Winning Tender to Appoint Head of Facilities at Alexandra Palace

Following a career move by their previous Head of Facilities, Alexandra Palace required urgent assistance to quickly fill this position. A quick turn around was crucial for this project to ensure the efficient management of the venue and ongoing projects, such as a £27 million restoration project to the east wing.

As part of a competitive tender process, Maxwell Stephens were given the opportunity to work exclusively with Alexandra Palace to fill this position. We initially met with key stakeholders in order to gain a thorough understanding of the organisation, it’s ethos and the corporate culture; as well as gain an in-depth insight into the requirements of the position.

Preliminary phone interviews and were were carried out with suitable candidates resulting in a shortlist of nine people being submitted to the client, all of which were invited for first round interviews. Of these nine, four were invited for a further second round of interviews which resulted in one of the submitted candidates being offered and accepting the position.

“Following a competitive tender process we appointed Maxwell Stephens to fill the Head of Facilities role at Alexandra Palace. Once the brief was agreed, the team at Maxwell Stephens soon presented a shortlist of exceptional candidates. Impressed with the level and suitability, we interviewed all of the shortlisted candidates and brought several of the candidates back for a second round with a good outcome and permanent appointment. From initial discussion to taking up references, Maxwell Stephens were very supportive. They understood the needs of the business resulting in an efficient and successful recruitment process and I would highly recommend their services.”

The Position

The position encompassed a wide range of duties and responsibilities, offering a distinct challenge and opportunity to make a real impact in the business and long term strategy of the organisation for the successful candidate. The fundamental purpose of the role was to provide leadership and management of facilities functions including building repair. The post holder would need to ensure the full effective operation of both the park and palace for it’s multi-disciplined uses.

A key facet of the position involved the long term strategy of the organisation. The post holder would be required to develop and implement a 5 year Facilities Service Management Strategy, providing a framework to deliver a maintenance service which would be value for money, effective, business focused and responsive to customer needs. Other responsibilities of the position included but were not limited to: developing and maintaining robust standard operating procedures; managing team schedules and labour utilisation; contract management of all hard and soft services and managing relationships with regulatory bodies and internal stakeholders.

The Candidate

Due to the nature of the working environment, finding a candidate with relevant experience within grade 2 listed buildings was a necessity, having proven experience of conservation practices covering both hard and soft services. The role required a candidate who was an analytical and critical thinker, with the ability to prioritise effectively and make decisions in the long term interests of Alexandra Palace. As the position was within such a dynamic environment, an organised and disciplined approach was vital for the post holder as they would be required to work and deliver under pressure and to tight deadlines.

Excellent communication skills were also a key characteristic required from the successful candidate. They would be required to present complex information to diverse audiences in a clear and succinct manner, as well as use their strong commercial and negotiating skills to persuade and influence colleagues and key stakeholders at all levels.