DJ Evans [Managing Director]

The Company

A family-owned, diverse group with a proud heritage in Suffolk exceeding 70 years. The organisation has posted steady and sustainable growth to become “the one stop shop for fixings, fasteners, power tools, hand tools, woodworking equipment, garage doors, welding equipment, architectural ironmongery and building products.”

The Brief

For the past 31 years the group had prospered under the stewardship of the Managing Director and Finance Director – both of whom sought to retire from their posts in 2017. The ONE Group were recommended by a firm of professional advisors as a specialist with a proven track record of delivering board-level hiring solutions and succession-planning consultancy.

The Recruitment Project

This appointment was the first phase in initiating the next period of growth of the group. Each division of the business had been robust throughout periods of recession (periods during which many companies in the building-supplies environment had downsized/closed) and have evolved to deliver steady growth in the following years. The next Managing Director would carry the remit of building the necessary infrastructure to carry the organisation into the realms of a medium-sized enterprise.

Accordingly, the successful candidate would require a knowledge of the building-supplies industry. They must also possess a demonstrable track record of delivering growth from an established base whilst maintaining an empathy with the cultural requirements of a business with a family heritage in a rural/regional setting. In summary, change was required to provide a strong future but needed to be built upon the foundations of the lessons learned in delivering business-growth over seven-decades.

Given the stability of the Leadership Team, the organisation had not recruited at board level for many years. D J Evans were therefore looking for The ONE Group to offer process-design and programme-management as well as delivering a successful appointment.

The Solution

The first element of the campaign was to design and agree the recruitment process, working backwards from successful completion of a handover from the existing leadership team. The ONE Group delivered an on-boarding programme, selection process methodology (in house), scorecard-based assessment matrix and screening programme (external) which was then signed-off by the board.

A candidate-attraction campaign was designed to incorporate advertised selection, network-search and direct search-and-engagement. Because of the local heritage of the business and reputation for strong family values, D J Evans enjoy a very well-developed employer brand across the Suffolk catchment. It was essential that this was leveraged into a nationwide campaign.

The result was the identification and engagement of a talent pool of 73 candidates. The screening programme was conducted by The ONE Group specialists and this, combined with the scorecard-based assessment derived a shortlist of 6.

The multi-phased internal selection process was applied and the shortlist was reduced to a selection-pool of 3 individuals. After a final phase of panel-interview and business-case presentation, the successful applicant was selected and the offer process was swiftly executed thus allowing the handover period to be commenced at the earliest opportunity.


The context of this assignment was unique as this was an organisation with an outstanding record of stability within the leadership team. This meant that the Board required a great deal of support and collaboration from the ONE Group specialists who were able to incorporate elements form other, recently delivered campaigns whilst designing new elements which carried both the structural AND cultural requirements of the assignment