Case Study: Veterans Outreach Support
“Working with Charisma on our recent trustee recruitment campaign has been an extremely rewarding and professionally satisfying experience"
Veterans Outreach Support (VOS) is an award-winning, UK registered charity that provides holistic, person-centred support in the areas of welfare, wellbeing, and mental health for individuals that have served their nation in the British Armed Forces and Reserves, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and the Merchant Navy, and their partners, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight. VOS are well known in the armed forces charity sector for developing the Drop-In model of support, with a focus on close collaboration with delivery partners, and for dedicated mental health support. Over the last 4 years, VOS has seen an increasing demand for the vital mental health services and support they provide and has significantly expanded its range of peer-supported wellbeing activities and social groups.
With the growth of the charity, Charisma had been working in partnership with the organisation on salaried roles across finance, projects, and administrative support, so when the time came to renew and grow the Board of Trustees, VOS approached Charisma to manage a full, rigorous, and robust recruitment campaign to secure new Board members.
Following in-depth discussions and consultation, VOS and Charisma defined skills gaps on the existing Board as key areas of focus for the public search, as well as formulating a comprehensive timescale, which enabled trustee induction prior to their introduction at the spring AGM. A detailed brief was taken, including exploration into the upcoming challenges and opportunities for VOS.
Following extensive candidate research conducted by Charisma’s Talent Team and the creation of marketing tools, including a vibrant and interactive candidate pack, the campaign was launched, with candidates sought in the following disciplines: finance, commercial (e.g. charity trading arm, CIC or social enterprise), mental health and adult social care, HR (ideally with a CIPD qualification), digital transformation and business intelligence and/or lived experience. The search phase encompassed several different engagement routes, including a paid advertising campaign, direct approaches to individuals with the required skills sets via our extensive database, relevant and researched networks and making cold approaches to the wider market. Over 100 candidates were directly contacted across a rigorous 8-week public campaign, with candidates offered initial chats, and those suitable at screening stage, were taken through a vetting interview to further judge suitability and values alignment. Engagement was seen locally and regionally, as well as from further afield.
11 vetting interviews were conducted, with 8 high calibre candidates secured for the longlist, who all presented with very strong expertise in their specific discipline, and as strategic leaders, who demonstrated credibility and values alignment. In consultation, Charisma and VOS selected 6 candidates to attend in-person interviews, the day itself including formal and informal elements, including a panel interview with the Chair and nominations committee, time spent with the CEO and an opportunity to observe a drop-in session to see the charity deliver their support model. Following interviews, we were delighted that the VOS Board was in a position to appoint 4 successful candidates, with offers made by VOS’s dedicated Charisma Consultant. The new trustees were then able to assume their roles in late 2023 (just in time for the Christmas party!) with a full induction prior to the spring AGM.
“Working with Charisma on our recent trustee recruitment campaign has been an extremely rewarding and professionally satisfying experience for Veterans Outreach Support and for the candidates alike. From an incisive and insightful client brief, through vetting, selection and appointment, Charisma conducted a highly professional and diligent campaign that resulted in the appointment of four excellent trustees across the targeted areas of expertise and experience. We also know that the experience from the candidate perspective was equally positive, with candidates commenting on the personal warmth, professionalism, and enthusiasm for our charity demonstrated by Charisma staff throughout their engagement. VOS would not hesitate to appoint Charisma Charity Recruitment to deliver future trustee and other recruitment campaigns and would strongly recommend them to others. A first-class service from a trusted and people-centred partner.”