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Working co-operatively with RBH

RBHRochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, with 14,000 homes throughout the local area. In moving to this unique co-operative model the organisation has experienced significant cultural and operational change in recent years. At the heart of the organisation is an ethos of genuine partnership between members and tenants. A crucial stage in the development of the organisation was the appointment of a Director of Customer Services who would deliver ‘best in class’ customer service within this unique customer centric business model.

RBH engaged Wickland Westcott to lead the search and assessment of suitably experienced candidates for this strategically important role, choosing to work with us on the basis of our track record within the housing sector and the close alignment of our Executive Search and Talent teams. Nick Roberts (Search Consultant) and Laura Oliver (Talent Consultant) worked together to deliver this assignment, working closely with RBH to develop a tailored, market-led, cost-effective solution.
The initial search activity was tailored to incorporate an extremely broad range of candidates. Regardless of sector, the key was to identify an individual who would deliver the outstanding levels of customer service demanded by a business which is co-owned by its customers. The search encompassed the public, private and housing sectors to uncover an ideal pool of candidates.

Once a shortlist of candidates had been assembled, an assessment centre was completed, where candidates attended an assessment day carefully designed against RBH’s competency framework. Assessors from Wickland Westcott worked in partnership with key stakeholders from RBH which included tenant representative members. Assessment exercises were specifically designed to provide candidates with a realistic preview of the types of scenarios they would face if appointed. These exercises included a presentation exercise, a representative group meeting, a personality interview using Credo - and a variety of ability tests. Feedback from the assessment centre was then provided to the panel ahead of the final interviews.

An appointment was successfully made and since this assignment Wickland Westcott has continued to work closely with RBH on a variety of projects including running an assessment centre for the newly created Director of Communities role.

Gareth Swarbrick, CEO at RBH commented: “RBH was delighted with the way that Wickland Westcott worked with us to design and deliver a recruitment process for this critical appointment. The critical time both Nick and Laura spent listening to and understanding our requirements was vital and ultimately led to a successful appointment being made.”