Emerson Automation Solutions Case Study

Emerson Automation Solutions Case Study

30 Jul 15:00 by Matt Smethurst


Emerson Automation Solutions are a leader in helping process and discrete manufacturers automate and optimise production processes through best-in-class technologies and industry experience. They recorded $17.4 billion in net sales in 2018, with the automation solutions arm of the business reaching $11.4 billion in 2018 alone. In the UK in 2017, Emersons completed the acquisition of Pentair Valves. Pentair acquired Tyco Flow in 2012, who were previously Safety Systems UK.

The site at Walkden, Manchester, has experienced lots of change over the last ten years.

Recruitment Requirement

Ashleigh Maddison was appointed as General Manager in September 2018. Ashleigh was brought into the business to bring about an improvement transformation. Integral to the success of this transformation was hiring the right talent in key areas. Once Ashleigh had contacted us, we then went on site to run through the diagnostic stage of our process.

The Diagnostic Stage

We talked to senior members involved in the process, helping us to understand the requirements for the role, and what they were looking to achieve through the recruitment process.

We delved deeper, discussing how the specific positions were to be measured, what challenges faced each role and the day-to-day responsibilities. The diagnostic stage involved us ensuring that we were certain about what the personality of the candidate should be, and what behaviours and values would fit the organisation. Understanding how each position had a direct impact to the success of the organisation was key for us to find the right person.

The culture and character fit were both vital, so we made sure we understood the current culture of the team and division, and what type of person was needed, ensuring that they would be a good fit for Emersons.  

Next, we agreed the competency questions. We helped to formulate the questions to be asked in the video interviews.

The diagnostic process then led to the next stage, which was the Project Brief. It provided Emersons with the confidence of our understanding of their requirements, ensuring we were both on the same page before going to market and starting the search.

The Search

We then conducted a salary survey, as Emersons wanted to be sure that the salary was competitive in the market. For the project to be accelerated, and to ensure enough time was taken to find and select the best in the market, we structured our team in a way to maximise our own skill sets against the jobs we took on. Some consultants are better at headhunting, some are better at selection and challenging candidates against the job spec. Therefore, we structured our team internally to focus one consultant on researching the target market and conducting the headhunt, and the other consultant focused their time on evaluating shortlisted candidates against the job criteria. Doing both activities simultaneously allowed for the search time to continue all through the project, rather than just at the initial stage.

We sourced candidates through technical headhunting, and created a longlist. We then assessed the longlist, making sure candidates were suitable for the role, which resulted in the shortlist. 

The shortlist was then quality controlled against the brief by the two consultants, rather than just the one. This ensured for a more robust objective approach to the process, and improved the quality of the candidates, as candidates not achieving a high enough score were removed from the process.

The shortlisted candidates were taken through to the video interview stage, using our two-way video interviewing platform, Kensington VIP. This allowed us to pre-screen the candidates against the predetermined criteria agreed with Emersons. Once all the candidates were video interviewed, we then supplied the shortlist and videos to the client, so that their interviewing process could take place.

References from candidates were collected in the early stages of the process, to ensure each candidate in the shortlist was of the highest quality.


In the past 9 months we have recruited the following roles for Emerson Automation Solutions, based at the Walkden site in the United Kingdom:

- Process Engineer
- Shipping Manager
- Head of Supply Chain
- Head of Operations
- SAP Planner
- Applications Engineer (group role)


Time to Hires​
​Process Engineer - 4 weeks total run time
Shipping Manager - 4 weeks total run time
Head of Supply Chain - 4 weeks total run time
Head of Operations 6 weeks total run time
SAP Planner - 5 weeks total run time
Applications Engineer - 3 weeks total run time

Average time to hire across all six projects was 4.3 weeks.

Client Feedback

“I would say that all of the candidates we’ve recruited through Phil have been outstanding, and the right ones for our business. I’m delighted with the performance that we’re now seeing from those people.” 

Ashleigh Maddison, General Manager - Emerson Automation Solutions.

We also received a video testimonial from Ashleigh, click here to watch.

Kensington Consulting
​Are your recruitment processes taking longer than they should?
Do you have low staff retention?
Are you receiving enough high quality CVs?
Are you having issues generating interviews?

At Kensington Consulting, we operate globally, and take a partnership approach to recruitment. We offer you advice on all aspects, from role titles, to salaries, succession planning, and, finally understanding your future recruitment requirements. This ensures you get the best person for the job, who has the correct technical and personal skills to hit the ground running.

If you’re ready to improve your recruitment efforts, contact our Director, Phillip Hodson on:

T: +44 (0) 1257 368 273


​Or get in contact by clicking here.