With a turnover of over £600 million and 2000 employees, Northern Powergrid is one of the UK’s leading power distribution network operators delivering electricity safely to 3.8 million domestic and business customers. Covering an area of 25,000 square kilometres, Northern Powergrid’s network extends from north Northumberland, south to the Humber and northern Lincolnshire, and from the east coast to the Pennines. The network consists of more than 31,000 substations and around 91,000 kilometres of overhead line and underground cables.
With a strong pedigree in breeding talent from within, the decision to source IT leadership talent from the external market was a careful one. As a market leader on the Smart Grid agenda, and with a challenging portfolio of IT enabled business change, and pure play IT transformation ahead, it is critical that Northern Powergrid have strong business facing leadership at the helm of the IT function. Two initial roles were identified; a Head of IT and a Senior IT Project Manager. Direct sponsorship by the CEO and HR Director outlined the importance of these appointments.
Northern Powergrid engaged Berwick Partners at a very early stage, giving us valued and privileged involvement in the definition and alignment of the roles to the needs of the business, as well as the prevailing skills market. At the heart of the exercise was a desire to learn transferable lessons and advantages from other sectors where high availability, high resilience, mission critical IT services deliver demonstrable ‘value add’ to the business.
Berwick Partners shaped and delivered a multi-channel strategy to source talent nationwide from transferable markets, as well as evaluating the very best of IT leadership and delivery talent within the wider Energy & Utilities sector, including other Distributed Network Operators (DNO’s). Delivered amidst the exciting rebranding for Northern Powergrid, Berwick Partners were able to secure, place and manage a supportive advertisement on the front page of the Sunday Times Appointments section at an unrivalled rate. This advertisement featured both roles, while promoting the new Northern Powergrid brand and employee value proposition
The multi-channel sourcing strategy delivered high quality, strong and diverse shortlists, for both roles, giving Northern Powergrid real choice in the successful appointment of a Head of IT and a senior IT Project Manager.