Southampton, Southampton
£58,000 - £65,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

Chief Executive Officer

Rachel Hall, CEO: "City Catering is a £5m-turnover Southampton charity, with 250 talented staff. We serve delicious, nutrition-laden school meals, meals on wheels, and we cater for high-end corporate events.

"We offer free-of-charge recipe-led boxed groceries through our Cooking at Home initiative, all year round; and we cook for free through our Lunch Crowd project, for school club providers outside of term time.

"We stand for good food, and we're passionate about serving nutritious meals to Southampton’s youngest and oldest residents.

"The pandemic has heightened the UK's understanding of the need for access for all to good food, and we have been able to grow the impact of our charity in response to that growing awareness. Serving good food is what our charity's for - we exist to make a tangible nutritional difference in people’s lives, because access to good food is a right, not a privilege. 

"Like most of the country's charities, our organisation has had a turbulent 18 months; delivery of our school meals and meals on wheels operations have been critical, and our staff have been frontline throughout. We have adapted with each change of Government guidance, and with every supply-chain challenge. Our incredible teams have achieved a zero-service-failure outcome through the pandemic, even through massively increased demand, and have stepped forward to work beyond their normal patterns - to help us make a difference. They're unstoppable.

"As a result, in addition to meals served in schools and in vulnerable adults homes since March 2020, our charity has served 165,975 free, nutritious meals to struggling local residents. And we're hungry to do more.

“2021-22 is about 'Covid recovery' for our organisation - recovery of our reserves, energy, and balance. Going forward there is a tangible opportunity for our next CEO to increase our impact even further, building on the change and momentum that's been achieved in the past 18 months.

"The 6 area of focus of our current strategic plan are:

  1. rebuilding our reserves;

  2. safeguarding our impact;

  3. standing for good nutrition;

  4. developing our people;

  5. digitising our systems;

  6. extending out influence and community.

"The successful candidate for this role will need steel, creativity, empathy... a massive dose of pragmatism, and a true passion for making a difference in tough times. This is a superb opportunity for our next leader to extend our charity's impact in Southampton, and help ensure our city's youngest and oldest residents get the nutrition they need to thrive."

The role of chief executive 

The Chief Executive will lead a skilled and dedicated team to deliver good, sustainable performance for the Charity. The CEO will be responsible for the management of the organisation as it evolves, and will be required to achieve the objective set out in the strategic plan, developed with the Board of Trustees.  

The role requires a wide breadth of experience and skill, with duties including:  

  • Providing strong strategic and supportive leadership

  • Developing the Charity’s public profile. Influencing key stakeholders and developing/maintaining strong relationships with external partners and the general public.

  • Developing new business opportunities for the organisation, primarily in Southampton but also further afield

  • Ensuring strategic decisions capture the breadth of the organisation, while delivering key business objectives

  • Building the organisation’s income streams and reserves, creating effective growth and contract retention strategies, including the management and delivery of Service Level Agreements and contractual specifications, tender assessment and response and effective sales strategies.

  • Working with the Board and the Senior Management Team to ensure that the organisation’s mission is delivered, statutory and regulatory duties are observed, and that strategic and operational objectives are timely, clear, relevant, and implemented.

  • Supporting and service the Board, providing them with timely, relevant, and transparent information, and supporting the Chair in further developing the Board and its role.

  • Developing policies and strategies to meet rapidly changing operational requirements – with reference to Covid, Brexit, and Member/beneficiary/customer need

Person specification 

The successful candidate is ideally an existing CEO with experience of reporting to a Board of Trustees in a purpose-based organisation.

[A high potential senior manager with experience of reporting to a Board who is deemed to be ready to take on a CEO role may be considered where the candidate is exceptional.] 

A Bachelor’s degree and ideally further postgraduate qualifications in management are preferred.  

Organisational partnership and negotiations at this level require skill to work with the Trustees, executives, corporate and individual donors, media and key stakeholders. 

