The Big Life Group, Partnerships Manager
Fay Selvan, CEO of Big Life Group said: “the initial challenge to launch the UK project was recruitment. It was fundamental that we selected the right person, with the right vision and level of experience to bring it to life. We were looking for someone who could not only develop a study to confirm the feasibility, but identify the preferred business model to allow the UK to benefit from the establishment of Homes for Homes at the same time as building strong stakeholder support for the project.
We chose property recruitment specialists Pennington Choices to conduct our nationwide search for this individual. This was a vital role to recruit for the success of the project.”
Optivo, Fire Safety Manager
Barry Waller, Director of Property Services said: “Towards the end of 2017, we needed to appoint an Interim Fire Safety Manager to cover an absent colleague’s role for at least 3 months. It was a key appointment for us, given the programme of works and its importance in terms of both resident safety and compliance.
We shared the job and person specification with Head of People Resourcing, Chris Spencer. Very quickly, Chris sourced some great candidates that led us to appointing our Interim. We were pleased with the speed and efficiency of the service, and support that Pennington Choices provided. We were very happy to appoint an expert Fire Safety Manager with great skills and experience, particularly in such a competitive market.”
City of Stoke-on-Trent, Interim Project Director
Carl Brazier, Director of Housing and Customer Services said: “Following a strategic review conducted by Pennington Choices, City of Stoke-on-Trent Council determined to establish a subsidiary repairs and maintenance company to replace its long-term external contractor.
The planning and implementation of this complex undertaking required the skills and expertise of an Interim Director. The background of the person we needed included mobilisation and demobilisation experience from the perspective of both public sector landlord and contractor, and in the strategic and tactical initiation of a start-up.
Pennington Choices took the brief and then pro-actively sourced an Interim Project Director to an initial 18-month contract from October 2016. We were delighted with the recruitment service provided by Pennington Choices. They found and appointed a highly skilled, relevant candidate who matched the job profile. Pennington Choices have continued to support us throughout this important project, both directly and through our Interim Project Director.”
Magenta Living, Investment Programme Managers
Jayne Winders, Executive & Strategy Director said: “Following a strategic review that resulted in a realignment of our asset management function, we decided to explore a new approach to appointing additional staff to the team. We met with Pennington Choices’ in-house recruiter Chris Spencer, and agreed that that we commission a pro-active head-hunt for people who would fit our skills profile and suit our organisational culture.
With Chris’ support, we refined the job and person specification, and particularly the individual qualities that would fit our company culture. Pennington Choices then implemented a plan to identify, approach and engage with people on our behalf. We received regular planned updates, so we always knew how the search was progressing.
Our next major involvement was interviewing a shortlist of candidates who were skilled, motivated, well briefed and engaged with our organisation. This was the first time we had approached our recruitment this way and we felt that the process worked for us. As opposed to an unknown response from an advert, we felt in control throughout. Our time involvement was minimised and by the end, we had met some great people who suited our organisation and who were eager to join us.
We were pleased with the quality of the service and support from Pennington Choices. We set out to find two additional recruits and actually hired three people, which was a good outcome for Magenta.”
IDS, The Industrial Dwellings Society, Director of Technical Services
Suzanne Wolfe, Chief Executive said: “After reviewing our corporate strategy, we decided to appoint a Director of Technical Services whose role would involve directing our asset management, repairs and compliance functions. We met with Pennington Choices lead recruiter Chris Spencer to discuss the role and the type of person who would fit our business.
Following the meeting, we were convinced that the search and selection methodology Chris proposed would work for us. The process Chris detailed was thorough, robust and targeted specifically to fulfil our needs. In collaboration with Pennington Choices we created a job description and planned the exercise end to end, so we knew exactly what to expect and when.
Chris conducted the search, pre-interviewed candidates, provided a strong shortlist and sat alongside me whilst I conducted first interviews. Throughout the process, Chris provided planned weekly updates, which meant that I could keep my Board fully briefed.
At first and final interview stage, we met people who were relevant, thoroughly briefed and engaged with our business. The final interview panel included Pennington Choices’ Operations Director, Lee Woods whose technical and operational expertise complimented ours. Our final decision was between two great candidates and resulted in a successful appointment.
Chris and I developed a great understanding and a close business relationship during this important period. The service we received from Pennington Choices was exactly as promised and we are very pleased with the outcome.”
Weaver Vale Housing Trust, Compliance Manager
Neal Roberts, Property Investment and Asset Manager said: “Our Chief Executive appointed Pennington Choices to deliver consultancy to WVHT. A significant element of the work was around statutory compliance, determining our position and then recommending an action plan that would ensure we attained and maintained the required standards of compliance, in keeping with our corporate objectives and regulatory requirements.
