THE process has formally begun to recruit a successor to Alistair Hamilton following the shock announcement in February that he was resigning from economic development organisation Invest NI after 10 years.
Adverts have been placed in a number of local newspapers including The Irish News and via the NIJobs.com online portal seeking candidates for the high-profile role, which will command a salary of between £160,000 and £175,000.
Applications will remain open until Monday July 22, and it is expected that the post will attract significant support, not just from Northern Ireland, but from across the British Isles and possibly internationally.
According to the advert, the “exciting role” will require an “inspirational leader” with a strong track record of developing challenging corporate strategies and building high-performance teams which deliver solutions in a world class customer-experience environment.
The job specification adds: “You will bring strong and effective communication skills to effectively represent the organisation to a wide range of stakeholders, including the media, locally and internationally.”
The successful candidate will also have a proven track record at an international level and have experience of financial responsibility at a senior management level.
Unless the Stormont Executive is restored soon, the new Invest NI chief will have to be the public face of investment announcements in the north, and other key issues in his/her in-tray will be the possible squeezing of budgets and the drying up of European funding following Brexit.
Mr Hamilton (53), who has held the CEO’s post since April 2009, intends staying in his post until a successor is appointed in the autumn.
Invest NI has a payroll of 650 staff, many scattered around the world, and has an annual budget of £165 million.
The agency supports inward investment as well as indigenous firms, and remains course to reach its goal of adding between 30,000 and 40,000 jobs by 2021.
Indeed the first year of its 2017/2021 business plan Invest NI said that, despite the collapse of the Executive, some 10,970 additional jobs were recorded, two thirds of them outside Belfast and including 23 businesses investing for the first time – a performance it described as “exceptional”.
Over the course of the 2011-2016 corporate plan, the only full one Mr Hamilton presided over, the agency is credited with creating 34,000 jobs, promoting another 42,000 posts, and investing £3.9 billion, which in turn helped attract 87 new foreign investors.
:: Applications for the post are available from Clarendon Executive at 90725750 or firstname.lastname@example.org