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Richard Gore, Chair of Warrington Community Living, shares his experience of recruiting outside of the Health & Social Care sector with SPE Resourcing.

As a result of austerity measures, the national government has reduced social care spending to the local government level, meaning that most businesses are operating at a loss. There are also far too many small providers for the size of the market and consolidation is desperately needed. Added to this is the level and complexity of demand in the sector that has increased hugely over time.

Warrington Community Living is a non-profit public sector provider that offers a high level of care quality. It grew in a sporadic and unstructured way, meaning that we had lots of business units not aligned by process or strategy.

When the position of CEO became available, we realised that we needed someone who had commercial knowledge and the ability to make businesses more efficient. We were looking for a very experienced leader, but also someone whose values aligned to the non-profit sector. Recruiting outside of the sector was the best way to find the right candidate.

I met Dan over 20 years ago and, out of every recruiter I’ve ever experienced, he’s the only one I would recommend. Within five minutes of us having a conversation, he understood the technical problems we faced and what we needed culturally out of the new leader.

Recruiting outside of the Health & Social Care sector is almost completely unheard of, and so our board of trustees needed to be assured that it was the right move. I personally recommended Dan and he was able to sell it to them.

He spent time with all three decision makers who sat on the interview panel to identify individual needs and understand the business, and then he created a skills matrix. From more than 250 initial points of interest, Dan filtered this down and interviewed 25. From a shortlist of 10, he then hand-picked six applicants.

The final round of interviews produced three possible candidates and all of them were hireable. Two were from retail and one from a hospitality background. Two months into the new appointment, and we’re really pleased with our choice. We’re already seeing the difference they’re making after just eight weeks.

I’m pleased to see other organisations in the industry are now starting to acknowledge the problems that the sector is facing and are looking outward for new people. Put simply, there are so many good candidates in other industries and their skills are desperately needed.

It’s important to remember that senior retail and hospitality employees have really strong commercial minds, are great leaders, and are able work to challenging KPIs – which are also ideal skills in our sector. So, if you’re ready to think outside your sector, I’d recommend thinking about Health & Social Care or non-profits more generally.

The Health & Social Care sector offers experienced leaders all the usual commercial, leadership and organisational challenges. The sector is rewarding as we are making a positive contribution to society.

I’d highly recommend Dan and SPE Resourcing to help you find the right person to lead your organisation.

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