Leader Assessment


Hastings Direct

Business Need: In early 2010 Hastings Direct realised that its ambitious vision for significant growth would only be possible with the recruitment of a senior leadership team with the strategic ability, business acumen and personal drive to turn the vision into reality.

Solution: We worked closely with the Chief Executive and HR Director to understand business objectives and what these meant for the capabilities required in the new leadership team.

Working in tandem with Hastings’s retained head-hunters, our senior team took over once promising candidates had been identified through initial sifting meetings with the head-hunters and Hastings.

Handling all candidate communication on Hastings’ behalf, we ensured that candidates felt informed, valued and respected throughout the process. Each of the candidates completed an Executive Evaluation assessment, our rigorous, objective profiling process that identifies the strengths and limitations of a business leader.

Our detailed report highlighted each candidate’s strengths and risks in the three critical aspects of the Executive Evaluation model – Synergy (fit to the role, team and Hastings business), Capacity (senior management behavioural and intellectual aptitudes) and Agility (ability to make high quality business decisions). In addition, we highlighted the potential underlying derailment risks for each candidate.

A key part of our approach is a follow up discussion with the recruiting business, and telephone briefings with the CEO and HRD pinpointing the critical strengths and concerns followed. We find that this conversation brings our report alive, and can help a recruiter fully appreciate the potential business implications of the issues we’ve identified.

Once the appointments had been made, the final stage was to provide feedback to the candidates. Unsuccessful external applicants were given a telephone briefing and a summarised report, whereas internal applicants received a full, personal feedback and development planning session. This ensured that they remained engaged with Hastings, as well as providing useful pointers for self improvement.

Outcome: A new senior leadership team was put in place by mid 2011, within 6 months of the project commencing.

In the year to 31 December 2012, Hastings Insurance Group announced a 100% increase in Ebitda to £70m along with a near doubling of profit before tax to £61m from £31m in 2011.