The social housing sector is a truly dynamic but largely hidden business sector, and one of the biggest challenges our clients face is the attraction of top talent.
Home Group is a social enterprise and a national charity with a turnover in excess of £350 million – one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and integrated housing, health and social care.
The Executive Director of Business Development was a newly created role for Home Group that required NRG to appoint an experienced Sales and Marketing Director; this appointment was a ground breaking one for the social housing sector.
Jim Allcroft, Executive Consultant, NRG explains “The appointment was challenging as Marketing Directors are typically based in the Head Offices of large businesses and almost invariably, London based. An additional consideration was the fact that Home Group required a high calibre candidate who demonstrated personal values entirely in line with the organisations core corporate values and social purpose of the sector.”
When briefing a candidate from a commercial background on the social housing sector, they are generally aware of the company names, but the initial conversation is normally focussed on explaining the sector and what it does.
The social housing sector is often not a natural thought for a next career move and candidates are not aware of the excellent and varied career opportunities on offer.
NRG worked with Home Group to develop a comprehensive candidate profile and a multi-channel approach to advertising. We capitalised on our extensive network and research capabilities to produce a thorough shortlist. Supporting at final selection stage, we helped to advise the Chief Executive and the Board on the final candidate appointed.
Mark Henderson, Chief Executive of Home Group commented “NRG understood our culture and business needs from day one. They get me great people, so what’s not to like!”
The candidate appointed to post as Executive Director of Business Development was Matt Forrest. Previously, Matt held several senior roles in product management, business development, commercial marketing and strategy implementation at Sage Group plc, and having started his career at KPMG, Matt is also a fully qualified Accountant.
In his role at Home Group he will lead:
– Product development, design and roll out
– Design and review of strategy and customer experience journey
– Programme management
– Customer and partner acquisition
Matt adds “I had no previous experience of the social housing sector, coming from a career in IT & Software. NRG were able to prepare me well, ensuring that I had a full brief of the industry and the role, and an understanding of the slight but often very important differences that working for a not-for-profit brings when compared to a private sector business.
It was a truly personalised candidate service and NRG kept me informed at every step of the process, enabling a smooth transition and on-boarding to Home Group. It’s great to see more external commercial senior appointments being made in the sector, bringing innovation and new perspectives.”