Future-proofing your Board

In recent years, we are genuinely proud to add real value by securing great non-executives who have not just added to the diversity of Boards but have made a full and effective contribution too. When asked and indeed challenged to, we have always risen to that challenge and can point to numerous successes accordingly.

Boards are changing to reflect the new challenges in the Sector. Our non-executive work over the last 18 months has seen a move away from generalist non-executives to sector specialists in several key channels; including development, finance, health and social care and customer service. 

I’ve said this before but I believe that one of the failings of the sector is that it is largely invisible to professionals in other walks of life. Unless someone has used your service or worked for you their knowledge of social housing will be very limited. Our role is to target these individuals and explain the opportunity and sector to them.

Finance & Banking

Securing a high calibre qualified finance professional who can scrutinise the detail, has a grasp of the big picture… and is prepared to Chair the Audit/Finance Committee. The good ones are rare and needless to say, we strive to maintain an active network of such individuals who have operated at Partner/Director in Practice or at Board Level as a CFO/FD. Often, they are seeking to develop a portfolio of commercial and non-commercial non-executive activity.

Housing Associations are seeking new methods of financing their growth. We’ve attracted senior individuals, recently retired from the banks who are able to offer their expertise in a poacher turned gamekeeper capacity.

Customer Service           

As HA’s seek to differentiate and improve their service, we are regularly asked to find senior candidates from the private sector. We’ve had considerable success in finding people who are working in senior CS roles in the private sector. Generally, from within the regulated industries and familiar with designing customer contact systems that are efficient but able to cater for vulnerable customers.


The Future Homes Standard sets out that new homes built after 2025 must have a minimal carbon footprint and The UK government currently has a target to become carbon neutral by 2050, while the Scottish government aims to do so by 2045. Meanwhile, many councils including Croydon, Bournemouth and Glasgow have set targets to become carbon neutral by 2030.

As the Government trajectory and decarbonisation legislation becomes clearer, HA’s will become liable for an enormous spend on upgrading their current stock. 

Decarbonisation will become the new gold rush as companies and contractors scramble to offer you their services in meeting targets. Don’t let your HA become the gold mine. 

Does your Board have anyone who might be considered an expert in the environmental agenda? Is it time to start looking for that poacher turned gamekeeper who is? 

If you are a Qualified Accountant, CS Director or Decarbonisation expert used to operating at board level, please get in touch. You will be pleasantly surprised! 

Jim Allcroft, Executive Search Consultant

Posted by Jim Allcroft

Jim Allcroft

Higher Education


Emma Wilkins of Dixon Walter, led the recruitment campaign for this key appointment. It follows successful academic leadership appointments elsewhere for the University. Emma has taken much time to understand the institution and provide key advice on how to market the opportunities to ensure the best talent is found.

Higher Education


Hands up who’s ready for half term! Phew what a busy start to the academic year it’s been. At Dixon Walter, we’ve been busy working on some fantastic appointments with existing clients and new. Thank you to all those who continue to support us.

Higher Education


The theme this year, Take Action Make Impact, centres around the idea that we are all trying to reach effective, positive and sustainable impact through inclusion action for all those we work with and for ourselves. That is the ultimate aim of inclusion and diversity and why it’s so important to continue striving for truly inclusive workplaces – to create equity and equality impact for all.