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Case Study: Head of Data Systems

Case StudiesTechnology

Aware is a national organisation that was founded in 1985 by Dr Patrick McKeon and a small but dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom had their own experience with depression, or bipolar disorder. The organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one. Today Aware provides a range of services including group meetings offering support and information, a telephone and email support service, and several programmes based on principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Educating and empowering people to look after their mental health is also an integral part of Aware’s work. Interactive talks and workshops in schools (for students aged 15-18) as well as education and training programmes for the workplace are delivered nationwide.

In January 2022 Fortis Executive were invited by the CEO of Aware to pitch for a Head of Data Systems appointment. Reporting to the CEO this position had become available due to funding that Aware received and decided to dedicate to this appointment. We were delighted to secure the search and went about securing meetings with relevant internal stakeholders to fully understand the breadth and depth of the position.


The Challenge

There were a few key challenges to the Head of Data Systems hire. The ideal candidate needed to have a strong technical background with specific CRM systems but additionally have strong Project management and stakeholder engagement skills. It was key for the success of the hire that the candidate secured buy-in from key internal stakeholders from the outset.

In addition, this was a fixed-term contract so the successful candidate needed to be very well-versed in the benefits of the position and the employer value proposition in our approach. Our client Aware had a strong preference for someone with good GDPR experience so this unique mix meant that a deep market search was required.

The Timeline
Week 1

Meeting key Stakeholders and briefing on appointment. Dual branded Fortis Recruitment and Aware advertisement developed and circulated online through the Fortis website and social media channels. Long listing commences with Anne-Marie Walsh and the executive researcher. The first-round Fortis Executive interviews are conducted.

Week 2

A shortlist of eight preferred candidates is identified by Anne-Marie Walsh and presented to the CEO of Aware.

Week 3

Of the eight preferred candidates, the six best-suited from the shortlist are invited to the first round of interviews, based in the Aware office.

Week 4

Working collaboratively Anne-Marie assisted Aware in identifying the best candidates to bring forward to the second round of interviews, with two contuing to the final round which included a presentation.

Week 5

Post the final round, the preferred candidate was identified. Anne-Marie delivered and negotiated the offer and the candidate accepted the appointment.

Week 6

This critical position required a quick placement, which Anne-Marie was delighted to turn around within a fave week time frame.

The Outcome

The Head of Data Systems began with Aware in March 2022 and is still working on this contract.

Our Client was very happy that we delivered this business-critical search in a thorough but time-efficient manner.



Download the full case study here, and reach out to Anne-Marie Walsh to discuss your recruitment needs. 

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