Our Experience

We are experienced in supporting recruitment at an executive and senior level and have worked with a number of councils in the appointment of Chief Executives and other senior appointments.

We are able to provide a comprehensive service that will enable us to support you through all of the key stages of the recruitment process, from creating candidate packs, supporting candidates and Appointment Committee members, through to a tailored assessment process and feedback to ensure the recruitment process for both the organisation and candidate is a thorough and inclusive experience.

Options for Consideration

Briefing for Elected Members on the Appointment CommitteeWe would expect those members on the Appointment Committee to have received an equality briefing prior to the selection process and to be familiar with the council’s recruitment and governance procedures. If a briefing is required, North West Employers can liaise with your HR team to ensure this is covered as part of the recruitment process or alternatively we can facilitate this for you as a separate session.
Support to the Member-led Appointment CommitteeNorth West Employers can provide support to the decision-making panel. We work with the panel to ensure that the role profile and person specification reflect the key requirements and focus of the role. We discuss options for the assessment process and interview format with the panel to ensure that the elements included provide members with a comprehensive overview of the candidates and what they bring.
Support with long/short listing (interview panel)You may choose to use your own long/short listing and interview scoring system against the person specification, alternatively we can provide a template for panel members to use. We are able to carry out an initial sift and draft up a longlist for the panel to consider if required, however we often find that members do like the opportunity to review all applications.
Psychometric TestingWe often use online psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process to provide an insight into each candidate and identify any specific areas that you might want to explore in more depth at interview, including Verbal and Numerical, Management Scenarios, EQi and WAVE.
Assessment CentreOnce the panel has agreed the shortlist of candidates, the next stage will be to invite them to the assessment centre and interview. We are able to deliver this both online (through MS Teams or Zoom), or face to face at a location of your choice.

For Enquiries and Booking, Click Here to Email Rebecca (HR Advisor)

Assessment Centre Options

There are a number of different elements that you may wish to include as part of the recruitment process. We will work with you to create a timetable of activities based on your preferred options. These may include:

CEX Peer interviewto test technical competence (this may be arranged before the assessment centre day to ‘filter’ candidates or can be incorporated into the assessment day itself). We can help to identify an appropriate CEX from within/outside the region, brief them and develop the questions as part of the process.
Presentation to Appointment Committeeon a topic relevant to your organisational priorities.
Interview with Appointment Committeewe can draft interview questions for the panel and sit in on the interviews.
Staff foruma brief, informal discussion with a selection of colleagues from across the organisation.
Written / technical exercisee.g. mock management report, technical financial assessment, or member briefing scored against a suggested answer.
Partner, stakeholder, citizen or business panel(s)composition decided by the organisation but facilitated by North West Employers. Examples could include partners from health, police, CVS, business.
Fishbowl exercisea Fishbowl is a method for organising group discussions. All candidates are sat in a circle. In the inner circle, or fishbowl, candidates will have a discussion on a relevant topic, the outer circle listen to the discussion, observe and will take notes.
Media exercisecandidates will be provided with a fictional scenario and will then complete a ‘media interview’ via Microsoft Teams, which North West Employers will facilitate.

Our experienced and professional team will fully support your operation and process on the day and offer facilitation in each element chosen for the recruitment day. This can include the following:

a. Support for candidates

greet/welcome and transfers during the day. We can meet and greet; welcoming all candidates and supplying them with their individual candidate pack. Containing a clear step by step guide to their day and guidance throughout. Our team are on hand all day for you and your candidates.

b. Support for a panel of peers/staff/partners

We provide dedicated support and advice to the interview panel, staff forum and any other member of your recruiting team before and on the day of candidate interviews. During the assessment day, we will capture and summarise feedback for each candidate and produce a report for the final discussions and decision-making stage.

c. Support for the interviews/presentations

One of our team will be present in each room to help support both candidate and recruiting team. In addition to your internal HR support, we offer full independent, facilitator support to the Appointment Committee. One of our Directors will be with your panel all the way through to help guide them through the appointment process and facilitate discussions to enable them to reach their final decision.    

d. Feedback to candidates

At North West Employers, we pride ourselves on the provision of independent and specific feedback. This can be through a comprehensive set of candidate reports and/ or verbal feedback to the appointment panel.

We can offer feedback to all candidates that were unsuccessful at the assessment centre stage. This is industry good practice and will often include personal career development pointers for the future. We can also provide feedback to the successful candidate and support them as they embark on their new role.


North West Employers has supported many local authorities to recruit Chief Executives and second tier officers in recent years. These include the Chief Executives of Halton Council, Pendle Council, Barrow Council, West Lancashire Council and Burnley Council, from which we received the following testimonial:

“North West Employers successfully supported Burnley Council through its most recent Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer appointments, and we have also used their recruitment support services on previous occasions.

We find their service is personal, professional and flexible to our requirements together with a strong understanding of local government recruitment and associated governance processes. They are as much hands on or off the process as you wish and will tailor their support for assessments and panels to your needs.”

Contact & Costs

For further information or to receive a bespoke quotation based on your individual requirements for our assessment centre offer, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rebecca Malpass, HR Advisor rebeccam@nwemployers.org.uk