Exciting times are here and ahead!

David Smith is Toronto’s Top Executive Recruiter

Matt Litzinger

David operates with an unmatched combination of both candour and integrity. I have come to rely on his council, his candidates and his friendship.

Matt Litzinger

Founder, Local Collective

Helen Pak

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.

Helen Pak

SVP Creative - Marketing, Design & Content, The Walt Disney Company

Brent Choi

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.

Brent Choi

Founder, Angry Butterfly

Susan Sanderson

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.

Susan Sanderson-Briggs

Vice-President, Brand, Party City

Stuart Payne

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.

Stuart Payne

President / CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Canada

Nancy Crimi

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.

Nancy Crimi

Chief Creative Officer, FCB

Ian MacKellar

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.

Ian MacKellar

Chief Creative Officer, Innocean

Sean Ganann

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.

Sean Ganann

Creative Director, Cossette

Jordan Doucette

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.

Jordan Doucette

Chief Creative Officer, Dentsu

Bruce MacLellan

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.

Bruce MacLellan

Chairman, Proof

Why David

Added Value

David spends half of his time career counselling.


David lives in a world of secrets.


David has 25+ years in the communications and marketing world.


David knows the agency world inside and out.


David meets just about everyone in person so he can truly understand what they want to do.


David has placed more Creative Directors than anyone else in the Canadian Recruiting industry.

Well Respected

Agency leaders return David’s calls in hours.

Toronto’s Top Executive Recruiter – Executive, PR, Advertising and Marketing

Executive recruiter, dream-maker, headhunter, match-maker, talent broker, career counsellor, dealmaker, talent scout, confidant, insider, lifesaver, friend…

Those are some of the words used by the folks in Canada’s marketing and advertising industry to describe what David Smith does. As impressive a list as it is, it pales in comparison to the one describing his attributes. Brilliant, insightful, trusted, knowledgeable, and savvy, to name a few. That’s because for almost 20 years, David has been one of the best – if not the best – recruiters of talent for Canada’s marketing and advertising industry. Whether the need is for a creative executive, a PR executive, or a new agency president, David is the one to whom the top firms turn.

David is recognized as Toronto’s best executive recruiter by all, from clients to candidates and trade magazines to post-secondary educational institutions. And the proof is in the placements. Over the last 24 months, David has successfully completed more searches for Agency Presidents, General Managers, Chief Creative Officers, Executive Creative Directors and Creative Directors than anyone in Toronto.

David’s productivity is a result of his commitment to always deliver above and beyond. He offers his clients a rare insider’s view – and the insights that go along with it. Those insights were hard earned, resulting from years as an industry leader, headhunter, and agency confidant, and from some 10,000 face-to-face meetings with some 10,000 candidates. Those who work with David quickly come to appreciate the unique place he holds in the industry. Few, if any, can match his ability to find just the right fit: the perfect talent for a given position or the perfect position for a given talent.


David Smith in 140 words or less

David is one of the top – if not the top – executive recruiters for Canada’s Advertising and PR industry. Exceptionally well-credentialed, David started his career on the client side at P&G. He was recruited (appropriately enough) to join a WPP agency. A second WPP agency, one retail agency, and one marketing services agency later, David had worked on some the country’s top brands (Mars, Labatt’s, Ford) and participated in the aquisition of 18 companies across three continents – and even seen one go public on the TSX. Often sought out for his professional counsel by agency leadership, industry publications and institutions such as Marketing Magazine and the Miami Ad School in Toronto, David is simply one of the most knowledgeable and well-respected voices in the Canadian advertising industry.


Get David Smith working for you today.

Call 416-500-4380 or fill out the form at the top right of the page.

Executive Search Practice Areas

The search for a key hire starts long before calls are made to potential candidates. It starts with strategic consultation; in understanding the public and private needs the role requires; in recognizing the nuance that comes with filling a key senior position; in adeptly putting the role into the context of the operational needs and realities of the marketplace. As part of his briefing and discovery process, David ensures the search begins from the right start line. In applying his expertise, David focuses on four key practice areas:


  1. Agency Leadership – Over the years, David has become a prized confidant and resource for many in agency management helping them find just the right talent (President, Chief Creative Officer, CEO, Chief Operating Officer, etc.) to take their organization to the next level. David works with agencies of all sizes, from boutique to large scale integrated shops.
  2. Creative – Creative positions are a specialty of David’s. There are few top-notch creative people, whether Art Directors, Copywriters, or Designers (from junior to seasoned veteran), who have not had the benefit of David’s expertise. And the agencies in which they ply their craft are better off for it.
  3. Public Relations Agencies – As the field of Public Relations has changed in recent years in response to the effect technology has had on journalism, David has played a leading role in searches for Practice Leaders, Vice-Presidents, Account Directors, Account Managers, Consultants, Account Executives and Account Coordinators. David works with a range of small, medium, and large PR firms.
  4. Client Side – Harkening back to his days at P&G, David works with a wide variety of marketers to fill roles such in Corporate Communications, External Relations, Government Relations, Internal Communications, Investor Relations, Media Relations and Public Relations.
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