Who We Are:

ThinkingAhead Executive Search is a boutique executive search firm with corporate headquarters in Nashville. ThinkingAhead is a subsidiary of the Southwestern family of companies, a staple in the Nashville business community for 150+ years, and repeatedly ranked by the Nashville Business Journal as the #1 search firm in Middle Tennessee and a Best in Business Honoree.
Unique in the marketplace, ThinkingAhead is an employee owned company with over 30 award winning consultants, widely recognized as Subject Matter Experts in their respective specialties. In 2020 alone, ThinkingAhead placed over 280 professionals with 160 clients and ranked in the top percentile nationwide of search firms.

How We Work:

Recruiting is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution at ThinkingAhead; every client, candidate, and opportunity is unique.  Our industry expertise enables us to ask the right questions and comprehend the answers, thus enabling us to deliver the desired results – quickly.  For more than 30 years, ThinkingAhead has been building the expertise and delivering the results that keep our clients engaged year after year.

 Our Process May Look Ordinary…

  • Understand the position, culture, necessary skills, and preferred experience
  • Discover individuals who meet the requirements
  • Interview prospects to qualify past performance, evaluate sincerity to make a change, and determine cultural compatibility
  • Present only the most qualified candidates

 But Our Results are Extraordinary

  • Candidates presented by ThinkingAhead are career healthy, stable employees; the average tenure at their prior employer is more than five years.
  • Our clients are able to hire the right person for every 4.5 candidates we present, which exceeds the industry average of 8 candidates presented to find the “right one”.
  • 95% of our candidates offered positions accept the offers, compared to the industry average of only 70%.

Why ThinkingAhead? 

Ours is a quest for significance, not just success. Daily, we create a lasting difference in the lives of people and companies. Our mission is to be recognized as the executive search leader in our chosen specialties by delivering outstanding results to clients and candidates every day.

For more information, or to submit your resume, contact Corporate Recruiter Kristy Proudfoot-Ross, SPHR, CPC at
* remote and flexible work arrangements available
ThinkingAhead Executive Search is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a work environment that supports, inspires and respects all individuals. Personnel processes are merit-based and applied without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, age, disability, national or ethnic ancestry, military service status, citizenship, or other protected characteristic. This applies to every aspect of employment including hiring, training, advancement and termination. The firm is committed to creating a just culture of diversity, equity and inclusion by practicing, within the company and the marketplace we serve, intentional strategies that serve marginalized individuals and groups.