Our client is a UK-based supplier and manufacturer of high-performance materials. This is a truly global business, having expanded internationally to establish key manufacturing sites in the USA and China.

6 Group had worked on a transformation with the CHRO previously. During the first meeting, the CHRO made it clear that the business was going through a period of significant change which would require critical, technical & leadership hires to be made across the whole business.

We first had to demonstrate we were the right partner for the job and the initial search that 6 Group conducted was a specialist role within the Intellectual Property team. Upon commencement of all searches, 6 Group develop a deep understanding of the vision and strategy of the business, what this role means to the organisation and the opportunities available for the candidates. Off the back of this, we then generate a client-branded candidate briefing document to share with the external market. These include information on the company, insights from the line manager, organisational chart, role profile, assessment and interview process, timescales, and a bold diversity statement to maximise talent attraction. This ‘attraction pack’ automatically sets the tone for the candidate experience to follow.  

6 Group identified and assessed a range of suitable candidates externally against bespoke functional and behavioural competencies. We engaged a host of talented individuals capable of stepping into the role, but a full technical and behavioural assessment was necessary to really dig down into their capabilities. Following this, a shortlist of exceptional candidates was presented to the client for the interview stage and the search was completed. The painstaking research and selection allows us to provide a range of strategic options on how the role can be performed – critical when driving change.

At the start of 2021, our client contacted 6 Group asking us to find a Technical Lead in the R&D team. A niche skillset, with the ideal candidate having a knowledge and understanding of the design, development, and implementation of cutting-edge materials within a regulated industry. Following the same, rigorous process, 6 Group successfully completed the search assignment.

Following on from these campaigns, 6 Group were invited to conduct key strategic searches for the following teams: Regulation, R&D, legal, manufacturing, technology & commercial.

The challenges

The biggest challenge faced was the competition for top talent in the post-COVID environment. Response rates from candidates were down from previous years.

Typically, we identify 100-250 candidates per search with a response rate of >70%. Throughout this period, response rates were closer to 30-40%.


Our response to this challenge

  • Given the high agility and scalability inherent to our talent identification and engagement process, we were able to swiftly recalibrate our approach according to the challenges of the market. Consequently, we weighted our process more heavily on research, in some cases adding two additional weeks to a search process to attract more candidates. Our process allowed us to add more touchpoints to the engagement campaign, making sure we gave individuals every opportunity to communicate with us. We worked with our client on our approach to market and what additional information we could share to draw more candidates into the process. We looked at tangential markets to offer a diversity angle where applicable. The agility of our process also enabled us to fast-track exceptional candidates in a market with unprecedented levels of opportunities.
  • Consulting closely with the client, we promoted the offer of flexible working where possible. This has been incredibly successful for many of our clients, who have implemented flexible working as the new norm. In this instance, it opened a much wider talent pool which previously would not have been available to our client, due to their geographical nature.
  • We created a structured, streamlined approach to the recruitment process together with the client and communicated this clearly with the candidates from day one, managing their expectations accordingly.


Through our continued partnership, we have successfully placed all positions. The response rates have increased to an average of 50%-55% this year. This is largely down to the agility and scalability of our process and the refinements we made.

Our client continues to partner with us for global executive search.

Find your next search

If you’d like to discuss how 6 Group can help your company achieve its organisational change, contact us to arrange a confidential discussion with a Senior Client Partner:

Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via the contact form.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.
You must accept the Terms and Conditions.