DCC recruitment process: DVML chief executive position


Comment received.

D Smith
Submitted on 2012/06/29 at 12:16 pm

I will try and recap my initial thoughts that disappeared into cyber space…

Clearly the CEO role is a critical position that will help decided the success / failure of the stadium and the corresponding debt burden to Dunedin. Mr Davies was brought on not only due to his venue management experience but also his international contacts and networks to help put the stadium on the world event map. Trying to sell a stadium which was not built or even tested would have been no mean feat (it would pose significant risk to any promoter) and from my perspective he has done a good job in attracting credible events but more importantly it appears has opened up the right communication lines and relationships with promoters. With a credible and now open stadium / event space we should be in an even better position to attract more events to lovely old Dunedin. This position needs someone who can bring not only the management and leadership skills but the ability to bring events into the stadium nationally and internationally.

From my understanding Mr Davies was recruited through an established and proven specialist firm Sheffield who have recruited these senior roles for 30 plus years. They did an international search which included not only advertising but researching the events sector, using their contacts and headhunting appropriate people to ensure the best person for the job could be found (as per ODT article http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/61724/finding-ceo-could-take-6-months). You see people like Sheffield and EQI continually advertising and recruiting these CEO type jobs nationally (ie the recent DCC CEO role).

It is surprising to see the current position is being advertised by a fairly unknown organisation which is part of a local blue collar recruiter. Looking at their website it doesn’t provide a strong background of delivering in this sector, how far do their contacts go, is it just Dunedin, has anyone seen them advertise roles before? Simply posting an advert will only attract people looking at the adverts, it’s a gamble to hope that the right person is looking, as opposed to someone finding the right person and then approaching them. Does this organisation have the networks and experience to research the international market like Sheffield did to find us the best possible person? In the ODT article it said it could take 6 months to find the first CEO, however the current role has a closing date of mid July?

When they are spending $50-85,000 (as per last time) on someone to find the right person is this money being spent in the right place? Did this go to open tender and were Sheffield considered as they have already researched this role 3 years ago and also maybe offer a discount as their first person is now leaving the job?

In a time when the council says they are watching consultants fees and spending one wonders if a key role for the city has been put in the right hands.

With the right CEO who knows what this could mean – positive cashflow? With the wrong person we all know what it will mean…

Comment received.

Submitted on 2012/06/29 at 6:41 pm

I would think that they have learnt the lesson from the exercise with Sheffield. Sheffield did nothing wrong, and neither did David Davies. Sheffield were instructed to find a top candidate with experience in managing top level international venues. Which they did. David Davies biggest crime since he arrived was to recognise the venue for what it actually was, and not try and paint it as something which it wasn’t. He has probably been the only practical person in the whole process and it’s a shame that we couldn’t find a place for him within the region.

The problem was that the recruitment brief was wrong. We recruited way beyond the actual means and requirements of the position. This isn’t a stadium in Manchester sitting in the middle of a population base of 10s of millions of potential customers. It’s a rugby stadium sitting in the lower half of an island with a population of 500,000 and a realistic target population of just over 100,000. It never required, nor could it sustain, a European type management structure. Worlds apart. In terms of global sporting venues, this is a blue collar venture, and can be perfectly adequately serviced by the right person within that group. Let’s not make the same mistake as before, and forget who we are.

Select Recruitment

Related Post and Comments:
22.6.12 DVML chief executive recruitment

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Business, Concerts, DCC, Design, DVML, Economics, Events, Geography, Name, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design

6 responses to “DCC recruitment process: DVML chief executive position

  1. I don’t think you’d be in a rush to use Sheffield again considering the fail last time. All that research, knowledge and cost didn’t count for much did it?

  2. Phil

    Right person, just in the wrong job. David was way more than what the job ever needed. Not worth that kind of expense for that kind of position.

  3. Peter

    Phil. If DD was the right person why am I, and others, constantly hearing about how the place is being mismanaged? A good manager employs good people who can at least do their day-to-day job without aggravating the wider populace. We also hear that far too many people are employed there, twiddling their thumbs eg the Rangiora guy involved with staging the Menopause play, which was held in an atrocious room with bad acoustics. He was mystified by all the employees hanging about.
    The impossibility of making this stadium work, on a financial level, is another thing.
    The review by DCHL of DVML is presumably not being done because the place is humming on both a financial and managerial level.

  4. D Smith

    Well well well, interesting turn of events with the leadership team of DVML, when you pay a ‘professional’ $51,000 to recruit the best person for the job you would expect a better outcome? Are the Dunedin ratepayers going to have to pay another $50k for the same service of posting an advert on the internet and collecting the response….., I reflect on my original post on the issues and question why DVML are using the same local blue collar recruitment firm who clearly did a poor job, is this the old boys club at work, do they actually have the interest of the city at heart or just another opportunity to clip the ticket. If you’re going to pay someone to recruit the job at least get a business who has the contact and expertise in executive recruitment to find the best person…

  5. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    There is NO person who can make the Dunedin stadium work in a public sector model, it will continuously bleed ratepayers.

    Any monies spent on trying to make it work will be wasted.

    The only right answer is to find someone in private enterprise who will take it from the ratepayers for $1 and find a way to make it work or pull it down.

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