Our client was a cleaning company, one of the larger ones in the Netherlands and part of an entity, a family business. The request was to secure a Business Unit Director Hospitality. Hospitality is at this organisation a new business unit and relatively still under construction. The company itself is divided into units for schools, universities, hotels etc. Hospitality constitutes one of those. The unit is focused on everything having to do with the ‘leisure’ market, like the hotel business, cinemas and theaters. This would be the responsibility of this Business Unit Director, all within the Netherlands.
Pillars of success
One of the most important pillars of succes for this company was entrepreneurship; having the skills to put such a business unit in the market. A commercial vision was also a strong requirement. Building the business unit was most important, both regarding revenue, size and the market share they have in the cleaning industry. Essential was that a Business Unit Director knows how to make contact with clients; great customer management skills were therefore very important. He/she had to be able to make a connection with clients.
This role was a combination of strategic components, coupled with vision; how should this company put this business unit in the market. But also operational, because they are still fully under construction. This person will also involve oneself with the basic tasks; being with the feet in the dirt, being proactive and managing the team.
Course of the process
We were able to present three candidates. All three then moved on to the second interview. One had more of a background in catering, with a wealth of experience in hospitality. There was a candidate with a strong background in the hotel business. This person had sat on the ‘demand side’ and had a different point of view; knowing what is on the mind of clients, what the needs are when it comes to cleaning, having experience with what often still goes wrong. Finally, we had a candidate with a lot of experience within the cleaning industry.
Sjoerd Kooistra is a Consultant in the Amsterdam Office of Berwick Partners (an Odgers Berdtson company). He specialises in Senior Management roles across commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining Berwick Partners he was a Research consultant at Odgers Berndtson where he served a broad range of practices, covering different industries and business sectors with a strong focus on Senior Executive roles. Sjoerd holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology and a Master degree in Human Resources, and has taken additional courses on Change Management, all at the University of Groningen.
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