Freedom of information request response - 06072

FOI request

FOI ID number

Please provide information on, including the amount of money spent, when recruitment consultancy company Solace Enterprises has been used from 2017 to 2019 by Eden District Council?

Please provide an exact time period for my question, including individually and specifically:

  1. The hiring and promotion of the post of Chief Executive when Dr Robin Hooper resigned in 2018 and was replaced by Rose Rouse, including what was paid to Solace Enterprises and what other costs there were?
  2. The cost to Solace Enterprises and other information for the senior management review of the ten senior management positions under the Chief Executive that took place between September 2018 and early 2019?
  3. What the council has forecast to spend in future with recruitment consultancy company Solace Enterprises?
  4. Recommending Senior Management for posts within Eden District Council?
  5. Salary scales for Senior Management within Eden District Council?
  6. Detail the salary level for the management position before Solace Enterprises became involved and the salary level after their recommendations were made and taken up for 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 above?
  7. Detail which positions have been filled as a result of recommendations by Solace Enterprises?
  8. Detail the positions where salary changes took place on the recommendation by Solace Enterprises but the personnel did not change?

Our response


Solace in Business have been engaged by the Council on 3 occasions between 2017 and 2019 as follows:

  • Chief Executive recruitment – between February 2018 and June 2018
  • Senior Management restructure – January 2019
  • Director of People and Place recruitment – commenced March 2019 and is still ongoing
  1. The amount paid to Solace in Business for the recruitment of a Chief Executive was £17,779.74. Other costs associated with this process were £8,410 for advertising and £3,049.99 for costs associated with interviews and the hosting of the assessment centre.
  2. The amount paid to Solace in Business to provide support to the Senior Management restructure was £4,601.11.
  3. The forecasted expenditure with Solace in Business for the recruitment process for the Director of People and Place is £13,750 + expenses. The fees are reduced by 30% if the post is not successfully appointed to.
  4. Solace in Business did not make any recommendations for appointments to senior management posts. Solace were only engaged to carry out the assessment centre which took place in January 2019. The costs for this are detailed in the response to Q2.
  5. The salaries for the senior management posts can be found in s4 of the Council’s Employment policies and documents web page.
  6. Solace in Business did not make any recommendations for appointing people to posts or for salary levels during the senior management restructure. An internal exercise was carried out to benchmark salaries. The salary levels before the restructure took place can be found on the Council’s Open Data page on the website.
  7. Solace in Business did not make recommendations about appointment to posts in the new Council structure. As per the Council’s Management of Change policy, a redeployment panel considered whether staff were assimilated into new posts and for those who weren’t, Solace were engaged to carry out an assessment centre to test and score agreed managerial competencies. Solace provided feedback on the outcomes of the six exercises which were undertaken and this then provided detailed and relevant information to the Chief Executive to enable her to make a decision on whether redeployment into suitable alternative employment could be offered.
  8. As previously mentioned in Q6 above, Solace in Business did not provide recommendations on salary changes.
Response date
03 May 2019