manchester-airportChallenge Head of Eengineering

Following private equity investment a new Head of Engineering was sought by a leading Airports Group.

The challenge was to find not only a technical expert but also a highly inspirational leader to bring about organisational and cultural change within a large, demotivated and unionised engineering team. It was a high profile role, critical to both the success of the business and the professional credibility of the senior management team.

Time was running out, the brief had already been given to a number of search firms who due to role complexity and geographic location had failed to deliver and investor patience was wearing thin.


Due to the confidentiality and complexity of the role we recommended that the most reliable method of identifying and engaging with the candidates was to complete a headhunt into a number of specifically targeted organisations.

Starting at the beginning, we challenged the brief, gaining a detailed understanding of what was really required. We  sort and gained approval to look both inside and outside of the incestuous and rather narrow aviation industry.

Our consultant initiated a market mapping exercise and identified a list of potential candidates. They then made an informed and confidential candidate approach. We spread the net wide to ensure a broad and comprehensive qualified shortlist was delivered. This restored the client’s faith that there was actually a choice of high calibre, relevant and interested candidates and that they wouldn’t have to compromise.

48 candidates were identified and spoken with, 12 invited to attend first stage interview with LORD, 6 shortlisted to meet the client.

In addition Lord persuaded the client to review their rather traditional and slightly adversarial interview process. They needed to recognise that they had to sell the company as well as buy and that the result would delight them.


The client kindly followed our interview process recommendations and interviewed 6 candidates then shortlisted 3 for final interview. We met with the client again to discuss the merits of each candidate, assisting in the decision making process, making recommendations on offer and remuneration package before putting it compellingly to the successful candidate. In the end they felt spoilt for choice.


A robust and efficient recruitment process, conducted at pace due to significant time pressures resulting in a delighted client and candidate.