Helping Hands COO placed by Compass Executives

Helping Hands
Chief Operating Officer

October 2018

Company Breakdown

Helping Hands is a market-leading, national home care provider offering private pay customers a continuum of care ranging from hourly to Live-In services to Clinical Care. It has developed a leading reputation for delivering excellent care and always “doing the right thing” for customers and carers.

In 2018 Helping Hands was awarded the accolade of “Centre of Excellence” by Skills for Care and recognised as one of the Best Places to Work by Glassdoor in their Employee’s Choice Awards.


  • Ownership:Livingbridge (UK Private Equity)
  • Position:Chief Operating Officer
  • Sector Specialism:Homecare
  • Year Founded:1989
  • Turnover :£50 - 100m

Reason and Purpose

Helping Hands had reached a pivotal point in its journey. As the organisation embarked on a continued growth phase, a Chief Operating Officer was required to build on the organisation’s success to date principally by expanding and growing new business and instilling the vision and values to ensure delivery of the strategic plan.

Why Compass Executives?

A competitive pitch process was undertaken with our selection based on three criteria;

  1. Expertise: Compass Executives’ extensive understanding and network within the social care sector was pivotal to be awarded the assignment.
  2. Track Record: Both Helping Hands and Livingbridge (Private Equity Investor) sought a partner with an extensive track record of CEO/COO placements.
  3. Fit: Instant rapport and mutual respect was established between all parties.

Search process / methodology

Given how imperative this position is to the future success of Helping Hands, an incredibly detailed and robust search was undertaken. This compromised of a 4-week research programme targeting both individuals in and out of the healthcare sector. Our rich network of CEOs/COOs from within the sector complimented this to allow quick traction.

The outcome was delivery of two shortlists. 1. 4 x COOs – operational experts who would successfully execute Helping Hands’ strategic plan. 2. 4 x CEO Designate – senior executives with an operational bias yet more rounded skills and genuine future ‘CEO’ qualities.

The dual-focussed shortlist was incredibly well received. It gave Helping Hands and Livingbridge a view on both best-in-class operational executives and future Chief Executives. It also re-enforced and crystallised the immediate priorities for the business.


After a three-stage process, there was a unanimous viewpoint from the stakeholder panel on who should be appointed. An agreement was reached within 48 hours of this decision.

Candidate viewpoint

I have recently worked closely with Ben and I would highly recommend Compass Executives to anyone either looking for the right candidate or your next opportunity. I found both Ben and Sam helpful and professional in their approach and one of the very best recruitment teams I have worked with.

Karyn MacKenzie | Chief Operating Officer | Helping Hands

Client viewpoint

We were delighted to select Compass Executives for the appointment of a new Chief Operating Officer for one of our portfolio investments. It was very clear that Sam and Ben had a strong understanding and feel for our desired candidate profile, were extensively networked and were able to evidence a track record at the highest level. Their approach was rigorous, consultative and challenging – all key ingredients in a successful process. We look forward to working with them again.

Liz Jones | Partner | Livingbridge