Site Manager

Site Manager

Our client is an international leader in the baking industry, producing one of the industry’s broadest ranges of products for customers in more than 100 countries. As part of their growth and expansion plans, they were looking to redesign one of their key manufacturing sites, introducing new equipment and processes. As this was a specific discrete project and they did not have the available resources onsite, they felt it would be an ideal opportunity to engage an interim.

Given that the project was being carried out to tight timescales, based on the delivery of new capital equipment and minimising any ‘down time’, it was important that, as well as being immediately available, the interim had the experience and capability to ‘hit the ground running’ and get to grips with the aims of the project and the physical constraints of the site very quickly.

Wickland Westcott was able to identify a strong interim Project Engineer who had carried out similar pieces of work for other food manufacturing companies and who had a comprehensive suite of software packages which enabled effective project planning and the design of floor plans to enable the most efficient design solution. The interim was able to not only ensure that the project was carried out to timescales and budget but was also able to offer independent advice and alternative ideas to further improve operational efficiencies.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Finance Business Partner

Finance Business Partner

Providing a hybrid interim to work across finance and the business

Our client – a major UK based plant and site equipment provider – had identified the need to engage an interim to help them develop more effective financial control systems and identify areas where savings could be made to improve margins and provide funds for growth. The role was more of a hybrid role than a typical finance position as it involved working closely with the business to identify where there were issues with the accounts, to improve the accuracy of the figures and determine where funds could be released to help finance growth plans.

Wickland Westcott was able to identify an interim with a track record of carrying out similar roles with other organisations and who had, along with a strong finance background, excellent communication and stakeholder management skills. The interim also had the ability to work on a consulting basis to get to the nub of the key issues and propose innovative solutions to improve financial performance.

The interim has proved to be such a worthwhile addition to the team that they have now been offered a permanent position.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Chief Technology Officer

Chief Technology Officer

Converting an Interim to a Permanent Member of Staff

Our client, a global healthcare knowledge provider and publisher was looking to recruit a permanent Chief Technology Officer but was having problems identifying a suitable candidate. As the incumbent CTO was due to leave imminently, the HR Director asked Wickland Westcott if we could provide an interim for 3-6 months whilst they carried out a new recruitment campaign.

The role was a difficult one to fill, requiring knowledge of specific technologies and applications, as well as strong management experience and the ability to operate as an advocate for the effective use of technology throughout the business (which had traditionally been reluctant to fully embrace the benefits of technology). Wickland Westcott identified three short-list candidates, focusing equally on their technology experience and on their stakeholder management, leadership and communication skills.

One of the interims was offered, accepted and started the next week. After only a few weeks in the role, the CEO and HR Director met with the interim and – as the interim was a stronger CTO than any of the permanent candidates they had seen – they offered the interim the permanent position, which the interim accepted.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer

Reacting to an urgent requirement

Our client, a trade union and professional association based in central London, was looking for an interim Chief Information Officer on a short-term basis to cover for the absence of the permanent CIO due to illness. The role was to manage the support team, which was critical to ensure ongoing service delivery, and the development team, which was running a number of important new projects.

As well as needing an experienced interim to start immediately, the key challenge was that the client was only able to offer a contract on a three day per week basis and the assignment was short term (between four and eight weeks). Despite this, Wickland Westcott was able to identify two experienced interims within 24 hours, one of whom was interviewed, offered and started the following week. Along with excellent technical experience, the interim was a strong leader who could act as an effective figurehead whilst the permanent CIO was off work.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Commercial MD

Commercial MD – Training Services, Fixed Term Contract

Our client, an organisation that specialises in providing training services to foreign language students, found itself in a position whereby it had the potential for growth and expansion but needed somebody to “take the helm” and lead it forward over a 12-18 month period. As well as having a background in the provision of training services, the ideal candidate needed to have worked at MD level in an SME, with a track record of growing an organisation and setting up new service delivery channels, and a strong sales and marketing background.

Wickland Westcott quickly identified a strong candidate from within our network that had the level of professionalism, experience and capability to quickly add value, gets to grips with the operational and financial challenges, as well as ensure that growth took place in a realistic and sustainable pace. After an initial call with the HR Director, the candidate had a call with the CEO which resulted in an offer being made and accepted. The MD started within a week and has started to make a significant impact at both a strategic and operational level within the first month of the assignment.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Senior Buyer – Engineering

Senior Buyer – Interim / Engineering

Our client, an engineering company which specializes in supplying the defence sector, was carrying out a major overhaul of its procurement capability and needed to engage a Senior Buyer to review its systems and procedures and ensure that it was not only working in the most efficient and cost effective way possible but also that it was positioned so that it could expand into new markets.

The ideal candidate would need to have experience of purchasing in medium/heavy engineering environments, an understanding of carrying out strategic purchasing to contractual requirements, and a sound knowledge of manufacturing processes, including machining and general fabrication. The key was that the interim needed to be able to relatively quickly be able to look at the best way to procure what was needed to enable the business to compete effectively in the international market-place in a relatively capital intensive industry.

