Our client was a mid-sized manufacturing group with an outstanding heritage and ambitious growth plans for the future. However, their recent rapid expansion had left their factory itself struggling to keep up with demand and the operations needed to be modernised without compromising on quality or losing the skilled and long-serving workforce.
The first challenge was to understand the group’s growth plans and whether the manufacturing facility could realistically deliver the demands that were going to be placed on it. This included visiting the plant and getting a feel for the culture and approach of the workforce, many of whom had worked with the group for years.
We then drew up a specification for the role which made clear the specific challenges the group was facing and the softer as well as hard skills that were required. We were deliberately open about the manufacturing sector candidates could come from as it was clear that the challenge was going to be to find someone who would fit into a very particular culture which prized quality at the expense of virtually everything else, including efficiency.
We then began our search, sourcing heavily into companies that had strong traditions but which had been able to adapt to a more modern automated high volume approach without compromising quality along the way. This included but was not limited to areas such as aerospace and luxury automotive.
The shortlist of candidates came from a wide-range of industry sectors. However, all had been through exactly the sort of cultural transformation that our client needed to go through and all understood how to keep a workforce engaged and motivated during a major change programme. The successful candidate came from the automotive sector and was able to help our client modernise and improve efficiency whilst retaining both the focus on quality and the people and skills the business still needed.