Chief Executive – Skills and Training


To support a not-for-profit and public sector organisation through a period of transformation and change

Our Client was an employer-led membership organisation, licensed by Government and working under the guidance of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. Its remit is to support some of the largest and most significant companies in the UK to attract new talent, develop their workforce and assure a high level of competence throughout their businesses.

The organisation was facing a number of issues:

  • Decrease in public sector funding
  • Increasing competition
  • CEO had been poached to join a larger organisation.

Whilst the Board acknowledged that this provided certain opportunities to refocus, increase efficiency and efficacy. They were also aware that in the short-term they would face significantly higher risk.

Following the departure of the Chief Executive, it was recognised that a very specific set of leadership skills would be required in order to lead the organisation through a period of significant transformation.

It was clear from our initial meeting that it would be essential that Lord generate a broad list of candidates sourced from a wide variety of industries and commercial sectors. So that they gained a real appreciation of the breadth of talent available to them and to allay their genuine fears that any final short-list would only consist of “the usual public sector suspects” which they had experienced previously with a specialist sector recruit


We started by getting under the skin of our clients  vision for their organisation, gaining a detailed understanding of their aims, objectives and what they anticipated the successful candidate would achieve in post.  It was important that Lord got to know the role in detail, what were the preferred skills, experience, fit and potential that the candidates would need to demonstrate at interview in order to convince the board that the appointment would be successful long term?

We also agreed how this role would be sold to credible non-public sector candidates who might not have initially considered it to be their next logical career move.

Having initiated a nation-wide market mapping exercise, we identified a long list of potential candidates and made our informed and confidential approach, spreading the net wide to ensure that we delivered a broad and comprehensive shortlist of high calibre, relevant and motivated candidates.

Of the 52 candidates identified and spoken to, 8 were invited to attend first stage interview, with 6 being further shortlisted to meet with the client


Our client’s board interviewed 6 candidates and shortlisted 2 for an extra final interview to help them separate two excellent candidates.

We met with our client specifically to discuss the merits of each candidate, with the client finally selecting the candidate with more experience of leading membership-organisations, before making our recommendations on offer/remuneration package and then putting this compellingly to the preferred candidate and gaining their acceptance.


By sourcing talent from a broad cross section of Public and Private sector organisations we were able to offer the client a list of candidates who would not usually responded to a recruitment advertisement for a public sector organisation.

Immediately following the successful appointment, the Chair commented that “our candidate excelled amongst an impressive field of very talented candidates. His extensive experience within government and the skills arena makes him the perfect candidate to lead us into the future.”

We have since successfully recruited a COO, Strategy Director, and Finance Director to support our client’s ongoing development. Each brief has specified that candidates should also be sourced from relevant industries outside of the public sector to ensure that the short-lists represent the best talent available.

Since appointing a new Chief Executive our client has grown income year-on-year, reduced public sector funding by 33%, grown commercial revenue by at least 20% per annum, increased head-count by more than 30%. It is now widely recognised as one of the most effective bodies in its field. Moving from a reactive organisation to one which operates as a genuine consultancy.