Reaping quality from a narrow field

Pilgrims’ Friend Society 

“Action Planning understand where we’re coming from with our faith, which means that, as well as screening out unsuitable candidates, they can screen in people who they know have the right perspective. Alexandra is someone who absolutely understands the people we’re talking to and the Biblical basis to our mission.”

Stephen Hammersley, CEO, Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Background:
Pilgrims’ Friend Society (PFS) operates as a family of Christian charities, enabling older people to flourish through its care homes, residential housing and in the community with support from the church. In 2019 the charity refocused on its work in the catchments where it has operations and this led to the creation of a new position, Director of Marketing and Communications, with the remit to tell the story of PFS’ mission and make sure that each of the charity’s homes was equipped to tell its own story, which included a programme to renew and rebuild many of them.

Brief:
Action Planning was asked to manage the recruitment of the new Director of Marketing and Communications. Having carried out similar work for PFS before, recruiting a new trustee and the current CEO, Stephen Hammersley, we were well versed in the charity’s way of working and, in particular, in its basis of faith, which has a significant bearing on the pool of candidates eligible for employment.

Process:
This case was assigned to two Action Planning Associates with expertise and extensive experience in this field, Hayley McDonald and Tracy Madgwick. Using a combination of recruitment platforms, such as the Evangelical Alliance website, and our own extensive network, they succeeded in finding eight candidates who had the experience to fulfil the role and were comfortable with the PFS statement of faith.

Tracy then drew up a shortlist, conducted first interviews and supported the recruitment panel at final interview. She also managed the negotiations with the successful candidate and took up references. All that was left for PFS to do was draw up the contract of employment.

Outcomes:
Alexandra Davis joins PFS in September 2019 as their new Director of Marketing and Communications.

Consultant’s insight:
Good Directors are hard to find in any circumstances. For a Christian charity like PFS, which requires candidates to be practising Christians who accept the organisation’s faith statement, the field is narrowed drastically. But with the right contacts and understanding of the Christian perspective, good candidates can be found.

It’s important, of course, that in finding people who fit culturally, we don’t overlook the level of skill and experience needed to do the job. In Alexandra, PFS have gained an expert in her field who is well suited to the evangelical environment.

Find out how we can help you recruit the right talent for your charity 

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