Following an introduction through Pennington’s Compliance team, we met Chris Spencer, their in-house recruiter. Chris took the time to understand the role itself and the type of person we felt would fit our organisation. Apart from the technical skills, we needed to find an individual who would welcome being part of a changing business, so attitude and behaviours were important parts of the brief.
Chris and I agreed the time line to an appointment, which included regular updates. In advance of shortlist interviews, we had the candidates complete online assessments via Pennington Choices. On the day, we were supported by Pennington Choices’ Operations Director Lee Woods, whose expertise reinforced our decision.
We were delighted to finish the day with two appointable candidates. We made an offer through Chris to our favoured candidate that was accepted. Chris provided us with references and proof of eligibility in advance of start date.
This was our first venture into a search campaign and based on past experience of recruiters, we had our doubts. I can say that the service we received from Pennington Choices was outstanding. We were involved at the beginning and were kept informed throughout. We are very happy with the outcome and would use Pennington Choices to recruit in future.”
Liberty Group, Group Managing Director
Colette McKune MBE, Deputy Chief Executive said: “We became aware of Pennington Choices resourcing capability after the property consultancy division provided us with some strategic consultancy. We met with recruiter Chris Spencer to discuss the job itself and the type of person who would suit our business. This was a crucial appointment for Liberty, so it was essential that we understood the process and that it would benefit our business.
The search and selection process Chris detailed was robust and targeted specifically to our needs. Following the meeting, we instructed Pennington Choices to recruit.
Working with Pennington Choices’ property and recruitment experts, we authored a job description and agreed the key milestones, so we knew exactly what to expect and when.
Chris conducted the search, pre-interviewed candidates and provided a strong shortlist. Chris provided planned updates throughout, which meant that I could keep my Board fully briefed.
At our interviews, we met people who were relevant, briefed and engaged with our business. The interview panel included Pennington Choices’ Professional Services Director, Jenny Neville, whose strategic and operational expertise proved invaluable.
Our final decision was between three appointable candidates, resulting in a successful appointment.
Chris and I developed a close understanding during this important period. The service we received from him and Pennington Choices was exactly as promised and the best I have experienced from an external recruiter.”
Magenta Living, Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) Contracts Manager
Ian Roughley, Head of Major Works and Compliance said: “Following a strategic review that resulted in a realignment of our compliance management function, we decided to recruit an M&E Contracts Manager to lead our mechanical and electrical programmes.
Pennington Choices recruitment services were recommended to me, following a successful recruitment campaign earlier in 2018. We met with Pennington Choices’ in-house recruiter Chris Spencer, and agreed to commission a pro-active search. With Chris’ support, we refined the job and person specification to attract people who would fit our skills profile and suit our organisational culture. Chris implemented a plan to identify, approach and engage with potential candidates on our behalf. We received planned updates, so we always knew how the search was progressing.
Our next major involvement was interviewing a shortlist of candidates who were skilled, motivated, well briefed and engaged with our organisation.
Having made on offer to a candidate from the first shortlist, we were disappointed when the individual subsequently withdrew.
Following this, Chris reworked the search and found us the ideal candidate, who joined Magenta Living in November 2018. Our new M&E Contracts Manager is already proving successful in terms of culture fit, skills and competencies.
We were determined to appoint the right person to this key position and Chris’ persistency in the face of our shared disappointment meant that we were able to do just that.”
For more information about our recruitment services, please contact Chris Spencer on 01928 568 842 or email Cspencer@pennington.org.uk
Colette McKune MBE - ForViva Group
Head of People Resourcing
Head of People Resourcing
Chris Spencer is our Head of People Resourcing. With over 35 years of experience in recruitment, Chris is responsible for recruiting mid to senior level property experts externally for our clients and internally for Pennington Choices.
Chris manages an external recruitment practise that delivers targeted searches to resource and deliver ‘hard to fill’ permanent, interim and contract placements with clients in social housing. Chris also maintains an experienced talent pool of high calibre interim managers and directors for deployment in fixed term interim and consultancy positions.
- Sourced and recruited the ‘Group Managing Director’ for Liberty Group, a subsidiary of Forviva Group.
- Sourced and recruited the ‘Director of Technical Services’ for IDS Housing Association.
- Sourced and recruited three ‘Asset Management Specialists’ for Magenta Living.
- Sourced and recruited group ‘Head of Compliance’ for New Charter Housing Group.
- Sourced and recruited an ‘Operations Director’ for a niche engineering business that had been unable to source the right person for over a year.
- Placing the ‘Operations Director’ and ‘MD designate’ in a company who then became a client based on the quality of their recruitment experience.
- Director level experience managing a multi £m business.
- Devised the search strategy and delivered the recruitment of +20 senior engineers for a global manufacturing organisation, with three exercises over consecutive years worth in excess of £300k.
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