Ironmongery Direct didn’t have a head of HR, and their finance director was covering the role instead. In six years, the business had grown from 70 to 250 employees – it therefore needed an agile HR team to grow with the business.
Dominick Sandford, Ironmongery Direct’s Managing Director – Traders Division, wasn’t concerned with a time frame, only finding the right person: “I believe personality is a priority. I’m a big believer that 50% is fit, 50% is the ability do the job. Anything after that can be learnt.
He added: “We were looking for true HR principles and a strong-minded, passionate, and energetic professional with an understanding of employment law.”
The finance director introduced Dominick to Faye McIntyre, a Reed Senior Executive Consultant, and specialist recruiter within the HR sector. Faye took the time to understand the needs of the business, its ethos, and the type of person required for the role.
Jenna Wadman, who fit the firm’s requirements and went on to become the Head of HR and Communication at Ironmongery Direct, wasn’t actively looking for a new job at the time, but she had hit a ceiling in her role as a senior HR business partner. She saw the advert on Reed’s job boards and described her decision to apply as the “natural next step”. She had already worked with Faye as a client and was happy to find that Faye was handling this role.
Firstly, Faye got to know the company, its culture, Dominick, and his teams, to find the right candidate with both relevant experience and the personality to fit the environment.
Dominick added: “Faye really understood our culture and our organisation and was able to build a profile of the person we were looking for.
“We whittled down 50 CVs to 10 or 12. I interviewed eight candidates and gave my feedback on all of them. Jenna’s passion and hunger really shone through, and she was exactly what I was looking for.”
Faye also knew right away that Jenna was the right person: “From day dot, as soon as she expressed interest in the role, I knew she was the one for them in terms of her experience and personality. Jenna’s passion for developing people also matched Dominick’s.”
Dominick and Faye scheduled regular updates, which he said caused no day-to-day disruption to his diary “other than quite a few interviews in that short space of time – but I guess that’s what you get when you get a pool of CVs in one go.”
In addition to the scheduled meetings, Faye was always on-hand to answer both parties’ questions and allay any concerns: “Honesty and transparency were key in this role – any concerns from either party were addressed immediately.”
Jenna stated that: “Faye is so personable, she really takes the time to understand your individual circumstances. She celebrates your successes and will talk through your worries with you. She genuinely cares about the people and the role and finding the right person.”
Ever since Jenna began her role as Head of HR and Communication, she has formed her own team and brought in new policies, positively changing the way HR is perceived within Ironmongery Direct.
Dominick sings Jenna’s praises: “Four or five years ago, HR was seen as the hiring and firing, and not a department that people can go and talk to. Now, the whole organisation knows who HR are, and that they are there to help. A huge pat on the back to Jenna and her team for getting out there and showing who HR really should be.”
Jenna says she has settled into her role very well and is very happy to be in an environment where she feels respected, has established a rapport with senior stakeholders, and has hired a strong team.
When it comes to Reed’s service, Jenna gave it the “highest possible score!” and Dominick stated that he would “absolutely” use Reed again. He is already considering another role for us to help him fill.
He concluded: “The two times I have used Reed at Ironmongery Direct, I have been very impressed. I thought both Faye and Reed were very good at communication. I would definitely recommend Reed to others in my organisation. A very good service.”