Headhunt Report - Project Director for a Housing Association

We recently completed a Project Director headhunt for a major UK housing association based in the South of England.

As is with all of our headhunts, we collated plenty of information about the industry from the senior candidates we approached.

Key findings include:

  • The top talent in the housing sector prefer to work for private firms over housing associations because of higher salaries.
  • This could lead to a talent deficit in housing associations.
  • Experience is always favoured over qualifications.

Download the concise, single page report here.

Construction 2025 – Key points.


The big question that has acted as the foundation for this strategy is, ‘How can the construction industry add to the growth of the UK economy?’

Peter Hansford, The Government’s Chief Construction Advisor, summed it up quite nicely – “The key is to develop and take forward an industrial strategy for construction and how it can add to the growth of the economy”.


Industry experts partnered with the government to produce the document.


So what areas for improvement have been identified? Three key factors will be focused on to ensure the strategy succeeds.

1. People issues: • The people of the industry are crucial to transforming the industry. • Change industry image. • Build skills for the future. • Change working conditions. • Promote apprenticeships.

2. Technology: • Recognise the influence of changing technology and how it affects the industry on a day-to-day basis. • Become a smarter industry. • Embrace digital techniques. • Increase efficiencies and productivities with the use of new technology.

3. Environment: • Address the issues surrounding reducing carbon emissions. • Support supply chain. • Create a strong and resilient supply chain.

Continuing the export of British expertise is also a priority.

What does the construction industry give to the economy now?

View infographic here…

If you could choose which key factors to address in Construction 2025 would you change anything?

Does Labour really loathe the ‘White Van Man’?

I’d safely assume that most of us are aware of a certain tweet that lead to the prompt resignation of ex-shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry recently.

The tweet simply shows a picture of a patriotic semi-detached house with a white van parked on the drive and a caption reading, ‘Image from #Rochester’.

View the tweet here...

Was this a sneering dig at the ‘white van man’, pure coincidence or a genuine attempt by Thornberry to publicise her efforts on the ground with Labour’s key demographic?

We can never really be sure, but, Labour’s growing reputation as an out-of-touch party consisting of ‘North London snobs’ has aided in influencing the opinions of most.

If the tweet was sent out of bitterness to losing her seat in Rochester to UKIP, Thornberry opens herself up to an amusing irony - an educated individual showing such a lack of intelligence in depicting a derisory view of the working class.

It’s not the first political faux pas we’ve seen and I’m a believer of second chances but it’s hard to show any sympathy or mercy here.

Do politicians get less leeway?

If so, is this deserved?

Was this a genuine jibe at the working class or is she a victim of circumstance and merely the most recent of many social media blunders in a PC crazy nation?

Either way, it seems that an individual with such responsibilities should show a bit more nouse.

A man’s world forever? – The Construction Industry.

The topic of gender imbalance and sexism in the workplace is gaining momentum on a daily basis as various high profile male and female figures push for progress.

Most recently, Emma Watson, delivered a powerful speech at the UN fighting for gender equality which falls in line with her ‘HeForShe’ initiative. Her talk gained untold support from men and women all over the world and the positive aftermath dominated social media platforms.

It’s no secret that the construction industry has a reputation as being very male dominated but that’s not to say we are not making efforts to change our culture.

What’s being done?

Site managers are questioned about their company’s policies towards equality and diversity in the workplace and are scored on evidence.

The recruitment of women will be addressed by the 2025 Construction Working Group. We, as recruiters, have an obligation to use our resources to search deeper for female candidates and this is exactly what we are doing.

But can more be done? Yes.

We need to ensure that construction is seen as a realistic option for young women during their school years.

Open well-funded and publicised portals for construction careers information targeted at women.

Generally create a culture within the industry that appeals to both sexes.

It’s vital that a harmful stigma does not develop over the industry as this would lead to a lack of talent individuals willing to work in construction.