Successful virtual appointment: Director of Advancement and Communications at Durham University

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It’s really rewarding to continue to see the outcomes of our virtual recruitment processes, introduced on the day of lockdown, to enable our public services to continue their vital investment in the future. 

We are delighted to have been involved in the appointment of Lucian Hudson to the role of Director of Advancement and Communications at Durham University. His role will bring together all advancement activities, across marketing, communications and development, to support the enhancement of Durham’s global reputation and influence.

Lucian reports that rather than getting in the way, the technology sharpened his presentation style and made him more aware of both his content and engagement. Also encouraging is that Lucian found the interviews provided insight for all involved; so important that everyone uses the opportunity to learn about each other and not just get stuck in presentation mode. Thanks for your kind comments Lucian about our “rigorous and totally professional” and your view that the entire focus is finding the right person for the role.

We are very clear that this period of disruption presents GS with the opportunity to innovate and deliver a better experience and always the right outcome; compromising service is never an option. We wish Lucian all the very best in his new role.

From a candidate’s perspective, I found working with Julia Roberts and her colleagues a very positive experience from start to finish. It was rIgorous and totally professional. I felt GatenbySanderson had properly researched the client’s requirements and wider context. Conversations flowed easily. There was enough challenge as well as genuine interest in the candidate’s expectations and needs. It felt everybody involved was working to the same end to find the best candidate for this new role. 

We had opening exploratory conversations and I submitted my application before the Coronavirus crisis struck. Durham University and GatenbySanderson were clear and meticulous in keeping me informed. Although it was a protracted process than usual because of the crisis, and conversations and final interviews were online, the technology did not get in the way. The interviews provided insight for all involved. I sharpened my presentation style because meetings online seem to put pressure on everybody to be that much more concise. 

Of course, I’m thrilled because I was appointed. It’s a great opportunity for me at this point in my career. But I was a runner-up for another senior role GatenbySanderson managed two years ago. And I know what disappointment also feels like. Then and now the team was great to work with.

Lucian J. Hudson, Newly-appointed Director of Advancement and Communications, Durham University