Abbeyfield Society

place holder

Rockpools was retained to recruit a new Chief Executive for the Abbeyfield Society (UK charity providing service to older people).  One of the key challenges for the campaign was that a lack of a clarity and consensus around their brand and reputation, both inside and outside the organisation.  In order for the CEO recruitment to be a success – from an effective search through to the candidate assessment and final appointment – consensus around the future strategic and operational direction of the Society was critical. 

As a service provider operating in an ever-crowded marketplace where reputations are heavily scrutinised by commissioning funders, politicians and the public, it is essential that Abbeyfield promotes a strong brand message.  Critically, however, the strong branding must derive from the clear sense of direction and operational effectiveness that would be the responsibility of the new CEO and his/her top team.  So, what did Rockpools do?  Preparation and stakeholder engagement was key to ensuring we fully scoped the role and maximised transparency and buy-in from the start.  In advance of the search and selection Rockpools undertook:

  • Perception survey of internal and external stakeholders.  We canvassed opinions and perceptions from staff and service users, commissioners and other stakeholders which enabled us to right a comprehensive report on what they thought Abbeyfield was doing well, or not, what they thought the organisation should be doing and, thus, what the new CEO should ‘look like’.  The survey confirmed the conflicting ideas and, in some cases, dissatisfaction with the status quo.  This, in turn, allowed open and productive discussion of the key requirements for the CEO role and enabled us to focus the search parameters and core campaign messages effectively.
  • Salary review.  We undertook a complete review of all salaries, benchmarking them across their sector and relevant organisations in the market.  From this we were also able to advise on a realistic package for the CEO campaign and promote the role in the marketplace effectively.
  • Corporate workshops.  We undertook workshops for the senior management team, looking at top team development and identifying areas for improvement; a dedicated top team development day subsequently took place which Rockpools hosted and facilitated.  Again, this supported the development of a strong message for the recruitment process and clear objectives to be communicated to potential candidates.
  • Career outplacement and mentoring.  The review process resulted in some outplacement of staff.  It was critical that this process was managed sensitively and positively, both for to benefit the staff in question as they moved on, but also so that the remaining staff perceived Abbeyfield to be a good and caring employer; a critical brand message for any organisation.

Paul Allen was appointed as CEO and remains today.  He brought a strong, diverse management background from the NHS and commercial sectors; a perfect blend of experience to suit Abbeyfield’s activities and mission

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