About Compass
Founded 2010
Joined herd 2024

Compass provides specialist recruitment services into the Social Care, Private Healthcare, Healthcare Executive, Drug Development and Medical Communications markets

Compass are proud to have been recognised at some of the most highly respected industry awards for their ability to deliver, time and again. With more than 400 years’ recruitment experience in the health, care, education and life sciences sectors, as well as making more than 8,000 permanent appointments in the last decade, the Compass brands have formed an outstanding reputation, culminating in the recognition at numerous industry awards as winners of Recruiter of the Year. The success as a business stems directly from the people, and the passion they have for providing a first-class process.

Sam's Story

Sam founded Compass back in 2010 with his friends and co-founders Mike and Chris. Their aim was to establish a disruptive recruitment and search organisation that would be a friend to the independent health and care sector and add real value to organisations as they grew.

Founder & CEO @ Compass

Sam Leighton-Smith

I have always wanted to partner with PE as the independent sector we work in is heavily financed in by the investment community. I have witnessed first hand the positive impact and value that private equity has contributed to vulnerable individuals within our communities, the advances it has made to medicines which preserve and enhance life and now the tech their portfolio businesses are developing to prevent healthcare complications for individuals in the future. Our vision at CRS is to be the most knowledgeable consultancy that our client partners have dealt with within the recruitment space and this will continue to be our obsession as we look to now grow both organically and inorganically (M&A) with Cow Corner as our investment partner.


My personal background is fairly uncomplicated for a recruitment consultant. Portsmouth born and bred I had a paper round, did car washing in the summer and worked in McDonalds in between studies and travelling. I got a job as a recruitment consultant at my previous company in 2008 when family circumstances changed. I immediately loved recruitment for its entrepreneurial nature, the fact it doesn’t matter if you have a doctorate or an NVQ and that you can have a profound impact on organisations by contributing towards the way in which they assemble their management teams and hire their staff. It is extremely rewarding as well to place people who move jobs to progress their careers. You meet some terrific people, both as colleagues and as clients and you have an uncapped ceiling in terms of what aspiration you set your company to achieve. It is quite simply the ultimate people business.


My co-founders and I decided after 14 years that we would look for investment to facilitate the aspirations of an ambitious team that had been with us for many years and one that was ready to grow not just organically but through acquisition as well. Cow fit the bill perfectly and their approach is akin to recruitment philosophies. They have high standards and expectations, are supportive, aim high and provide good counsel. We are excited for our next chapter as we bring new businesses into our house of brands and look to grow into new geographies as well.