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Findel plc is a long-standing Collinson Grant client.  Its subsidiary Findel Education, which supplies textbooks and equipment to schools, regularly uses our services for support on managing people. 

The business was undertaking a major review of buying with the aim of improving commercial effectiveness and reducing costs.  This potentially meant a cut of about 40 per cent in the staff of the buying department.

We were asked to design and run an assessment process.  Its objective was to help to evaluate the skills and competences of employees against newly defined and more challenging job specifications.  Our approach was:

  • to review the new job specifications and cluster all relevant skills and competences under six core headings – knowledge, numeracy, strategic thinking, people, supplier management and approach
  • to decide on how best to assess each factor. We determined that a numeracy test, an interview, and a case study presentation would be appropriate
  • to design a set of interview questions and a case study, and
  • to devise a scoring system that could convert all data into a simple numeric candidate comparison.
  • The outcomes were used:
  • to decide which employees should leave the business immediately
  • to devise development plans for those kept on, which, once implemented, would lead to improved performance or to individuals being released from the business at a later date, and
  • to develop a model for hiring and performance management which would ensure that talented people were better recognised.

Gary McDowell, Findel Education's Director of Organisational Development & People, said:

"Collinson Grant helped and supported this turnaround with diligence and respect for the people directly affected whilst remaining impartial and highly professional throughout.  Their ability to quickly assimilate our requirements and, more importantly, adapt quickly to the changing circumstances and complexity of the exercise was seamless.  Collinson Grant consultants took time to work things through and their explanations were clear throughout, with supporting notes and guidance in both verbal and written form"