TMP December 2021 Data Security Update

The Royal Wolves NHS Trust: Hiring a Director of Workforce

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust employs 8,500 people and has the vision to become an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO). This is the catalyst for a large scale transformation in the way that the Trust operates. Key to achieving this is having the right people in the right places, and motivational leadership. So, when it came time to find an inspirational Director of Workforce, they teamed up with TMP.

This project combined our capabilities into a fit for purpose talent solution using Executive Search followed by a customised assessment activity, ensuring that the skills and cultural fit were the just right.

The Challenge

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust employs 8,500 people across 38 sites, they also host the West Midlands Local Clinical Research Network across 6 sites. The vision of the Trust is to become an Accountable Care Organisation (ACO). This vision is leading to large scale transformation in the way that the Trust operates.

This is a big cultural change for the Trust and they needed to bring in an experienced HR and OD Director with an understanding of the NHS, who could also demonstrate that they had led transformational change. Suitable candidates for the role also needed to be able to evidence that they had developed effective HR Business Partnering.

The Director of Workforce needed to hit the ground running and have the credibility to work at Board level, advise the organisation and keep it safe. The CEO wanted a ‘class act’; someone who would take ownership and get things done.

Lastly, the Trust wanted to ensure that the new Director had the necessary personal attributes and working style to give reassure that they had the right skills and talent to perform successfully in post.

The Solution

TMP Executive Search was briefed to look outside of the NHS into large complex organisations, the wider public sector and NHS Trusts to find an inspirational Director of Workforce. We were also asked to recommend assessment tools to ensure the hire was the right ‘fit’ for the Trust in terms of personality and leadership style.

TMP conducted a briefing with the Trust Board which showed real partnership and enabled the assessment of potential candidates to become much more robust and rounded. Our Executive Search team scoured the various talent pools that had been agreed, engaged with a number of active and passive jobseekers bringing the Trust’s Employer Brand to life and activating those who met the brief into applicants. After the submission of our shortlist to the Trust, we administered the Wave Personality Test, a psychometric assessment designed for leadership roles.

We followed this up with a 1-2-1 validation interviews, exploring their responses in more detail and gaining evidence of how the leadership styles they have reported impacted their work, stakeholder relationships and overall success. We also explored the situational leadership effectiveness in any areas that reflected a particular strength or risk to working within an NHS culture.


“Thanks to TMP, the executive search team and client partner for supporting the Trust with this high level appointment. It was a very positive experience from our point of view and I'm sure the successful candidate will be a great asset as Director of Workforce.”

Linda Holland, Interim Director of HR & OD The Royal Wolverhampton NHD Foundation Trust

Benefits and Results

Initially we identified 84 potential candidates. We were able to engage with 62% of them to find nine candidates for a shortlist which was presented to the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust. Six individuals from the shortlist were invited to interview, and then one person was hired.

At the end of each project we produced a market insight report, which captures feedback outlining the results from each campaign. This includes intelligence directly from candidates with the requisite skills for the role. This valuable information was presented to the Trust and included anecdotal quotes from potentially suitable individuals, highlighting why they had chosen not to proceed. Many clients have used these insight reports as a tool to help them benchmark their own positions.

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