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Network Rail can't attract senior executives: Higgins

Network Rail is struggling to fill top executive positions as the company is not seen as an “attractive organisation,” chief executive David Higgins said yesterday.

Higgins made the comments at Network Rail’s annual meeting in Birmingham yesterday.

“We are just not an attractive organisation with all the turmoil that has been going on. We are not seen as a good company for people to have on the CV,” Higgins was reported as saying in The Times.

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed this was accurate, but stressed it was only directed towards senior executive staff.

“We have a very strong graduate programme at Network Rail. David was really speaking only about managerial staff in which it is tough to find the right talent,” the spokesman said.  

Higgins said the company was struggling to find route managing directors, a move the company made in February (NCE 24 February) when it split itself into devolved business units run by regionally-based managing directors.

“We have been out in the market to get route MDs but we have been unsuccessful. We may get only one out of ten route MDs externally,” he said.

“We need 60 or 70 people as we devolve route responsibility. We have to go to people in our organisation and take a risk with them. We have enough experienced people to monitor them. Finding quality people is the single biggest issue this company faces.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • Surely, recruiting for top jobs internally is an excellent strategy both for on the job knowledge and recruitment costs. It does however require spending money on development of business skills and engineering CPD for the potential future managers and directors in advance. Surely NR should be doing this anyway!

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