Our client needed to engage an interim quickly and Wickland Westcott identified two potential candidates within five days of being notified about the assignment, both of whom were interviewed by the client and one offered to start the following week on a 6 month contract. The successful candidate had a track record in building strong supply chains, introducing efficiency savings and in the negotiation and management of contracts on behalf of similar sized businesses in related sectors. As such, he was able to add value quickly, realizing cost savings and putting in place systems to manage new contracts more effectively.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Programme Director

Programme Director – Interim

Our client is a Manchester based company selling products predominantly in the education sector. They were moving towards more of an online and proactive business model and needed to set up a call centre and CRM system to handle customer queries and order progress. In addition, it was expecting more sales to come through its website and needed to be able to manager this effectively.

Wickland Westcott provided a Programme Director to help define user requirements, identify technology requirements, develop an implementation strategy, liaise with suppliers and stakeholders, and oversee product development. Once implemented, the system needed significant changes to reflect the way the organisation engaged with its customers and the interim worked closely with the business to manage these changes.

The interim provided by Wickland Westcott was not only an expert in the technical elements of developing effective call centre and CRM systems (including integrating the various different aspects of technology required) but also had strong commercial acumen. The interim was able to suggest new ideas and different ways to make the most from the technology on offer, tailoring the systems to ensure that a competitive advantage could be achieved and that they were "future-proofed" to grow and adapt as the organisation expanded into different areas. What began as a short term tactical assignment grew into a key strategic role, ensuring that technology could add real value to the business.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Change / Supply Chain Manager

Change / Supply Chain Manager – Interim

Our client is a key player in the nuclear industry had been through a considerable period of change, driven by a number of internal and external factors. With an annual procurement budget of c.£1 billion, it needed to get better control of its supply chain, with improvements in major project performance being a key strategic priority. This included the introduction of process and supply chain improvements, new approaches to management of materials, goods and services, new acquisition strategies and major supply chain spend reduction. A number of issues needed addressing within this assignment, the most significant of which being the politically sensitive nature of the role and the need for the interim to have excellent communication and stakeholder management skills, with the ability to work with highly technical staff as well as commercial managers.

Our focus was on identifying interims with a proven track record of successfully completing a major change project in a highly complex environment. From a long-list of sic potential candidates, all of whom were interviewed by one of our senior consultants face-to-face, we provided our client with a shortlist of three within a week of being briefed about the role.

Wickland Westcott provided a senior change manager who developed a new Mission, Vision and Values policy, embedding this through a disciplined approach to measurement and review. He produced a comprehensive plan to introduce the new ways of operating, working closely with senior management to set realistic targets and milestones, develop an effective communications strategy and put the necessary systems and processes in place to embed and measure the progress of the program. He was also responsible for interfacing with external service providers in support of strategic themes and implementation plans and coaching key people within the organisation to achieve organisational and personal goals.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Finance Director

Finance Director – Interim

Our client is a ambitious and expanding Multi Academy Trust which managed a number of schools across the UK. The Trust required more rigorous financial controls and standards to be put in place across the different schools. Wickland Westcott was engaged by the CEO to find an interim Finance Director. The challenge was to identify an experienced interim with a strong finance background who had ideally worked in the private sector as well as education. The ideal candidate would also have worked in a more generalist management role in a school and who understood academy financing models.

Wickland Westcott met with the CEO to gain a full understanding of the role and the required deliverables. As well as accessing our network of finance professionals, we pro-actively approached interim Finance Directors in the education sector to come up with a high quality shortlist of candidates. We focussed on their ability to make real changes to finance systems and put processes in place to enable further growth.

The successful interim met with the CEO and the founder of the Trust and was engaged virtually immediately. After a very successful assignment lasting nine months, significant progress was made in implementing effective controls and processes across the estate. The interim was asked to join the organisation on a full time basis as COO, which he duly accepted.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.


Head of Learning & Innovation

Head of Learning & Innovation – Interim

A major Higher Education college had a need for interim support in the position of Head of Learning and Innovation for a new team. This was a difficult role, comprising of two distinct areas: the introduction of a relevant technology platform to deliver the training, and the development and design of new curriculum areas using Moodle-based VLE. It was also important that a solution was found quickly so that the new learning platform could be introduced in the following academic year.

The solution took a much more flexible approach as it proved to be extremely difficult to find one person equally competent in these two areas. Wickland Westcott accessed its comprehensive network of interims with experience of the education sector to identify two interims who were strong in each area. Both were prepared to each work 2 to 3 days per week, thus providing the combined knowledge and experience required. Both the interims were immediately available and started within a week of being interviewed.

The creative and innovative approach to this unique challenge, along with the quality of the interims provided by Wickland Westcott, ensured that the college could grow the learning technology team effectively and deliver the platform needed within budget and to timescales.

Wickland Westcott have adopted the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Executive Search Firms which, amongst other things, sets a minimum expectation level for gender diversity for each search assignment.