Commercial Director within a Global Windows and Doors Manufacturer

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With over 6,200 employees, this global, €1.5bn. turnover, family owned, window and door profile manufacturer partnered Collingwood again to recruit for a newly created Commercial Director position.  Within the UK, our client can boast being the genuine market leader, viewed as a pioneering innovator. Having also gained recognition for their huge investment into their UK manufacturing site and high staff retention rates, they are true leaders of the building materials industry. 



Five years ago Collingwood’s Head of Building Products, Mark Goldsmith, placed their Sales Director. Last year he gained promotion to become the UK Managing Director.  His focus is to drive the board and UK business towards their 2025 strategy, generating profitable revenue, whilst diversifying product offering.

At the same point Mark led the recruitment of their newly formed Marketing Director role. After five years of driving huge improvements to their brand exposure and modernisation, her role was complete and so she left at the end of last year. Rather than backfill his role and hers, the current Managing Director wanted to bring in a Commercial Director to the UK board.

The brief was to appoint a Commercial Director who would lead a team of 40, directly managing two Regional Sales Directors; a marketing team via a Head of Marketing, product management through a Product Manager, a Project Manager, the Head of Installer Programmes (which includes the consumer offer) a commercial team, through a Head of Commercial. 



Refreshingly, Collingwood’s client did not wish to limit this search to purely approaching manufacturers and distributors of building products. This opened the search up to include any manufacturer who sells within a business-to-business setting.

Cultural fit would be of utmost importance, as was gravitas and previous experience of driving value proposition, via a mix of leading both sales and marketing strategies. 

Additionally, this person needed to reside within a circa one hour commute of their head office in Lancashire. 



Through a detailed research approach and contact with his existing network, Mark Goldsmith was able to share the current “landscape” of required talent from a business to business, product led background.  This led to 111 potential candidates to approach, Mark then engaged with them directly. Collingwood also ran a social media & advertising campaign.

Due to the numbers involved, it was imperative regular updates were conducted with both the client's HR Manager and MD, who were receptive to this. Collingwood’s online client portal provided an overview of each stage throughout the process, allowing both the search and expectations to stay on track. This was invaluable as it allowed both parties to form a realistic view of market conditions, barriers and any refinements needed to the specification as well as CVs and notes from all interview stages. 



In summary, the following process took place:

Potential candidates identified following initial research undertaken


Number of candidates engaged with


Targeted candidates interested & CV’s received


Candidates interviewed by Mark Goldsmith

14 with 8 recommended to client

Candidates interviewed by client

8 with 3 progressed to second interviews

Candidate offered



It is important to highlight, this was an assignment were attaining the interest from the target markets was of little issue.  The breadth of the brief outlined by the client afforded Mark with many options to approach.  The challenge was in honing in on the best talent and communicating Mark’s rationale to shortlisting with the stakeholders.

As is often the way when building product clients request Collingwood to think outside the box, the preferred candidate came from a background of leading a large, national brewer, who sold to onsite trade.  He had a perfect blend of creating value proposition through all commercial aspects and fitted in well with the client’s cultural demands.

Additionally, and of great value to any decision maker who’s looking to start a search, Mark holds the offer stage as a prime example of best practice from any client he has worked with.  Read his article on this process HERE

About the author
Mark Goldsmith
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With 23 years of recruitment experience under his belt, Mark has spent the last 19 focused on Building Products & Construction

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Mark Goldsmith

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