Executive search and selection case studies

Assignment successes

Hanover Fox brings its search consulting expertise to a broad range of clients, resulting in successful senior executive and board appointments.

Here are a few examples of recent assignments:

The Worshipful Company of Weavers


The committee responsible for recruiting a new Clerk at The Worshipful Company of Weavers were set to manage the recruitment on their own, but John Pilling, the Trustee who oversaw the appointment, says that meeting Hanover Fox changed their minds:

“We decided to consider Executive Search companies as an option. Hanover Fox stood out. They had exceptional experience. They had the recruitment skills we lacked and knew how to manage the process. We were surprised to find it was also more cost-effective than we had imagined.”

Once appointed, Hanover Fox spent time with the outgoing Clerk to understand the role and the culture of the organisation, before reaching out through search and targeted online advertising to create a longlist of potential candidates. John Pilling says: “I was delighted with the quality of the people. Hanover Fox’s written summaries and insights helped us create a shortlist on which we all agreed.” Hanover Fox then advised on the interview procedure and sat in on both rounds of interviews to help the committee make the successful appointment.

John Pilling says he couldn’t fault the process. “I was very impressed with the way they captured the strengths and weaknesses of the various candidates. They understood their characters and personalities. They were also good at challenging us on how we were assessing each person.

Worshipful Company of Weavers logo

“We interviewed four, and three of them could have done the job well. We are really pleased with the appointment we have made, which did end up from outside our own network. I would definitely recommend Hanover Fox.”

John Pilling – The Worshipful Company of Weavers


Chief Operating Officer

When Richard Hampton, Managing Director of OMSCO, (Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative) created the new role of Chief Operating Officer, he went straight to Hanover Fox.

“For a senior position like this I didn’t want to limit us to people looking for a job. I wanted to approach people in work. We needed a very particular cultural fit too; I wanted someone with intellectual curiosity and a self-start attitude who could thrive in a new role within a relatively unstructured business.”

From a pre-vetted longlist provided by Hanover Fox with candidate summaries, Richard chose seven people for initial interview at Hanover Fox’s offices in Bristol. He then invited four back for a second round. 

Richard says:

“The research Hanover Fox did with candidates at the outset ensured I only saw very capable people and I am really pleased with the appointment. 

“When you are a £100m organisation with just 20 people, individuals and relationships are critical. You get a higher quality from Hanover Fox and that’s worth paying for. I would recommend them and I have already briefed them on another appointment.”

“For me, using Hanover Fox is like having a personal shopper instead of going to a supermarket. They are a class apart when it comes to personalisation. They take a lot of hassle out of it. They were excellent throughout."

Richard Hampton – Managing Director

Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology

Managing Director

When Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology (WMFT), part of a FTSE 100 group, needed a new Managing Director for one of its key businesses, they asked Hanover Fox to run an executive search process.

Amanda Capon, Global Head of HR, says: “We are putting huge investment into Aflex Hose and there has been a great deal of change. We needed a new leader who could bring stability, whilst guiding the company through rapid growth.

“I had worked with Hanover Fox before and was confident they could deliver. The moment we got the longlist I was proved right. As well as getting at least one credible female candidate (which we had asked for), there was a really strong field. That’s not easy to deliver for a technical firm based in the industrial north.

“Hanover Fox helped us to shortlist for interview and then took up references. It was a really smooth process from start to finish and we are delighted with the appointment."

I found Hanover Fox diligent, thorough, courteous and good at keeping communications open. They take the lion’s share of the work and aren’t afraid of honest conversations when necessary. I would highly recommend them.

Amanda Capon, Global HR Director

Roke Manor Research

Commercial Business Director

When Roke Manor Research, leading electronic engineering consultants, decided to expand into a new business area, Managing Director, Paul MacGregor, was clear that executive search was the right approach.

“It was an important strategic hire for us. We wanted someone from a different background, with entrepreneurial flair and commercial business acumen. We knew we couldn’t access that calibre of candidate ourselves.

“We saw three potential agencies, but Hanover Fox’s knowledge of our sector and the deep understanding of our business model gave them the edge.

