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New skills to drive manufacturing culture change

New skills to drive manufacturing culture change

The Challenge

As an innovative and forward-thinking company, Twinings is constantly looking for ways to improve the business. Twinings recognised that, in order to deliver improvements in manufacturing efficiency and performance, it needed to replace a historic shift pattern with a new management system involving motivated and driven Front Line Managers (FLM). There were a number of potential candidates within the business but Twinings identified the need to bring in expertise and experience from outside.

While Twinings was confident of being able to attract a large number of applicants, the HR team knew that the FLM candidates would need focussed, strong and dedicated personalities for them to succeed in driving forward efficiency and performance. The recruitment project was therefore very much one of assessing personality and drive, and would need a partner with experience, expertise and resource.

Partnering with Expion

Caroline Vooght of Expion had worked with the Twinings HR team in the past and she was invited in to pitch for the work.

Caroline immediately identified the need for a recruitment process which was very much focussed on personality and competence. She impressed the Twinings HR team with her insight and understanding of the market, and the challenges that recruiting for this level of role would present. Following the pitch, she was retained to undertake the project on their behalf.

While Twinings is a very well respected brand, the demand for such skills in the market and the relatively high living costs in Hampshire compared to other UK manufacturing areas, meant that the ideal candidates were likely to be already based in the region.

Caroline therefore designed an advertising campaign that harnessed local as well as trade websites, and harnessed the Expion network of contacts to gain referrals and recommendations from industry colleagues.

Caroline then designed a selection process that focussed on identifying those candidates with experience within a manufacturing leadership role who could display evidence of driving cultural change and the ability to embed this change within the team. A personality and competency based questioning framework was developed to highlight those showing clear evidence of these skills.

In all, more than 90 candidates were spoken to, 40 undertaking a detailed personality and competency interview. Ensuring that the candidates met the brief was essential, as was establishing the important factors for each candidate to ensure the role would meet their needs and aspirations. The final selection of 12 candidates was presented to the Twinings management team in person, highlighting the key strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

Outcome & Results

As there was such a focus on personality and drive for these new roles, a full assessment day was devised by the HR team. All of the candidates who attended the assessment performed very well and demonstrated drive and commitment.

As a result of the assessment day, the Twinings management team offered positions to two candidates, both of whom accepted the role and started as new First Line Managers. Both candidates were able to attend the kick-off event for the new structure and both are already beginning to drive cultural change and increased efficiency for the manufacturing plant.