerate, partners with all the top players, and perhaps what I’ve found most important, he’s loyal.
Forget Bo, David Knows.
I have sought David’s assistance on everything from helping me find talent to counselling on my own career. In every case, David was resourceful, responsive and informed. He is a fountain of knowledge, extremely well-connected and, overall, a fantastic guy to deal with. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with David again.
While I was CEO of Dentsu, David helped us to recruit our creative talent. His work was thorough, well-organized and was delivered in a timely manner. He conducted himself in a very professional manner and backed up his recommendations.
David is a valued resource, knows the advertising industry and is an advocate of great work and great creative talent.
David’s innate sense of building successful businesses based on solid relationships is impressive but even more so is the fact that he gives before he ever asks. My only regret is we didn’t meet sooner in my career.
I had the pleasure of working along side David – he has a great calming presence even in the fireworks of a pressure packed project. David is ingenious, clever and passionate about the projects he is involved in. David has a full knowledge of all aspects of advertising production – from the script all the way through to the mechanics of broadcast trafficking.
I’ve known David for 8 years. In this time he has been a knowledgeable and supportive resource, a career guide, and an empathetic ear. He brings a wealth of knowledge and a seasoned expertise to his profession that keeps him tuned in to people and the changing landscape.
Any recruiter can gather knowledge for the business, but David stands out as a relationship builder. He’s the guy who takes the trouble to get to know you, the guy who understands the creative people in this creative business.
Always adding value. I have known David for many years and what impresses me the most is his ability to add value to every subject, conversation or interaction. He is deeply thoughtful, creative and disciplined. He takes the trouble to think about your needs and consistently add value to your business. David is, always adding value!
David is a natural leader, driven to succeed and inspires loyalty with his co-workers and friends. He is a guy I will go through a wall for, as I did a couple times as we played hockey together in the late 1990’s. David would be an asset to any company that he choose to work with.
Dave is an industry leader who has extensive knowledge and relationships across multiple industries and functions. He’s an inspirational leader that solicits the best from people. His ability to provide insights and solutions into business problems, big or small, is second to none. Most of all, I have always found his integrity to be of the highest caliber and I wouldn’t hesitate to work with Dave again in any capacity.
Dave is one of the hardest working individuals I know. He’s without a doubt the most dedicated partner and associate you could ask for. We’ve worked together on and off for 15 years and I’ve enjoyed every moment…I give a thumbs up to anyone who requires his skills or tutelage.
I’ve enlisted David’s help over the years and always found him knowledgeable, practical and honest, with regards to his advice and actions. While his outlook is uniformly optimistic, his enthusiasm never confuses, distorts, or clouds realities.
David’s knowledge and wisdom has always provided excellent counsel when developing human capital strategy. Smart, experienced and determined. David should be considered a valuable trusted advisor by anyone who seeks to improve their organizations competitive position.
David is as good as they get. Personable, knowledgeable and intelligent. He ensures that all works out well for all involved parties. He truly cares about his profession and is a master at it.
David, on more than one occasion, has proven his worth to my company in finding me excellent creative talent. His approach to landing me people who both deliver great work and contribute to our agency culture is an interesting mix: hard work, creative thinking, a deep knowledge of the industry and, above all, integrity. Hire him. The experience and results will not disappoint.
David worked with us closely to help us find the right candidates as we built our team at Expedia.ca. He understood that there is a delicate balance between subject matter expertise, aptitude and fit and always tried to take this into account when introducing solutions. I worked with David on subsequent engagements and he was always dependable and a pleasure to work with.
David’s gifts are his huge heart and long memory. You know David is always in your corner and looking after you as a friend first. Remarkably focused – and always comes through with far more than imagined.
David has done an excellent job for us in recruiting a number of people who continue to grow with our company.
Quite simply, from a creative’s perspective, Dave stands out from anyone else in the recruitment space in Canada. He combines sage guidance with an intuitive ability to make the right connections.