“They spent a good amount of face-time with us. The longlist needed revisiting – we had to widen our profile – but we ended up with a really strong field within the agreed timeframes.

“What was interesting was that after Hanover Fox’s initial screening interviews, they argued for a candidate we might not have included. That turned out to be our first choice and the successful hire.

With Hanover Fox, I don’t get passed off to researchers and analysts; I work directly with a senior consultant and I value that personal relationship. I would recommend them. In fact, I have already.

Paul MacGregor – Managing Director

Royal Astronomical Society

Executive Director

The role of Executive Director at the Royal Astronomical Society requires a particular skillset, balancing the learned society’s scientific aims with commercial, publishing and operational imperatives.

Nigel Berman, the Society’s treasurer who oversaw this crucial appointment, considered a number of Executive Search firms before appointing Hanover Fox.

“Hanover Fox’s experience with a wide range of appointments from other academic institutions to city livery companies gave us confidence they were the right people for us.

After an initial brief, I took a very light touch. They came back with a long-list of 12 names, each accompanied by insightful candidate reports. We interviewed six candidates and Hanover Fox then helped us to narrow the field to three for a second interview. 

In the end I was confident each of those three could have done an excellent job. It then came down to a matter of style and the direction in which they might lead the Society."

RAS logo

“Hanover Fox gave us an invaluable outside perspective in honing our choices, as well as providing the resources, expertise and reach to attract candidates we simply couldn't have done on our own. They were open and engaging and I would certainly recommend them.”

Nigel Berman – Treasurer

The Draper’s Company

Assistant Clerk (Membership)

We appointed Phil de Glanville from Hanover Fox to recruit a new position of Assistant Clerk (Membership) at the Drapers Company in the New Year. We were immediately impressed with the speed with which Phil captured the essence of what we sought, both in terms of the role and the type of person to fill it. Having quickly constructed a draft assignment brief it was immeasurably helpful to collaboratively fine tune it ready for broadcast. Such early two-way communication typified the open, instructive and progressive exchanges that occurred throughout the process. 

The acid test of course was the quality of candidates presented. Our assignment brief was deliberately specific, acting as a good filter of prospective candidates. Phil produced an excellent and varied longlist in person for us to subsequently draw down to a shortlist for interview, again in person. The candidate briefs were particularly incisive, formed from his personal interview of each individual. Importantly, each one proved to an accurate portrayal of the candidates we subsequently interviewed so his due diligence was spot on. More than that, he took enormous care to find out about each individual, nurturing them – and us – through the process. At each stage he encouraged us to discuss progress, which sensibly lead to us slightly adapting the role to better fit the qualities of the two candidates taken forward to final interview.

I could not recommend him more highly for anyone thinking of using Hanover Fox for a recruitment. In fact, we are already in discussion about another position we may need to fill.

"Phil was enormously supportive, enquiring and thoroughly engaged in the recruitment process such that we have ended up with a better qualified candidate than we thought we might get."

Richard Winstanley, Clerk

Hartpury College

Director of HR and Residential Services

Hartpury College and University Centre, one of the UK’s leading land-based and sports educational establishments, needed to recruit a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). 

Having advertised the position themselves, the College were unsure about the quality of candidates they had attracted and so reached out to Hanover Fox to supplement their applicants with an executive search process. 

Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services, says it was important to ensure they had a strong field.

“We are in an important period as we are looking to move towards University status. The COO role is vital to the College’s future 

“Hanover Fox came in to ensure they understood the role, the culture and the changing scope. They then searched their networks and produced a pre-assessed long list. Together we reduced this down to six candidates for an Assessment Centre process.

“As an educational establishment, the Board of Governors has to make senior appointments. Hanover Fox’s Candidate Summary Reports were invaluable in giving them an independent expert view and really helpful in providing focus for each interview."

"I would definitely recommend Hanover Fox. We were under a tight time pressure. They were professional, responsive, open and transparent. They delivered on the timeframe. I think Hanover Fox are a very professional firm who always find good quality and I would most certainly recommend them.”

Lesley Worsfold, Director of HR and Residential Services

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