Forget predictable swings and slides, KOMPAN design and manufacture inventive and extraordinary playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment, often inspired by monsters, giants and adventure. Our UK company is the market leader and holds that position with the quality of our people, design and innovation.

The challenge

Our challenge is not just to take the market leading position, but to strengthen it. We always try to promote from within, but there are times when it’s wise to test our assumptions, our pool of talent – and look outside for a fresh perspective and new ways of thinking. This is especially true when we launch new products (such as our new range of outdoor fitness equipment in 2022) and when we appoint people into their first managerial role.

Two examples:

  1. Our new 2022 range of fitness equipment represented huge advances in engineering and technology, and took us closer to sectors, such as hospitality and the corporate sector, and was a shared challenge for every global KOMPAN company. We needed to work together to accelerate our mutual understanding of best practice, so our Denmark HQ was deeply involved, and we asked Recruitment South East to work with the UK business and scope out the opportunities to accelerate the changes we needed to make.
  2. A very successful Regional Sales Manager was planning to retire. He was leaving very big shoes to fill. Our options were to promote from within, but that would mean we would have to offer the new manager extra support to make the transition and learn new management skills – and lose their sales from our portfolio. Alternatively, we could import an experienced manager who could deepen our skill base but that would mean they’d have to learn how we do things around here. We decided to look at both options in real depth and asked Recruitment South East to search for options so we had real options as opposed to the comfort of theory.

The results

  1. With Recruitment South East’s help, we appointed two fitness equipment specialists who understood the routes to market and what they were selling against. They are accelerating our growth of new networks, and helping us develop from an organisation with a singular focus on playground equipment and design, to a double-barrelled approach that has the extra appeal of cross and upselling into our existing customer base.
  2. With Recruitment South East’s help we had two outstanding candidates, one from outside and one from in. We were left with a very stark and difficult choice, each with much appeal. Eventually, we took the inside candidate, but the process forced us to be sure that we could commit to support our preferred option while he settled into his new responsibilities. I’m convinced we made the best decision based on objective judgements – and Recruitment South East also acted as an honest broker, despite them having a vested interest in promoting their candidate.