When I first got into the business I reported to Dave and learned the principles of advertising. Over the years, Dave continued to provide valued coaching and insight. His knowledge of the advertising industry is only second to his passion for inspiring others to be their best.
David Smith is yes, a recruiter/head hunter, but really he is a business consultant both when you have hired him and as a friend and colleague who generously shares his time, knowledge and expertise. Uniquely, he is comfortable both with traditional advertising media, while also deeply engaged with the newer social media platforms.
David is one of the most disciplined practitioners of his craft that I have ever come across. As a client or as a confidant you have to appreciate his forthrightness, perspective and objectivity. He is someone who knows how to get things done.
David is great guy who just gets things done. I can always count on Dave to help and give good advice. Dave has also been instrumental at setting Innocean up with industry leading service on all fronts. He is a reliable business partner and all around good guy.
David has been one of the best resources for great creative talent for many years. If you want to know the finest talent available, a conversation with him will quickly plug you in to the local talent pool.
David brings an experienced and savvy perspective to all our conversations. He has a vast wealth of knowledge about the marketing industry, the players, the issues and opportunities. On a consistent basis, Dave identifies talented people who help to make us a better business in serving clients with exceptional thinking and service.
David understands the marketing and marketing communications businesses as well as anyone. But, more than anything, he understands people and people are the most important part of the equation. When a friend asks me to refer them to a search consultant I immediately think of Dave because I know he will treat them right and deliver great results.
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing David for over 20 years and he has been instrumental in the trajectory of my career. David’s firm grasp of the needs and goings on in the advertising community make him an invaluable partner when resourcing talent or looking to make a transition.
David’s greatest strength as a recruiter is his ability to clearly see the advantages and disadvantages every opportunity offers and deliver these insights in an unbiased and intelligent fashion. This gives all parties the perspective to make informed and intelligent decisions based on facts.
No matter what level of creative talent you’re looking for, David will deliver the right fit. He takes the time to understand your needs and then gets the job done fast. He’s your go-to guy.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with David for many years. He’s a total pro who adds caring to the recruiting process. As I’ve charted my career, I’ve lost count of the times I relied on him for valuable career advice. Add his encyclopedic knowledge of this business and you have an invaluable resource in your corner.
Insightful, trusted, professional and an in-depth knowledge of the industry like no other. David is the go-to recruiter and has been for as long as I can remember. He cares about the details and is a pleasure to work with on both sides of being recruited or recruiting. Always there to provide intelligent, sage advice and excellent followup, David is both an incredible search consultant and a valued advisor.
Happiness and success in a career is based on “Fit”. And just like a master puzzle builder – I feel like David picked me out of a box and placed me exactly where I needed to go.
The key difference with Dave is that many headhunters see you as commission or a way to maintain agency contacts. He actually talks to you straight. Even when I would send people straight out of college to him, he would take the time to help them out. A nice ethical guy in advertising, good karma all around. If Jesus got into advertising, even with all his dad’s contacts, he would still talk to Dave.
After a long and exhaustive search, we still didn’t have the team we had envisioned. Enter David Smith and in a short time, we found the right fit and talent to build a strong foundation. The team has been humming along since. David is a true pro. He’s discreet, insightful, responsive and experienced. A veteran in the industry. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with him again.
David is the only headhunter who doesn’t make me feel like I need to shower after meeting with him.
David’s willingness to spend time getting to know the industry’s creatives is what truly sets him apart in my mind. He genuinely cares about the careers of the people he works with, and it shows. In addition to being extremely good at what he does, he also happens to be a great guy.
Dave and I go way back and he’s always been there to lend a hand, even when there’s nothing in it for him. That alone sets him apart in a sea of sharks, to say nothing of the fact that he’s connected like the Prince of Darkness – and considerably nicer.
I’ve known Dave personally and professionally for many years and in that time he’s proven to be an invaluable person to have on your side. His intimate knowledge of the people and players in the advertising industry is second to none and can always be counted on to share his insight without a second thought.
