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it’s knowledge rather than hands-on management that you need, you could consider taking on a Non-Executive Director for only one or two days a month. This type of opportunity can be highly attractive to senior candidates looking to impart their knowledge, experience and independent judgement, and in return, the company gains a huge amount of insight and ideas around best practice. Having a weighty, experienced advisor on board from another industry sector, with fresh new ideas, can be highly valuable.

For employers looking to bring in a top level appointment, it’s vital to consider what you really need.

Alternatively, you could consider hiring a senior person as an interim consultant. Increasingly, many organisations use interim consultants to deliver specific projects or to keep things ticking over until a permanent post-holder can be brought in. Again, this type of position can be a highly effective way to buy in senior capability and specialist skills, albeit on a short-term basis, and it can be an appealing proposition for those looking to use their expertise. For some, the opportunity to work on interesting projects without getting involved in internal company politics can make a refreshing change.

Offering coaching or mentoring can also help to attract senior talent who want to make a difference to younger teams, or small fledgling businesses.

Lastly, when you’re recruiting at this level, it’s absolutely critical to think about a good cultural ‘fit’ and the right personal chemistry. It’s far less about rigid skill sets or key competencies and much, much more about how good a match the person will be for the business and the breadth and depth of their experience.


BUSINESS LEADER, BARRIE TORBETT? Barrie Torbett worked within the contract cleaning and support services industry for more than 40 years, including the development of his own start up business into one of the largest providers of airport-related cleaning services in Europe. In 2006, the business was sold to a major Netherlands based facility services organisation.

Since selling the business I tried retirement but you never quite get out of the cleaning industry and it seemed a waste of my knowledge and enthusiasm, so I acted as a consultant to one of the market leaders, supporting them with sector specific projects for a while. However I’ve always had a desire to work with owner managers who’ve followed the same path as me and who perhaps need mentoring or some guidance to help them to the next level. Earlier this year I became a partner at Rathbone Results, an innovative business consultancy which specialises in supporting owner- managed businesses achieve their goals and ambitions.

I first heard about Rathbone Results through James Metzger, at specialist search company Metzger, which had been asked to recommend suitably experienced, senior candidates for a partner role in the cleaning and facilities sector. I was impressed by the structured approach of the Rathbone Results offering and the overall integrity of the organisation, and I officially joined the company in April last year, with my main focus to advise and support growing businesses within the cleaning and facility services sector.

I particularly liked the idea of working with a group of people with complimentary skill sets; all the partners, myself included, have owned or led large businesses in the past, and we all have very rounded experience, which of course is essential when guiding business owners about their future development.

Since starting, I have engaged with a varied client base, including a

domestic cleaning company that has developed quickly as a start-up business and now wishes to expand into the commercial sector, as well as two long standing contract cleaning businesses that wish to consolidate their current positions and work towards retirement and exit route.

I am also working with an office space management company that wants to establish its own in-house service division across multiple sites in the City, while another project has enabled me to work with one of our partners who specialises in the security sector. This has involved the integration of a cleaning company into a security firm – this is a good example of how we all complement each other’s skill sets and share knowledge about our own sectors.

Other ongoing projects involve the introduction of a range of specialist cleaning and hygiene products, and the development of a specialist audit and compliance company in the H&V and kitchen ventilation sector.

In line with the Rathbone Results vision, my role is to work with my clients to deliver growth, profitability and sustainability and to support this, we use analytical tools to assess the fundamental elements of the client’s business before then moving towards the development stage, which may include leadership training, development strategies and sales and marketing campaigns.

For me, joining Rathbone Results has allowed me to maintain a level of independence whilst gaining access to a very talented group of people who are there to provide support and advice to business owner managers.

It’s very fulfilling, knowing that the knowledge you’ve accumulated over the years remains relevant and that I am in a position to share it with those who need it and are prepared to invest personally and financially in their future. Tomorrow’s Cleaning January 2016 | 53

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