Criticality Specialist - Nuclear Sector

Case Study - Nuclear Sectors

Position:  Criticality Specialist
Client:      BNFL


Viewed as a key, senior appointment to BNFL, the remit for the successful candidate was to raise the profile of BNFL’s Criticality capability and expertise both nationally and internationally. 

Potential candidates would already be recognised experts in this field and well known to both BNFL personnel and the wider Criticality Community.  Additionally, our client wanted to ensure an objective and fair process was adhered to in relation to this recruitment and to remove any potential for any unconscious bias.

Barry Tollefson Search Consultant of Standley Associates put together a bespoke recruitment process utilising a competency-based approach, focussing on the key differentiation criteria agreed following a full consultation with the client.

As a consequence of the relatively limited field of identifiable potential candidates and the confidential nature and sensitivity of this assignment, this position was resourced using Search.

Following identification and client approval of target organisations and candidates, confidential approaches were made to potential candidates.  At this initial approach stage, the client’s identity was not disclosed.  

Once candidate interest had been established and agreement had been reached to move to the next (consultant interview) stage of the process client name and more in-depth detail of the post were discussed. 


An initial field of 4 potential candidates was reduced to 2 and subsequently 1 (see note at end) progressed to consultant interview and subsequently to client interview.

This led to a successful outcome assisted by careful candidate and client management and the discovery during the consultant interview of the candidate’s desire for people management experience which was pivotal to the job description.  

A key part of the process was managing the candidates exit strategy from his existing employer to his, his employers and our clients satisfaction and involved ‘brokering’ a deal for a ‘long-term’ resignation from his company involving a period of part-time employment for the first 6 months of this employment to be able to support the completion of existing projects.


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