Dave does not treat you like a number. If you deserve it he will treat you like a friend and not just another “recruit”. As someone who is trying to find you talent, Dave’s deep knowledge and understanding of the business is second to none. But most importantly he is looking to find you the right fit and not just trying to fill a space.
No one in marketing recruitment is a plugged-in as David is. He knows who is going where, when, long before anyone else does. Dave wants to be the best, and he knows that means finding the best fit, whether for a creative person looking to make a change, or for an agency executive who wants to upgrade their department. David Smith understands the business, but most importantly, he understands people. And that’s what makes the difference.
David tells it like it is. It’s clear right away that he’s on your side and cares about finding the right fit for your career. Most important (and perhaps most surprising): he doesn’t try to sell you on anything. Speaking to David would be a smart move for anybody new to the industry.
David always takes a measured, unhurried approach to bring clarity to a search. He has my highest recommendation.
What separates David from all other recruiters is how ready he is with myriad solutions, sage counsel and his dogged determination to ‘get it done’. I also know of no one who is more loyal or more connected.
Dave’s tough in the corners and a pain-in-the-ass in front of the net. A great guy to have on your side – on and off the ice.
David is extremely well connected and has a long history working in marketing related industries. His network translates into unexpected and exciting opportunities. What I appreciated most was his emphasis on finding the right fit for all parties.
I’ve engaged David in sourcing talent and he’s proven his worth with intelligence, information and impartiality. He also possesses qualities I think make him a sage career advisor, and more than that, a valuable friend – honesty, perspective and wisdom. He’s as good as they get.
David is one of the good guys. He’s a straight shooter. Dave will lay out all your options and then let you make your decision. There’s no pressure with him and no hidden agenda. He’s a recruiter you can trust.
When opportunity knocks, it’s really David Smith.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with David Smith several times throughout my career. At every occasion, David brought integrity, enthusiasm, intelligence and insight to the table. I trust David and value him as someone I can always count on.
Whenever someone tells me they’re looking for a new opportunity, my first question is always, “Have you talked to David Smith?” Honest, insightful and connected barely begin to describe him. His number should be in every creative person’s contact list.
I know with confidence that there will always be a relevance and economy to any of our dealings. And that’s very much appreciated.
David understands the business like no other and is always current on the advertising landscape. A conversation with David always offers some great insights and wise counsel. David operates with great integrity, he is a true gentleman and one of the very best in the business.
David operates with an unmatched combination of both candour and integrity. I have come to rely on his council, his candidates and his friendship.
In an industry that relies on people, David is the only person I call when I’m hiring new creative talent, or if I’m exploring fresh opportunities personally. He remains extremely insightful and quite honestly I’m jealous of his knowledge and network.
The first time I met David, I trusted him instantly. He answered all my questions honestly and to the point. He’s an awesome person to work with and know.
Stellar is the word I’d use to sum up David’s skill set. He’s super smart, a consummate people-person, super motivated, and a great personal motivator. He sees outside the scope of his defined role and elevates everyone around him. It’s no wonder everyone always speaks so highly of him. I’m very fortunate to have met him as he has helped me with my career path many times!
David knows everything about this industry and the people in it. When I reached out to him, he put me right in front of the people I wanted to be in front of. From there, he offered continued support and was happy to answer every random question along the way to making a final decision. David is straightforward and honest. My advice to young creatives in Toronto: Meet David Smith.
[David] knows everyone’s job. By finding out who you are, what you are looking for, what kind of people you work best with… These and many more are the kinds of questions David asks himself – and you. To me, he is the very best. Whatever the situation, his goal is to ultimately place the most appropriate person for all parties involved. Because David is about people, not positions.
David is one of the smartest people in our industry. I’ve known David a long time and in his particular expertise, he stands tall in being ethical yet informative. I can trust David. And he’s helped me on several occasions in filling roles as well as giving me great advice along the way.
David introduced me to a sweaty dressing room of creative powerhouses almost 10 years ago. As an ad rookie, this was a networking dream come true. The great thing about David is that he doesn’t just find you the right job, he finds you the right fit, with the right people, for wherever you’re at in your life – personally and professionally.