Knowledge of the catering industry would be helpful but not a critical prerequisite. The Chief Executive will need, however, an appreciation of the industry issues and challenges, plus awareness of the disruption and innovation caused by technology, regulation, demographics and evolving industry demands. 

Knowledge and experience

The successful applicant will require: 

  • A minimum of 4 years’ experience in a senior leadership role

  • Thorough knowledge and expertise in organisational leadership and the ability to lead and inspire a high-potential team

  • Demonstrable effectiveness and experience in leading and representing a charity, and reporting to a charity Board

  • An affinity with the values of the charity, and commitment to the diverse needs of our beneficiaries

  • Demonstrable managerial and financial experience of directing and controlling of delivery and provision of services

  • Proven success in fund raising with achievement of good results in successfully diversifying and growing sources of income.

  • A commercial-development skill set, with the ability to pitch, write bids, win business, and negotiate favourable contractual terms

  • Strong understanding of delivery of tangible benefits and outcomes to the beneficiaries served, supported by a track record and knowledge of: charity governance, quality assurance, financial management, delivery of agreed performance objectives, risk management

  • Proven ability to develop, implement and monitor performance of strategic plans

  • The ability to develop and maintain policies and procedures to govern the operation of the organisation, including the provision of a safe and supportive working environment for all staff and beneficiaries.

  • An understanding of how to transform IT systems and technology to help an organisation to deliver more effectively.

  • Ability to work as the spokesperson for the Charity in media, marketing and advocacy

  • A solid understanding of employment law and people policies

  • Coaching and leadership skills, to bring the organisation with you

  • An understanding of the pillars of the Charity Code of Governance, and the strategic importance of the Code

Personal qualities and attributes

The successful candidate will display the following personal qualities and attributes: 

  • Emotional intelligence

  • A collaborative and inclusive leadership style, combined with generosity of spirit.

  • The ability to lead an organisation, motivate a team, and work with the Trustees to build a strong, effective and high-performance culture.

  • The personal authority and credibility to inspire and command wide respect and confidence, both internally and externally.

  • A commitment to the development of colleagues and a management style that empowers staff.

  • Open and transparent; dynamic and communicative; approachable and inclusive – with a sound understanding and commitment to the principals of EDI

  • A strong duty of care to all our beneficiaries, staff and stakeholders.

  • High level strategic and analytical skills; problem solving and negotiation skills.

  • Proven ability to manage organisational change effectively.

  • High level written and verbal skills including the development and presentation of tenders, submissions, polices and plans.

  • Well-developed organisational skills, including an ability to set priorities and pursue tasks to completion.

Terms of appointment 

  • The role is based at City Catering offices in central Southampton

  • Contract type: full time, permanent

  • Salary £58,000 - £65,000 dependant on experience

  • Pension: We operate a contributory pension scheme which you will be auto-enrolled into (subject to the conditions of the scheme). Further details are available from Chief Executive

  • Annual leave 23 days plus the normal Bank Holidays

  • A DBS check and regulator (Charity Commission) due diligence will be required.

  • Candidates must be permanent residents of the UK or hold a current valid visa.

City Catering is an equal opportunities employer.

How to apply

To make an application for the role of CEO at City Catering, submit your CV and a supporting statement, that sets out

  1. why you think this role is the right move for you

  2. how you meet the knowledge and experience criteria.

Recruitment timetable:

  • Closing date: Friday 5th November 2021

  • Preliminary interviews: 11-12 November 2021

  • Agreement of the final shortlist: by Friday 19th November 2021; this may be followed by an invitation to selected candidates to meet informally with member of the City Catering team

  • References taken up for shortlisted candidates and possible psychometric assessment: to follow shortlist

  • Final panel interviews: w/c 22 November 2021

More about City Catering Southampton
City Catering Southampton

At City Catering Southampton, we believe that access to good food is a right and not a privilege.

Therefore, we exist to make a tangi... Read more

Posted on: 20 October 2021
Closed date: 06 November 2021
Tags: Senior Management

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