Trade Union General Secretary

Executive Search Case Study

Executive Search
Our Client
Our client was the UK’s largest pilots association and registered trade union, representing over 85% of British pilots. Their incumbent General Secretary was retiring and, after a competitive process, they selected CJPI to conduct the search and selection for their new leader. As a succession role and one which will effectively be the ‘CEO’ of the union – implementing the direction set by the membership – it is a strategically significant and highly important role.
The Role
The General Secretary is an elected, salaried but non-voting-member of the National Executive Council (NEC), who works in partnership with the Association’s Executive President. The General Secretary was tasked with building on a strong foundation in this demanding and highly visible role, being accountable for the overall leadership and day-to-day management, coordination and monitoring of BALPA across the full range of Association rules and responsibilities, to ensure continued delivery.
The Team
Our team was headed by an experienced Search Director. They were supported by an Assistant, Interview Expert and Psychometric Profiling Practitioner.
The Solution
Following a period of research which revealed internal insights as well as input from other stakeholders including airlines, regulators and members, we deployed our active sourcing methodology to source and generate applicants based on our research phase. We then implemented our selection strategy to long, then short list potential candidates. We utilised our ideal candidate profile to benchmark candidates against previous post holders to bring deep context to the process. The active sourcing approach focused on candidates from the sector who we had identified through our research phase. We integrated a paid advertising strategy to complement this by attracting individuals from associated sectors or who met the criteria. As with all of our searches the process included our extended, professionally administered occupational personality profiling for all shortlisted candidates.
The Result
Our search generated 51 qualified candidates who met the strategic, technical and experiential requirements, most of whom were not actively searching for a new role. We then long-listed candidates for our initial formal interview process and 6 were subsequently selected for the shortlist. We additionally utilised our professionally administered occupational personality profile, benchmarked against our senior leader ‘norm’, as well as our benchmark ‘ideal candidate’ profile which is powerful in succession projects such as this. Using all of the tools, together with our recommendations and the feedback from our occupational personality profiles, the successful candidate was offered the role and accepted. The appointment resulted in the first female general secretary to take the role in the union’s 86-year history.