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How to hire: A General Manager in the UK Living Sector

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Read a recent search project below with Rob Moss, Associate Director - Build to Rent, Later Living and Student Accommodations.

Our partner specialises in owning and managing long-term rental communities. Their goal is to make sustainable living effortless for renters. Our homes, designed exclusively for rental purposes, are developed by themselves or in collaboration with top-tier delivery partners.


Recruitment project team

Rob Moss is a seasoned professional with 17 years of experience in the recruitment industry. He now specialises in the living sector, with expertise spanning Student Accommodation to Build to Rent. Rob leads a dynamic team that provides comprehensive recruitment and strategic consultancy services across investment, development and management disciplines. His commitment to excellence ensures that clients receive tailored solutions to meet their unique needs in the evolving living industry.


Recruitment project breakdown

 In collaboration with house builders, our partner is targeting an initial £1.5 billion pipeline to develop approximately 3,000 rental homes across southern England. With this ambitious growth plan, our partner needed an exceptional General Manager to lead their flagship development in Cambridge. This role would involve overseeing the full operations of the resident community and ensuring smooth day-to-day site management.

Being the first Build to Rent development in the area presented a significant challenge due to the limited talent pool of candidates with the required skills for this role.  

The recruitment project solution

A consultative approach: Rob made it a priority to meet with our partner to gain a thorough understanding of the ideal candidate profile and the company culture. This approach ensured he could identify candidates who would thrive within the organisation. Additionally, he familiarised himself with our partner's long-term goals to ensure the new General Manager would contribute effectively and help the business achieve its objectives.

deverellsmith’s extensive database: deverellsmith boasts an extensive database of property professionals, developed over the past 17 years. Rob leveraged this resource to initiate his search, identifying every General Manager in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. To address the limited pool of candidates with specific Build to Rent experience, Rob expanded his search to include General Managers from other industries, such as leisure and hospitality, seeking top talent with transferable skills valuable to our partner.

Pre-qualifying candidates for our partner: Rob personally met with all candidates before recommending them to our partner. This approach allowed him to thoroughly evaluate their skills and highlight their significant accomplishments and capabilities, ensuring they aligned with the requirements for the role.



90% shortlist to interview rate.

Vacancy filed in agreed timescales.

Our partner was impressed with the standard of the professionals Rob was able to find, and found the right fit for their business from the shortlisted candidates.

"Rob Moss was exceptional with this finding / securing a candidate" - Director of Operations

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