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Executive Search Case Study – British Military Fitness

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

The Brief

True North was engaged by fast-growing and outdoor fitness-training company British Military Fitness to partner them in a search for the key hire of a Managing Director to take over the daily operations from founder, Major Robin Cope, and define and build the culture for the business moving forwards.

The Challenge

Due to the organic growth business and hierarchal changes, British Military Fitness identified the need for an experienced team leader for the business. The individual sought would have to demonstrate experience across a broad range of consumer-centric businesses, ideally from working within a “family feel” business as well a larger corporate environment. As well as a solid track record engaging and managing key stakeholders (both internally and externally), the candidate would need to have demonstrable experience successfully leading, motivating and managing a team. British Military Fitness crucially needed someone who could identify and deliver additional revenue streams and be commercially accountable for the performance of the business and who could therefore show previous ownership of financial targets/budgets with evidence of profit maximization.

The Solution

As this was a new role, True North began by interviewing the key members of the team and Regional Managers at British Military Fitness to gain an insight into their commercial and management expectations of the role.

The results of these face-to-face discovery meetings helped hone the job description and the brief further, in terms of core competencies and experience, enabling True North to begin networking their own suitable candidates in terms of availability and interest. At the same time, we identified target companies in terms of relevant industry sectors and skills to ensure a long list of best-in-class candidates to be discussed with British Military Fitness.

The results of both initial actions produced a list of talented individuals, who were then screened further against British Military Fitness competency requirements, to produce a long list for initial interview. Formal interviews narrowed down the candidates to a final shortlist of three who were tasked with delivering a final presentation against questions set by the client.

The standout candidate was then asked to meet the investment partner for a final meeting and was subsequently offered the position.

“We appointed True North in our search for a new Managing Director in September 2011. They led the process for us, from defining the role through to the successful appointment of a new MD. Throughout this process they showed an incredible intuition for the type of person needed for our company, resulting in very high calibre of candidate and the fantastic position of having two very strong candidates from which to make the final difficult selection. Along with a very high level of professionalism, True North consultants were extremely personable and a pleasure to deal with, making the whole process less stressful and thoroughly enjoyable. I would not hesitate to recommend True North for your senior appointments”

About True North

True North advise and build the leadership and management teams of some of the world’s most innovative and fast growth technology enabled businesses. We also work with corporates undertaking ambitious change and transformation.

For more information about this project or our other services please contact Norman Burden or email us at