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Board recruitment campaign for Redress Scotland

In 2021, the Scottish Government announced the creation of a new non-departmental public body (NDPB) to assess and make decisions on applications for redress from survivors of abuse in the Scottish children’s residential care system. Seymour John was chosen to run the campaign to establish its board.


We were tasked with the search and selection for the Chief Executive, Head of Finance & Resources, Head of People, and Head of Operations. With the NDPB due to go live at the start of 2022, the campaign would be fast paced. It also needed to be fluid, with governance, policies, and procedures being worked out simultaneously. The sensitive nature of the new organisation’s remit meant independence was essential, yet, as the first board-level appointments to be made, the HR ownership remained with the Scottish Government initially.


We created a 40-day project timetable that prioritised the recruitment of the Chief Executive, cascading by importance across the other roles. Beyond our candidate profile searches, we advised on governance, policies, and procedures, bringing in our independent in-house team of HR consultants to oversee candidate assessment and profiling, and the interview process.

Communication was crucial. At the point of offer and acceptance contracts of employment were still being developed for each of the positions. It was important, therefore, that the candidates were regularly updated, ensuring they remained sympathetic and understanding, whilst carefully managing the Government’s HR team throughout.


A total of 410 applications were generated over the three-week advertising period for all four roles. Through a focussed set of screening questions and face-to-face (via MS Teams) competency-based interviews, 10 candidates where long-listed for each position and presented. We interviewed and assessed the applications against the set criteria (and advised all unsuccessful candidates in writing prior to the shortlist presentation).

Five candidates for each position were then shortlisted and the unsuccessful candidates were advised accordingly. Our in-house HR team took the shortlisted candidates through a comprehensive assessment centre and Thomas International psychometric testing. The results were then presented to Redress Scotland prior to the candidates attending final interviews.

Redress Scotland confirmed which candidates they would like to offer for each of the roles, all of whom accepted first time and started successfully. Seymour John managed the onboarding process to ensure a de-risked solution was in place to manage the approach from final interview to start date.

With the board in place and subsequent assessment panel members appointed, Redress Scotland has begun its difficult and sensitive work. Overarching the entire project has been the desire to place survivors at the heart of the redress process.

John Lavictoire

John Lavictoire

With over 20 year’s specialist experience, John is a leading expert in public and social sector recruitment. As such, he has become the go-to consultant for difficult-to-fill executive and NED roles across the sector.

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