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Buck the trend

AdviserplusAdviserPlus are leading one of the next big business trends. Working with mid-cap and FTSE 100 companies, they are helping change the way in which professional services, from HR and health and safety to business advice, can be delivered reliably and cost-effectively. Combining leading-edge technology with exceptional people, they provide proactive client solutions that seek to prevent problems, rather than cure them. Their own brand-building has been intentionally low key – although you may not have heard of AdviserPlus, you will certainly know their clients.

Although a young business, they have already developed a reputation for innovative thinking, and this extends to sourcing their own people. So whilst there is currently a move for public sector organisations to recruit private sector stars with commercial expertise, AdviserPlus also looks at the other side of the coin – what vital skills can their business learn from the public sector?

To this end, they hired Wickland Westcott to find a progressive COO – someone who could bring vision, bags of energy, a track record of delivering change, and crucially, similar values around people, quality and integrity. As well as researching candidates with a background in technology-enabled professional services, Wickland Westcott also considered candidates who had successfully driven change in the complex stakeholder environments often found in the public sector, for example, local government and education.

Pam Smith, then Director of Transformation at Rochdale Borough Council, emerged as the perfect fit. In a brave move typical of the AdviserPlus culture, the company appointed Pam to this senior position last year despite her limited private sector experience.  CEO Christine Clarke explains:

“For us, the most important thing is cultural fit – we need people who understand our customer-centric ethos and will move heaven and earth to deliver excellence. Pam offered expertise in transformation, and also deep experience of the public sector, including local and central government, where we have a growing number of clients. Once we had met Pam, we knew she was perfect for us.”

The move has proved very successful for both Pam and AdviserPlus, emphasising the importance of being open-minded when putting together shortlists for senior vacancies. Christine Clarke concludes:

“With regard to Wickland Westcott, we like working with partners who demonstrate fresh thinking, and who are willing to stick their necks out. As a boutique operation, Wickland Westcott is not the biggest supplier out there, but they are relevant, they are quality-obsessed, and they have edge”.