Agenda item

Update on recruitment of Chief Executive


Since the recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive had been raised at the last meeting there had been positive steps to move the process forward.  The Leader referred to the background that Paul Thomas had been appointed as Interim Chief Executive in July 2019 until a permanent Chief Executive was appointed.  Solace had been appointed to facilitate the recruitment for the Council.  Solace was a well-respected market leader in Chief Executive and Director recruitment. The process began on the 4 November 2019 following a meeting between Solace, the Leader and HR Officers.  The job had been advertised shortly after and it was currently available on both Solace and the Council’s websites.  He had worked with Solace on editorial for a management journal which set out what the Council was looking for and circulated a copy to the Committee.  Solace was also actively headhunting and using social media to encourage suitable candidates. The deadline for applications was 9 December 2019. The Leader stated that he had already taken calls about the job and had several more phone conversations lined up with potential applicants over the next few days.  There had been a good level of interest from Chief Executives and Directors from other authorities across the region.  After the closing date, Solace would review the applications and send a list to the Head of Organisational Development ready for the shortlisting process to take place with Members on 19 December 2019.  He referred to interviews being planned for Wednesday 8 January 2020 and his preference was for all Members of the Employment Committee to be involved in both parts of the process and felt that the same members needed to be committed to both dates.


Shortlisted candidates would take part in psychometric testing over the Christmas period and make a presentation at the interview. Interviews were to be held at Belton Woods Hotel.  


Solace would guide the Council through the shortlisting and interview process as well as provide support on developing questions and supplementary questions which would be shared around the Members. 


The successful candidate would be provisionally informed of the appointment on 8 January 2020 but the formal appointment would be subject to approval at the Council meeting on 30 January 2020. 


He referred to keeping staff up to date on progress and had emailed all staff earlier that week. 


The Head of Organisational Development, Elaine Pepper, added that a procurement exercise was undertaken to appoint Solace and five companies had been asked to quote.  She advised that Solace was a market leader in the recruitment field and had a good track record.  She explained that Solace would support the Council throughout the shortlisting and interviews and they also carried out initial interviews with feedback. 


There was a query as to whether the Leader and Cabinet had given consideration to the type of candidate they wished to recruit to lead the Council.     


The Leader advised that the Council needed a dynamic and experienced Chief Executive to be able to lead on the Council’s priorities and multiple projects with a good understanding of the commercial world.  The successful candidate needed to be a leader who was a figurehead and a good communicator who was able to take people with them on their journey.  He referred to previous Chief Executive recruitment which had helped to inform this process.  The Council needed someone who could deliver on the change and transformation agenda and improve the culture of the organisation. 


It was noted that the process would also include meeting with the Senior Management Team.




That the Employment Committee be involved in the shortlisting on 19 December 2019 and interviews on 8 January 2020 and each Member should advise Democratic Services to confirm their availability for both dates.