Compass Minerals

Compass Minerals is a leading global provider of essential minerals including salt, sulphate of potash, magnesium chloride and is also developing a sustainable lithium brine resource to support the North American battery market. The group is US-owned, listed on the New York Stock Exchange with operations across the globe.

The UK subsidiary is headquartered in Winsford at the site of the largest rock salt mine in the country, as well as operating a site in London. From a retired section of the Winsford mine, the UK business also operates a secure documents and records storage business, providing confidential and secure storage solutions to an array of customer markets including professional services, pharmaceutical, public services, police and criminal services and the heritage sector for archaeological archiving.

Head of HR

Following the announcement of their long-serving HR leader in late 2022, Compass Minerals engaged Sherrington Associates to recruit a new Head of HR in the December. The role would take a seat on the UK senior management team, reporting directly to the Managing Director, with full responsibility for the human resources department and with a dotted line to the VP of HR in the US. Key to achieving a successful appointment would be finding a highly experienced HR leader, preferably with experience in a blue-collar, unionised environment, with an exceptional aptitude for developing and implementing winning employee engagement strategies.

Having recently achieved 'Great Place to Work' accreditation, the business was in a strong place as far as people and culture, however with the departure of the long-serving incumbent HR leader, as well as a variety of new external challenges in 2023, this meant that finding an experienced candidate to join the business in time for a smooth handover would be crucial.

The Search

Sherrington were appointed as the retained executive search partner based on our excellent pedigree of recruiting senior HR leaders, as well our background in working with clients in the industrial sectors. As such we utilised our strong network in these areas to gain insights into relevant and experienced candidates, whilst simultaneously executing a desk-research campaign to identify new targets. Due to the exacting timescales given the imminent departure of the incumbent HR leader, Sherrington's project team led by Assignment Manager Rob McKay worked intensely through December and early January to achieve an impressive shortlist by mid-January. Candidates were interviewed by the Sherrington team and were each asked to complete a Personal Values Assessment, which was discussed with clients at the shortlist meeting.

The Result

Following in-depth interviews with the clients involving members of the UK senior management team and the HR team, a successful appointment was made on time and Morag Horne joined the business in early 2023. Sherrington Associates were soon retained again in February to recruit a Head of Sales for DeepStore. Read more about that search in our Case Studies.

I used the team at Sherrington Associates to recruit a senior role in our business. I can highly recommend Rob and his team. Very professional, very supportive. I will work with Sherrington again.

Gordon Dunn - Managing Director, Compass Minerals

Rob and his team are truly professional in all regards when it comes to candidate engagement and attention to detail. Taking the time to get to know a candidate and fully share the position available in great detail only adds to the confidence a candidate has in pursuing the opportunity. Joe and Rob are in constant contact and a true pleasure to deal with.

Morag Horne - Head of HR, Compass Minerals
Compass Pic

Pictured from left to right: Rob McKay (MD, Sherrington Associates), Gordon Dunn (MD, Compass Minerals), Morag Horne (Head of HR, Compass Minerals), Gavin Murphy (Head of Sales, Deepstore), Chris Heywood (Commercial Director, Compass Minerals), Joe Onions (Sherrington Associates).

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