Hiring HR

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Arvato Services – Head of HR

Our client was a global outsourcing company headquartered in Germany and with multiple businesses across many sites in the UK serving clients in the public and private sectors.  The HR role is a particularly challenging one in that the businesses within Arvato are very entrepreneurial and are not accustomed to much standardisation.  Our search was amongst a range of outsourcing organisations to find HR professionals who had strong technical skills in management development, post merger integration and HR due diligence and TUPE transfer, and has soft skills in being able to work through influence as much as through formal power.  We shortlisted six, seen by a number of stakeholders in the business in the UK, and also required the preferred candidate to go to meet the global Head of HR based in Germany.  The successful hire was made from a global technology company and possessed all the qualities required.

BP – UK Head of Graduate Recruitment

Our client was one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, and the graduate recruitment role for the UK (the headquarters of the global business) is key to harnessing diverse talent to help grow the business in the future.  The graduate recruitment community are a well networked professional group so attracting people who were not necessarily known to the client (thus adding value) was seen as a challenge by us, as was the need to bring someone in who could combine strong process management skills with a flair for employer brand marketing, and an ability to be credible at a strategic level with senior line managers.  A further difficulty was that this hiring process was done at the time when BP was dealing with the US oil slick so had significant reputational issues to respond to.  Our candidate pool was small and represented people from other large scale recruitment-focused organisations in sectors such as banking, the public sector and pharmaceuticals.  And the candidate who was successful came from a Big Four professional services background. 

BT – Customer Service Director – Head of HR

Our client was a joint venture between BT and Suffolk County Council which provides outsourced services to the County Council.  The HR role not only leads the HR team proving HR services to those working in the joint venture, but also to the thousands working in the County Council.  The role had not been successfully recruited to before, and we were asked to apply a headhunting approach to attract people to an interesting role but one which required a strong and permanent presence in Ipswich.  Location was a challenge for us, but we focused on those who had some experience of doing HR within outsourcing organisations and who we willing to relocate.  We also considered a few candidates who had relevant HR experience in that part of the country.  Our successful candidate not only had the right professional skills and had worked for another outsourcer who had worked for the public sector, but also had a desire to see more of her grandchild who was living in the Suffolk area.  A combination of our skill and some luck! 

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