The Scenario

Having recently appointed a new Chief Executive, Porirua City Council committed to a comprehensive organisational review to ensure the Council was ready for the future. In conjunction, a new long term plan had just been adopted.

Porirua and its suburbs had the potential for substantial growth, but faced challenges such as how to ensure Transmission Gully benefited the community, revitalising the city-centre, and attracting business to the city.


PCC - Logo - High Res

The drivers of the review, and subsequent refresh of the leadership team, were a focus on young people, minimising rates affordability issues, ensuring full delivery of a capital programme and getting to grips with new council-controlled entities such as Wellington Water. Strategically, this change was occurring in the midst of a fluid external environment, with many questions being asked of the structure and composition of local authorities nationally.

The Assignment

The refresh led to 20 new or significantly changed positions coming to market. JacksonStone was selected as Porirua City Council’s search and recruitment partner, providing an end-to-end service including candidate sourcing, review, shortlist support, background and reference checking and eventual offer negotiation.

The major challenges in running this assignment were:

  1. The need to provide a transparent, robust and fair process given the number of internal candidates
  2. Ensuring we moved swiftly to bring in the new structure, so Porirua City Council could get on with delivery
  3. Managing a difficult time of year – recruiting across the Christmas/ summer break
  4. Making sure the Chief Executive, and General Manager of Human Resources were appropriately informed at all stages of the process.

The Execution

We began by assembling the team. Our unique combination of scale and experience enabled us to put together a recruiting team of eight senior consultants each with credibility in the sectors they would be recruiting in. We appointed one of our Directors, Lindsay Jackson, as project lead and briefed four further support staff on the assignment.

We completed a comprehensive briefing with Porirua City Council, developing a cohesive narrative of the assignment, and understanding the nuances of each position.

We then split the assignment, creating two tranches to recruit for. We elected to work first on the tier two assignments, leading into the next tier ensuring that there would be input from tier two on their soon to be direct reports. This also made the process more manageable for our consultants, ensuring we would have the time to deliver a high standard of candidate care. Similarly, it relieved pressure on the internal HR processes involved.

Recruiting over the end of year period is often fraught with challenges; candidates are on holiday, hiring managers are wrapping up the year, and people are less receptive to recruitment advertising. We could not move the process back or forward, and so to deliver a positive result we structured our search and marketing processes to be in place outside the shutdown period, and clearly signalled to the market when roles would be advertised.


We successfully delivered this assignment, with the vast majority of positions filled within the expected timelines. The reputations of both JacksonStone & Porirua City Council were maintained, with candidates kept informed throughout.

This was a major undertaking, with its ultimate success owing to an engaged, receptive and active client in Porirua City Council and JacksonStone’s unique balance of scale and experience.