Executive Outplacement - Group Finance Director


Our client is the c.£30m UK subsidiary of a privately owned €400M leading European innovator and supplier of Consumer Products. Following a full strategic review, the business decided to centralise the Finance function to its Head Office in Amsterdam which resulted in the redundancy of the UK Finance Director after 5 years’ service.

An ethical business that cares for its employees, the Board were keen to provide robust Outplacement support to the Finance Director and engaged Collingwood to develop a bespoke programme.

Collingwood’s Managing Director, Doug Mackay, had worked with the Finance Director across a number of businesses for over 15 years and so knew him very well. The FD is an accomplished finance professional and business leader and had very little experience of needing to look for a new job during his 30-year career.

The programme needed to be both educational about the current employment landscape as well as developing a proactive strategy to secure a sought role with an aspirational employer.


Collingwood split the Outplacement Programme in two;

  1. Behavioural assessment, awareness and development through coaching

Our Director of Leadership Consultancy Services, Jennifer Jones, held 3 x 60-minute sessions with the individual. She first used SDI (Strengths Deployment Inventory http://totalsdi.uk/assessments/the-power-of-the-sdi) as a foundation for coaching. This online assessment is a powerful tool for understanding and influencing motives that drive behaviours.

It helped to provide;

  • Increased self-awareness through understanding value systems and dominant behaviours.
  • Personal career goals set aligned to SDI feedback. A clear direction for the individual.
  • Appropriate behavioural coaching to the identified development needs.
  • Set sought outcomes that could be measured following the conclusion of the programme.
  1. Strategy to secure a new role

Our Managing Director, Doug Mackay, invested time to explore and agree on what the aspirational next career move looked like before developing a plan to secure it. This took account of the SDI results exploring the type of culture that the individual would work well in.

It is common for individuals to panic when faced with redundancy leading them to “throw lots of mud at walls” and secure the first paying job that comes along. Although this will pay some bills it is usually unlikely to be a successful long-term career option. It is critical that the sought aspirational role and employer is known before any job search begins.

Once we understood and agreed on these aspirations we worked closely to discuss the employment landscape and develop a tactical plan to identify and secure the sought role.

This encompassed;

  • Overview of today’s job market.
  • Practical advice on all aspects of job search.
  • Networking and the hidden job market.
  • Social media and how it can be used in job hunting.
  • Successful self-marketing strategies.
  • Researching and targeting prospective employers.
  • Speculative applications.
  • Writing a professional and effective CV and covering letter.
  • Preparing for an interview (competency questions and techniques).
  • Offer negotiation and acceptance.

The result

The individual developed a strong pipeline of opportunities and put himself in a position of having several to choose from. He secured a new Group Finance Director role with an aspirational employer within his targeted time-scales.


Both Doug and Jennifer were very professional. They stressed the fact that this was an opportunity, and that having decided on a target role, I should stick to my guns. SDI does add value, as it helps identify the roles and employer that will be a good fit. So, all in all, it helps channel energy into the right direction. It worked for me!

Alastair Murray, Group Finance Director