Reflections on a Successful Care Operations Director Assignment

Having just completed one of the most enjoyable executive assignments I have delivered during my time with Collingwood, reflection around ‘why?’ has been extremely valuable. Not just for continuous improvement purposes but to crystallise the aspects of my role I find particularly rewarding.

Granted, partnering a UK Healthcare Charity with a rich heritage on a board level appointment was always a ‘perfect storm’ but it wasn’t just these reasons which created such a positive experience.

Here are my 4 key take-outs from the Care Operations Director assignment;

  1. Partnership. A great deal is made out of ‘The Power of Partnership’ in executive search. We place a huge amount of emphasis internally and indeed with our clients around ‘partnership’. This assignment evidenced why and the impact it can have;
  • Regular communication allowing a fluid and responsive process
  • The creation of a shared sense of trust through an open and honest dynamic
  • Mutual respect to challenge when necessary

These aspects ultimately transcended to a great experience for each candidate and a perception of a credible, reputable employer brand.

  1. Cultural Alignment.  We all know that to find the right personal fit for an organisation you wholeheartedly need to understand their ethos and philosophy. Yet without the true partnership, how many recruiters truthfully do? Through regular meetings and visits to their homes, my client gave me a deep insight into the culture inherent across the organisation and how this translated to a defined set of behavioural characteristics the incumbent would need to possess to succeed. As a board, having unanimously agreed who they would like to offer, my client’s predominant reasoning was the candidate’s absolute alignment to their vision, values and philosophy. I took this as testament to innately knowing the DNA of my client.
  1. Knowledge is Power. Deeply understanding my client’s sector gave me the platform to undertake a highly targeted headhunt. I individually knew the strong performing organisations through to those deeply challenged by the sector pressures. Even more potent was a ready-made network at the highest level. Forget LinkedIn as a search tool, my phonebook was the true enabler. 
  1. Quality over Quantity. A colloquialism particularly true with executive search and, to me, a key measure of how deeply you understand your sector. Sure, there is a threshold to ensure all corners of the market have been explored but a disproportionately long candidate list only demonstrates a lack of knowledge. Here, a precise methodology where a pool of no more than 30 individuals were engaged with allowed me to invest substantial time with each candidate, develop great relationships and cement the reputation of my client. Not to mention headhunt an exceptional leader with all the attributes to add significant value to the organisation.

I have a true passion for partnering value-based organisations within the healthcare sector.

I would be delighted to discuss how like-minded companies can benefit from Collingwood’s executive search services. Please feel free to get in touch directly with me on 01829 732 374. Alternatively, you can download our 'How to Brief an Executive Search Partner template' a diagnostic document designed to help get the most out of any search assignment.



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