• people & practice

Having the right people doing the right things in the right way is fundamental to a not-for-profit’s potential to achieve its aims. Action Planning has deep experience of helping organisations find the right people, develop their skills and enhance and measure their effectiveness.

Senior Recruitment

Find the right person for that hard-to-fill senior post

Are you searching for a needle in a haystack?

Finding the right senior staff or trustees with the necessary skills and experience to lead and manage an organisation is by no means easy. It is a ‘sellers’ market’, with enormous competition for the best candidates. Action Planning has the experience to get to grips with the specific needs of an organisation when recruiting senior personnel, and the infrastructure to source strong candidates and facilitate the selection process.

We work with trustees and senior management to draft meaningful candidate information packs with clear job descriptions and person specifications. We can advise on where it is essential to advertise, other sensible places to advertise, and perhaps some less obvious options. The aim is to reach the largest appropriate audience, at the lowest possible cost. A significant factor in this is our monthly e-newsletter, which goes out to over 45,000 not-for-profit sector practitioners, and links to the specialist job board on our website.

Once we have identified potential candidates (including a highly targeted executive search process if required), we can assess their ‘fit’ to your needs, aid shortlisting and selection and minimizing the time you have to spend on this process.

Action Planning will support your senior recruitment by:

  • Designing and managing an objective and comprehensive service
  • Developing a clear understanding of the specific requirements for the role you’re looking to fill
  • Writing candidate information packs and designing ads for maximum impact
  • Promoting the role widely, in a compelling way
  • Tapping into our extensive network of contacts
  • Arranging intensive assessments and psychometric testing if required
  • Providing a full ‘back office’ service to minimize the workload
  • Making sure that every candidate has a positive experience of the process.

“Action Planning helped us find new Trustees. We felt they really understood the brief and helped with the design of adverts and job descriptions that showcased our organisation and explained the roles on offer effectively. Action Planning were able to find us a pool of credible and experienced candidates from which we went onto recruit successfully.”

Guy Foxell, Chief Executive, One YMCA

Are you struggling to fill an important role?

Interim Management

Short term solutions

Do you need someone in a hurry?

Organisations come under a lot of strain when a crucial position becomes vacant or an increase in activity calls for extra staff. Without time to go through a full-scale recruitment process, the provision of suitable interim managers can be vital. Action Planning has an extensive network of skilled and experienced personnel, who we can put in post at short notice.

Whether the need is for a Fundraising Director, Project Manager, Chief Executive or similar, we can usually provide strong interim candidates to fill the role in the short term. In addition to their own experience, they will be able to draw on the support of the Action Planning team to deliver all the necessary expertise, affording the organisation time to develop the role and continue the search for a full-time candidate.

Benefits of Action Planning’s interim management include:

  • Ensures key posts are not left vacant
  • Relieves the burden of searching for suitable candidates
  • Interim recruits come with the back-up of the Action Planning team
  • Affords time to find permanent solutions
  • Can augments capacity at critical times

“Action Planning have provided interim Director recruitment for LAMDA on two occasions.  Each time their service has been excellent, knowledgeable and well informed and sourcing candidates of excellent quality and skill.”

Joanna Reed, Principal, LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art)

Do you need to find someone fast? 

Coaching, Mentoring & Training

You're good, but could you be better?

Mentor? Coach? Consultant? What’s the difference?

Our simple distinction is that a coach challenges you to excel using your own resources, a mentor works with you to find the right way forward, whilst a consultant tells you what the answer is. In our experience, many of our ‘mentoring’ clients require each of these approaches often at different points in the same conversation!

We can provide training in-house for individuals, small teams or large groups, we can embed experienced mentors to encourage and support individuals in their development, and we can deliver coaching that challenges individuals to use their own resources to find better solutions. We are flexible in our delivery, working face-to-face, via Skype, phone or email and we work to a timetable that suits our clients. We have particular experience of working with senior management and trustees, developing inspiring leaders who make a tangible difference.

With Action Planning personal development services you can expect:

  • Highly experienced coaches, mentors and trainers
  • A meeting beforehand to establish a positive relationship
  • Empathy, sensitivity and confidentiality
  • Flexibility of time, place and structure
  • Regular reviews and evaluation

“You have been a brilliant and inspiring coach, sensitively leading me through a wide range of discussions, addressing not only how I deal with particular situations but also fundamental aspects of my approach to the job. I cannot tell you how helpful and liberating this has been.”

Stephen Newbould, Artistic Director, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Is it time to take the skills of your team to the next level? 

Monitoring & Evaluation

Show the difference you’re making

Are you fulfilling your aims?

If planning and implementation are the drivers of your organisation’s aims, monitoring and evaluation are the navigation tools by which you first plot your course and then ensure you’re sticking to it. 

We provide not-for-profits with the tools and methods that will help them demonstrate the outcomes of their work, prove their effectiveness and show that their strategy promises are being met. We can provide in-house training in the use of monitoring and evaluation systems and advise on appropriate products to aid the process. 

Benefits of our monitoring and evaluation services include:

  • Shaping strategy and keeping it on course
  • Making sure we are measuring the right things ("what get's measured gets done")
  • Helping to focus limited resources
  • Changing your culture to be more outcomes focused
  • Demonstrating the difference you’re making to stakeholders
  • Boosting internal morale

“Walton Charity organised an Impact Measurement lunchtime seminar, with representatives from 16 local charities attending. David gave us a comprehensive overview of the approach and the issues to think about - which was no mean feat for a 2 hour session. Feedback from all those who attended was extremely positive.”

Andrea Watson, Community Services Manager, Walton Charity

Do you need support in proving the effectiveness of your work?

“The Action Planning team provided insightful, timely and relevant advice and recommendations drawn from their specific research for us and their considerable knowledge of the sector. Their work has helped us take our work forward more effectively - a good investment for us.”

Stephen Hammersley, Chief Executive Officer, Pilgrims' Friend Society