Head of Engineering


Network Rail were looking for a Head of Engineering for the ThamesLink Programme in London. As this is one of Britain’s biggest projects, they required an experienced chartered engineer to be the technical authority, the lead for all asset related activity and to provide leadership to the Programme’s Central Engineering Team.

Network Rail needed someone with broad based rail and engineering knowledge and extensive experience of managing multiple projects. For success in this role, the in-coming Head of Engineering would need professional credibility and clear leadership experience along with an electrical engineering degree. Professional registration as a chartered engineer was also key.

Media advertising had attracted a number of applications but not of the necessary level for a role of this calibre. They asked TMP to help.


TMP set up an initial telephone briefing with Simon Blanchflower, the Major Programme Director. The conversation provided useful insight into the role, and the challenges and opportunities it would present to the right candidate.

We established the type of person that this role would suit, which helped us to shape our recruitment strategy. It was agreed that we should focus our attention on finding suitable individuals in senior engineering roles within the rail industry. The priority for our search was to focus on individuals who had experience in the most high profile projects.

Following the meeting, our Senior, Professional and Specialist team used a variety of methods to identify individuals to approach from the passive market. These methods included deep-web searching, referrals and LinkedIn analysis. The team drew up an initial list of 25 individuals who appeared to be an excellent fit and reached out to each of them to discuss the opportunity. Response rates were high and we entered into dialogue with 16 of the 25 sourced prospects, indicating that this was an opportunity that engineering professionals were keen to hear about but who had missed the advertising.


A total of four CVs from passive candidates were submitted by TMP and one of those applicants was shortlisted for interview. We’re pleased to say that after a second interview and psychometric testing, Network Rail decided to make an offer to this directly sourced engineer. TMP supported both Network Rail and the successful candidate through the offer process and Network Rail are delighted with the expertise that this person will bring to the role.