HR Director - Advertising Market Leader

Published: 9 December 2016

Our client is a global market leader within advertising and is leading the way with the digital revolution.  They are a driving force for new ideas and are accelerating their digital transformation in 2016.  They are consistently recognised as one of the top media companies in the UK for delivering ground breaking innovative campaigns.  The group employs over 10,000 people globally with 1000 in the UK, and they saw record revenue and operating margin in 2015.

As a result of changes to the senior executive team within the UK, the recently promoted CEO created a new strategic plan which included a restructure of the senior leadership team.  With these changes they looked at the role HR plays.  A step change was needed both in the profile of the function internally and also with respect to how HR was perceived both in the Boardroom and the wider business. We were asked to identify and attract experienced operational HR leaders who also act strategically with impact, and could drive change to support the business moving forward.   Our task was to find a new HR Director with a strong generalist profile, a grounded career in employee relations and good best practice HR gained from a smaller, fast-paced business that had undertaken a change agenda.  It was also important that the successful candidate was able to manage the different challenges of both a blue-collar and white-collar workforce.

Incorporating proactive search with our large existing network of HR Directors from the media and digital worlds we were able to approach and attract a strong long-list. 

This was a highly confidential and sensitive appointment so all candidates who were progressed to interview stage were asked to sign an NDA prior to any company information being released and the client conducted all first round interviews in our offices in Cannon Street, London. Confidentiality was maintained throughout the assignment. 

We provided accurate reports on each HR Director candidate with thoughts on why they were suitable, but also insight on where they may fall short.  The process ran very smoothly and either candidate interviewed at the final stage would have been suitable, however one candidate was able demonstrate more strategic thinking and enthusiasm for the role. The preferred candidate accepted the position, with references and qualification checks also being completed.

The CEO gave the following testimonial:

“This was the first assignment I had placed with Berwick Partners, and I found Jane and the rest of the team highly effective, efficient and above all very discrete.  Communication was first class, and all candidates fitted the brief, were properly prepared in advance and fully aware of the role.  I would have no hesitation in recommending Jane and would use her again in the future”

Jane Firth is the lead HR Consultant for London and the South East

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