Interim Assistant Director (Human Resources) - leading Entertainment and Conference Venue


Since opening their doors back in 2008, The ACC Liverpool Group have enjoyed a reputation as being one of the leading venues in Merseyside and they are comfortably in the top handful of their type in the North West. They have been described as “the heartbeat” of the city and play a critical and integral role in Liverpool’s exciting future development. Their facilities are second to none and they are proud to have been awarded the Best UK Conference Centre at the M&IT Industry Awards for the last 5 years consecutively.


The ACC Group has a strong and visionary leadership team, an entrepreneurial spirit and lives and breathes to deliver an outstanding customer experience. It is an iconic part of the city and enjoys an extremely proud workforce. This Interim Assistant Director (Human Resources) role was created to cover maternity leave. HR plays a pivotal role in ACC, both in its strategic future vision and tactically ensuring it has the people resources to delight customers today. Although interim, this was a critical appointment and needed someone who shared the company’s purpose, vision and values. Cultural fit was the key priority followed by a passionate, energetic and strategic HR business partner who could continue to drive the HR agenda forward.

Our Leadership Development team had already been working closely with ACC, during the last 18 months, to help them deliver an Executive Leadership Development Programme and having already successfully recruited a Head of Facilities Management role, they knew they were in trusted hands with Collingwood to help them appoint this role.


Upon meeting with the client and spending time to fully understand the brief, we knew we had a very strong feel of the “ACC person” that we had to find.

We developed and ran a creative social media campaign which generated a significant amount of interest from some incredibly talented prospective candidates. In addition, we gained referrals from our strong HR network in the North West and conducted a focussed headhunting activity targeting high calibre interims.

Conscious that we were working to a tight deadline (3 weeks to shortlist stage), we reviewed all the interest and identified 15 who we wanted to engage with via telephone interview.

This resulted in a qualified longlist of 5 candidates that we met face to face to conduct thorough competency and behavioural based interviews.

From this we shortlisted 2 outstanding candidates who made it to interview stage with the client. Both candidates made a brilliant impression on the client and it was decided on the same day that the two of them would be progressed to final stage.


Both candidates performed exceptionally in the final stage and a decision was made to appoint one of them. The appointed candidate just so happened to be finishing up a contract to cover one year maternity leave – so her experience (and the timing) was perfect!


"I have known Doug in a professional capacity during my search for an interim position and he found me the perfect role at ACC Liverpool as an Assistant HR Director.  I found Doug to be really supportive, helpful and a great sounding board.  Doug offered great advise and guidance, additionally he kept me informed at all stages of the process along with his associate. 

I would have no hesitation in using Doug and Collingwood again as both a candidate and a recruiter. "