Grant McKelvie, Commercial Director, commented: “Following on from the successful Sherbourne Recovery Park recruitment project, WasteRecruit were the obvious partner to help with the recruitment of the Managing Director for Tom White Waste.

We realised early on that we would be using video conferencing for this recruitment project.  True to form, the team at WasteRecruit delivered a solid short list and designed an interview process which not only provided us with the evidence we needed to make an objective decision but allowed the candidates a forum to demonstrate their experience for the role.

It goes without saying that you wouldn’t normally recruit an MD via video conferencing, but we had total confidence in the process, and we have recruited the right person to help us grow Tom White Waste.”


Tom White Waste are a successful, independently owned waste management company who were acquired by Coventry City Council in March 2020. With the family owners moving on, a new Managing Director was required and WasteRecruit were engaged to both source and assess potential candidates.


The job analysis identified a variety of challenges for the new Managing Director. Transitioning from family ownership to operating within a corporate structure required some cultural changes within the business. It was imperative that the new MD was able to provide the appropriate style of leadership required to gain the buy-in of the group.

The business was performing well, so the challenge was to maintain that whilst moving through the transition, as well as looking longer term and creating a vision for the future. The longer-term goals for the Council are ambitious and this person needed an innovative and collaborative mindset.

Covid-19 had a significant impact on the structure of the process. Face to face interviews were not possible due to the second lockdown, so video conferencing [Teams] interviews were conducted.

Interviews combined candidate presentations, which were assessed against the competency framework, and competency-based interview questions. Along with the psychometric testing and feedback evidence, the client had a robust perspective on how candidates would approach the opportunity, manage staff through the transition, and engage key stakeholders. They also had an insight into their wider perspectives on the industry, opportunities for innovation and their vision for the future.


Despite the challenges with Covid-19, the use of technology for interviews did not create any barriers for the candidates or client. The client was able to make an informed decision based on natural aptitude, personality alignment, and evidence from the interview. By adopting a clear and structured process they were able to compare candidates objectively, free from bias, with a focus on competence, values and behaviour