UK Operations Manager – Precast Concrete Manufacturer / Installer


Our client is a privately owned, foreign-based, manufacturer of structural precast concrete products, they approached Collingwood to provide search services into the construction market.


With the current incumbent retiring after 10 plus years service, there was a hunger to improve and refine reporting lines, contract processes, management of staff and subcontractor negotiations.


Having not recruited for this role for many years, and with little knowledge of the British market, our client opened up the brief, allowing Collingwood to report back findings on target companies, abilities and salary levels. This allowed the manufacturer to reflect on our collective best approach and budgets.

The UK Operations Manager would be the client's most senior figure within Britain, tasked to direct five Contracts Managers, each managing on average 27 projects, with an average value of £250,000 each.


Initially identifying 64 competitors in the British marketplace whom installed in a similar fashion, Collingwood confidentially approached respected Senior Contracts Managers and existing Operation Managers / Directors. Three weeks into the assignment, it was evident these companies were not going to provide the number of options needed to give our client the “bigger picture” required (through a mix of salary expectations and level of experience). Upon consulting with the Managing Director, it was agreed to open the search up to include larger structural contractors, whose people would manage large one-off build projects of more than £20m.

Five weeks on from taking the specification, Collingwood interviewed 10 individuals and recommending 6 for the Managing Director and CEO to meet. In total over 150 individuals were identified and approached.


With the senior management team meeting all 6, 4 were identified as strong candidates at the right level. However, one candidate stood out, the other 3 were put on hold should a second meeting and negotiations stall.  The preferred candidate was invited to head office, after the day’s assessment and tour was completed, an offer of employment presented.

Throughout the acceptance and resignation process, Collingwood proactively engaged with both candidate and client to provide advice and guidance, ensuring our client did not miss out on appointing the best candidate for the role – this was especially important given that the manufacturer had not interviewed in Britain for over ten years for the role.

Client Feedback

Collingwood were appointed to recruit a senior Operational Manager.  I found the Construction team, through Mark Goldsmith, to be very professional.  Despite the challenge of recruitment in the run-up to Christmas, they were able to produce a shortlist of quality candidates, effectively achieving what was promised from the outset.  Having now made an appointment, I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.