Case Studies

Some of Our Case Studies

Below are some of the many projects that we have successfully delivered with our consulting clients across a variety of industries and sectors.

Royal Mail

In 2008, we provided a team of assessors to assist Capital Consulting in the delivery of a series of high profile senior management Assessment Events for Royal Mail. The events followed a major re-structure in the organisation and were designed to ensure that the correct people were placed in the most appropriate positions in the new structure.

This project required us to work within a complex stakeholder arrangement. We had numerous relationships to manage as we were working alongside the assessment design team, the assessment project team, Royal Mail HR and Royal Mail managers, so excellent communication and teamwork were critical success factors. In addition, the project timelines were particularly challenging. Our assessors were required to work with a number of different divisions within Royal Mail and their specific responsibilities were as follows:-

  •  Conducted competency based interviews for various management grades
  •  Assess candidates’ presentations and participate in question and answer sessions working in tandem with a senior manager from Royal Mail. To do this effectively they were required to understand the nature of the work undertaken by each function in this complex business.
  •  Took responsibility for guiding best practice and challenged any subjectivity so that their Royal Mail counterparts could be confident that their observations were captured in a way that was objective, inclusive and defensible.
  •  Created detailed feedback reports for all candidates

In order to deliver the events successfully we provided a consistent core team of 20 assessors who were all screened and approved by the client. We had outstanding feedback from Royal Mail Group who were particularly impressed by the level of commercial expertise displayed by our team.

Research Sites Restoration Ltd

In 2008 we provided a team of associates to assist Chiumento in the delivery of a development centre for UK Atomic Energy Authority (recently re-named Research Sites Restoration Limited).

The project followed a management restructure and would lead to further training workshops aimed at developing coaching skills for line managers. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, this required the Zircon Associates to show extremely high levels of professionalism and commitment to ensuring a positive outcome.

The development centre itself consisted of a structured interview, role-plays, group discussion and then an in-tray exercise followed by an individual feedback session. This information was then compiled into individual reports for the line managers, to be used for future development

The Zircon associates had to work to a combination of demanding timescales as well as high levels of flexibility in order to deliver a seamless and consistent standard which was appreciated by both Chiumento and UKAEA, receiving the following feedback: –

“The administrators and associates found your guys:

• flexible
• professional
• prepared to take time and provide practical tips to improve the process
• great ‘chatters’ and, of course, great to work with

Thank you – Andrew”
(Dr Andrew Hill, Director of Talent Management, Chiumento)

Northampton General Hospital NHS
Assessment & Development

In 2009, we designed and delivered an assessment and development centre and coaching follow-up for the Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, in partnership with The Learning Curve.

The Trust was driving towards Foundation Trust status and as part that process needed to assess the current capabilities of Directorate Managers and start an accelerated development process for them, focusing on the Trust’s eight core competencies for senior managers.

The assessment and development centre itself consisted of two structured interviews, role-plays, presentation and meeting simulation exercises, and a business strategy paper followed by an individual feedback session. The participants also completed personality and emotional intelligence psychometrics. This information was then compiled into individual reports for the individuals and their line managers, to be used for future development.

To embed the development in the participants, each participant had follow up coaching focused on their individual development needs. To ensure continuity and trust were maintained, this was with one of the consultants they had worked with at the centre.

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