Hallmark Care Homes

Director of Estates and Development Headhunters

The Business:

Hallmark care homes are a group of leading relationship-centred care homes, focussing on creating communities that offer activities, independence and choice. Established in 1997, with the first care home opening in Wales under the name Hallmark Healthcare, the family-run business has gone from strength to strength and currently has 20 large high-specification care homes in their portfolio.

The business retains all of its core family values, with a very distinct and refreshing attitude to people, valuing the relationship as their greatest asset and the reason for many of their business successes.

The Challenge:

The company had been building on their reputation in Wales/South of England and was keen to do so even further. Expansion was set firmly within their sights and they were looking to appoint a Director of Estates and Development to help them realise that goal. The successful candidate would have overall accountability for the estates and facilities of all existing care homes premises, ensuring they were managed, maintained and developed to a consistently high standard, as well as ensuring that all development projects were delivered to the highest possible specification, on time and to budget. They would also be responsible for implementing, managing and maintaining the company’s development process and procedures for land sourcing and acquisitions, design, planning, tendering, contract negotiation, build and hand over

Our Candidate:

The successful candidate would hold a pivotal position within Hallmark and could potentially influence the continued growth of the company as a whole. Therefore we knew that the ‘Hallmark’ candidate would require a pro-active approach to acquisition and development. They’d be wholly responsible for the delivery of new care homes, from inception to completion, so exceptional project management and contract management skills would be vital. Hallmark’s development-model sets out the building and opening of 4 new care homes a year and so the chosen candidate would need to be adept at managing multiple high-value projects simultaneously.

Our Solution:

We immediately identified that, due to the very sensitive nature of business, the ideal candidate would have to have a full appreciation of the business environment and therefore have a background which related to the care industry. They would also have to have a proven track record in delivering technical high-specification projects and successfully driving a company’s development programme through a period of exponential growth. The challenge would be in finding a candidate with the right mix of experience as, historically, Development and Estates are viewed as two distinctly separate roles.

Knowing the Client:

When we met the senior management of Hallmark Care Homes it was immediately apparent that they had a very clear identity and culture. Much of the success of the business comes from the fact that they have maintained the same ethical and empathetic attitudes. Avnish Goyal, Managing Director, started with Hallmark all those years ago with integrity running at the heart of the business. It was therefore critically important for us to headhunt a candidate who represented those core values.

Identifying the Candidate:

The highly technical niche combination of experiences needed to fulfil this role meant that we needed to start with a very specific narrowed search, identifying similar size businesses with a similar offering in a related sector. This had a real impact on the number of candidates we could approach, reducing it significantly than the regular number. This meant that we needed to be incredibly tenacious in our pursuit of the right candidate but also incredibly sensitive to the covert element of our search. Through extensive consultation with potential candidates we identified two candidates that had the proven background and subsequently one of them was offered the position.

Simply Bringing the Right People Together:

We were able to identify an individual who thrived in this role, working for a very similar business with all the desired skills and experiences needed. The candidate brought a real core strategic edge to the business, a skills-set well above the client’s expectation.