Talent Pipeline Partnership - Home & DIY Products Distributor


Our long term partner is a €350m European, privately owned distributor of home and DIY products. With no real foothold in the UK market they went about acquiring a UK business to help them penetrate and grow their market share in an area they felt had large growth potential.

The acquired UK business already had a strong brand and market presence in the UK which formed a strong foundation for our client to build upon and grow further. Customers included leading UK multiples, DIY retailers, trade merchants as well as a strong network in the contract sales market. The business now needed to integrate the wider company product portfolio into the UK market and ensure the revenue targets were being met.

Another area identified for development was e-commerce. With their competitors having a strong understanding and customer partnerships in e-commerce, our client needed to grow their own e-commerce solution. This was to be done through the development of their own trading websites, direct to the home delivery, ensuring web content, web marketing and e-commerce demands were met for their customers.

The European executive team spends three days a week in the UK and with a new UK Managing Director on board, a new strategy was starting to evolve. However, in order to achieve this, they needed to develop their commercial team away from a ‘brochure selling’ and volume-driven culture towards a solution selling and strong relationship building culture. A talent pipeline needed to be identified…


With Collingwood’s strong network and understanding of the consumer products market and with consultants having personally worked in retail buying and commercial teams before bringing their expertise to executive search, Collingwood were able to transfer their strong knowledge and understanding of the market to help identify and develop a strong talent pipeline for our client.

Collingwood firstly carried out an assessment of the client's commercial sales team, conducting behavioural profiling and emotional intelligence testing to identify the strengths, weaknesses, gaps and areas that needed to be addressed before setting out a ‘talent pipeline strategy’ for future growth and development.

Collingwood worked closely with our client to both understand the business and the individuals they needed to employ, fully understanding their cultural fit. We then created exciting literature, case studies and success stories that would provide tangible evidence to potential candidates for the exciting projects they would be a part of. We delivered a targeted headhunt project focused on researching our clients ‘dream’ target list of companies, identifying high calibre individuals in the ‘hidden job market’ before enticing them to a face to face conversation in which we could ensure there were no poor perceptions and instead saw the “whites of their eyes” to give them real information.


Collingwood has identified and recruited a number of key commercial candidates, including a Head of Ecommerce, Head of Sales and Senior National Account Manager to name a few. With these successful appointments, our client can now grow and develop their market share, helping them to achieve their objective of becoming a leading UK home décor and DIY supplier. 

The key to our success is not advertising or finding candidates who are on the market and in need of a new job, instead, we focus on the “hidden job market”. This is where high calibre individuals are working and generally enjoying where they are but when details of a really exciting client and career opportunity is communicated directly with them, they are willing to invest time to find out more. It removes the risk of a Dutch auction against several other job offers, it removes the need to shorten interview processes in order not to lose out on the desired candidate due to their other interviews and it increases the calibre of our candidate shortlists.

Our process does not only provide value in the appointments we make but our client also benefit from market intelligence and key information about each of their competitors. This includes salary benchmarking, team structures and the varied candidate profiles that we engage and network with