Fife Sports and Leisure Trust – How we sourced a brilliant female leader for a unique time

With the CEO of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust retiring within the month of our search, and no handover, we recruited an experienced, dynamic and strategic leader who hit the ground running.

SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS

  • EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL
  • NOT A FIRST-TIME MD OR CEO
  • FINDING CREDIBLE STRATEGIC LEADERS WHO’D MOVED AWAY FROM OPERATIONS ROLES
  • CANDIDATES UP FOR THE CHALLENGES FACING FSLT
  • SUCCESSFULLY RECRUITING DURING NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

SCOPE AND SCALE

The Trust manages and operates 14 leisure facilities on behalf of Fife Council. They’re one of the largest employers in the town with 550 staff. Their mission is improving health and wellbeing across the Fife, offering facilities for people of all abilities.
The new CEO would need to foster good relationships with
the Council and balance the social and economic purposes to develop a sustainable leisure service. This would mean finding further funding and creating and delivering a long-term vision for FSLT, after coming back from a whole industry closure, owing to the Coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.

SITUATION

Finding senior strategic leaders who could lead FSLT through an important stage in their history meant recruiting a current MD or CEO who had held profit and loss accountability for their leisure service. There are a finite number of leisure trusts in the UK so it was vital to present this fascinating opportunity to the sector in a highly engaging manner to attract the highest-calibre candidates.

SOLUTION

We took a detailed brief from the outgoing CEO, and it became very clear that FSLT needed an accomplished new leader capable of creating an immediate impact. We searched the whole of the UK, engaging with the CEO at Community Leisure UK, the industry association, who shared the requirement in her network. It’s a close-knit community and the Trust has a good reputation. We leveraged the expertise in the sector to ensure we had a comprehensive shortlist of the most recommended professionals.

RESULTS

The results were very positive:

  • We achieved 72% engagement of passive ‘candidates’
  • Four candidates were invited for interview (75/25 male/female split)
  • Two candidates were invited for second interview (50/50 male/female split)
  • One great hire was made (female candidate appointed)