Case Study - Head of Operations, Flamingo

Head of Operations

As part of our ongoing partnership with one of our largest clients Flamingo International, we received a request to assist them in sourcing a new Head of Operations for their Fresh Produce business. This was a key hire and we worked directly with the Head of HR & MD on this project.

Flamingo are one of the world’s leading growers and suppliers of fresh cut flowers, house & garden plants, and premium produce, with over 22,000 staff globally. They farm 1,300 hectares in Kenya and Ethiopia, and work with 900 partner growers in over 19 countries, to supply the UK and the rest of the EU with the freshest products.

The Brief

Our task was to source a forward thinking and innovative Head of Operations who would be responsible to manage, plan, organise and lead the vegetable operation, whilst continuingly improving the performance of operations, equipment, and systems.

One of the key requests was to present our client with a shortlist of candidates from a variety of backgrounds. We were looking for individuals with sector specific experience or alternatively experience within sectors that would be transferable.

Flamingo’s core beliefs are Quality, People & Sustainability and it was imperative that we made selections that were fully engaged with these beliefs.

Our Process

Our Business Director, GiuseppeLeo, took the lead on this project and after a detailed briefing with the Head of HR & Managing Director at Flamingo Produce; it was clear what challenges & expectations the successful incoming candidate would have. We had a clear profile of the what the ideal candidate would look like as well as an agreed timescale and interview process in place.

Immediately Giuseppe took advantage of his extensive network of industry professionals that have been developed through long standing relationships in order to source those that matched our criteria. Most of these candidates are passive but due to his understanding of their long-term ambitions he could approach a select group with this exciting opportunity.

We continued our extensive search using the multiple resources at our disposal, this was a targeted approach after conducting detailed research of the marketplace, enabling the identification of appropriate individuals who matched our brief.

On this occasion we delivered a shortlist of 8 individuals who came from a diverse and wide range of backgrounds. We presented our client with the opportunity to review CVs from candidates who wanted to progress in their careers, as well as individuals who were proven at the required level but looking for their next challenge.


The successful candidate was selected & appointed and is now settling well into their role after four weeks in the job. Feedback from both our client and candidate has been incredibly positive.

Our business model; focused not on quantity of vacancies but instead the quality of those roles we offer is what makes Alexander Steele unique and this project is a evidence that when you put people and relationships first, the success will take care of itself.