Ryan Young has been in the recruiting business since before he graduated from the University of South Carolina, and even before that, working for his father in high school, giving him some 20 years of experience. “This is all I do,” he says. Two years ago, Ryan founded James Grey International, an executive search firm specific to the life sciences, serving as its president. The company motto, “Deliberate Search, Exceptional Talent,” says everything about Ryan’s dedication to finding the right person for the right role. And his dedication has paid off, with James Grey growing exponentially over the past two years. He credits this, in part, to discovering and engaging the right clients, his unique ability to develop long-term partnerships and to carrying on the relationships his father made in his own business.
As business continues to increase with the abatement of the pandemic, Ryan expects to rev-up internal hiring by the end of the year while keeping a tight-knit company culture with personalized attention. “The future is very bright! Although we’re growing, we hope to keep the company small enough to maintain a personal touch,” he says.
Before founding James Grey, Ryan honed his expertise through various roles in recruiting with his first job out of college working for his father, who owned an executive search firm dedicated to the life sciences for more than 35 years. It was from his father that Ryan learned everything about recruiting and business. Over the years, he has worked in different facets of recruiting, from fast-paced contingency staffing to high-level retained search. These experiences have developed him into one of the most well-rounded recruiting professionals as he fully understands the business from all sides.
Ryan and his father had intentions of working together again, so Ryan could eventually take lead and carry on the family business, but before they could formalize a transition, his father passed away suddenly in 2019. As a result, Ryan started his own company, naming it for his dad and honoring his legacy by continuing to focus on executive search in the life sciences. As a second-generation search firm, Ryan’s business is rooted in family, which is why he also honors his daughter, Emma, with “Grey” being her middle name.
“Not everyone can say they are a second-generation search firm,” Ryan says. “I learned this business from my dad, who passed along all of his knowledge. I’ve known this business my whole life…it’s my true passion.” Ryan takes immense pride in every search, engagement, and relationship. And it’s not about the money; it’s about creating relationships, which build a solid foundation for his business. He is dedicated to exploring every option to find a match between a candidate and an opportunity. “It’s the genuine care and personal touch in every engagement and contact that makes the difference. As each relationship, partnership, and client grows, in turn, our company grows.”
Founder & President — James Grey International