Critical National Infrastructure


Arguably countrywide investment in Critical National Infrastructure will accelerate the UK economy out of the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

HS2, COP26, Brexit, combined with a greater public appetite for new sustainable efficient housing, transport and food production and supply sees a wealth and breadth of opportunity for the myriad of consultancies that will provide the thought leadership for the designers and constructors of these huge schemes. 

Accessing talent to work within these programmes is increasingly competitive and companies would do well to adopt a dual focus on developing early-stage career talent whilst ensuring they source the very best passive industry talent through the application of a very personable content rich approach.


Roles Typical to Critical National Infrastructure include:

  • CEO
  • Business Development Director
  • Finance Director
  • Interim CFO
  • Interim Governance Lead
  • Interim Programme Director


People hire People.  

Successful hires however, hires where candidates thrive over several years, achieve targets, develop strategy, and elevate their employers’ businesses and brands to higher levels, are the product of careful assessment. 

The Grichan Whitestone Partnership will work with you to source talent from the widest possible pool, on merit alone, using open-source intelligence tools and psychometric testing to locate and objectively filter candidates.

Adopting this approach, and with specific regard to the ongoing advancement of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, sees us working together with our clients to achieve greater depth of representation for all among boards and senior management teams.

Our suite of psychometric assessment tools are configurable across levels of seniority and indeed one-hundred and fifty job types.  The reports are used in our interviews and have been found by client hiring managers to be both accessible and meaningful in preparing them to interview candidates themselves.  Our staff are trained to interpret these reports to assess whether an individual’s ‘nature’ or ‘approach’ will be a good match to the organisation and role they are being considered for.

Our staff, being drawn from business careers of their own, have carried out many of the roles our candidates have.  They therefore know what questions to ask; where to probe and challenge around achievements written down in CV’s.  We subsequently write concise, meaningful, outcome orientated interview notes.

Many of our clients mandate our staff take part in their hiring manager interview process.  When we do this, we are there to ensure the right questions are asked and that the questions are answered or indeed that candidates’ remarks are clearly understood.  If all goes well, we sit there silently; however, interviewing and being interviewed is a skill in and of itself, therefore by being present we can ensure the very best outcomes are achieved. 

If synergy between hiring manager and candidate is not the outcome, owing to our presence, we do not need to have it explained to us why a successful outcome has not been reached and can subsequently, and quickly, effect reparatory action in selecting alternate candidates for interview.

Finally, feedback to candidates is key.  Win or lose people deserve to be appraised of their performance and indeed progression, or not, within a process.  We ensure timely communication is practised and have found that a candidate that wasn’t quite right today can be the perfect fit for another role or indeed become a client of the future. 

There is no greater compliment or descriptor of a quality Grichan Whitestone search, if we happen to gain a client from a candidate that has not progressed to offer.


Richard Hewitt
Managing Partner
Executive Search

As the founder of The Grichan Partnership, Richard is the co-founding Partner of The Grichan Whitestone Partnership.

Richard leads on the Executive Search function.

Prior to founding The Grichan Whitestone Partnership, Richard was CEO at The Grichan Partnership, which he had founded in 2007, successfully building Grichan into a business that offered true partnership with all stakeholders focusing on “hard-to-fill” senior roles across adjoining Business Services/Outsourcing Sectors. 

Joining forces with Rob effectively combines interim and executive recruitment businesses into what is now The Grichan Whitestone Partnership with a shared long-term service line of Business Consulting.

Richard lives in Worcestershire, with his wife, daughter, and cheeky Jack Russell cross.  Outside of work, he’s a keen motorcyclist and passes on these skills through his charitable work with the motorcycle arm of the Institute of Advanced Motorists whilst training others to gain the advanced riding qualification.

Landline: 01905 896 700
Mobile: 07713 999 325

Robert Smith
Managing Partner
Interim Management &
Business Consulting

As the founder of The Whitestone Partnership, Rob is one of the co-founding Partners of The Grichan Whitestone Partnership.

Rob leads on the Interim Management and Business Consulting functions.

Prior to founding The Whitestone Partnership, Rob was a director at one of the UK’s leading Interim Service Providers, leading their Infrastructure, Business and Support Services practice and has featured in the IIM’s top 20 Consultants.

With a career spanning over 20 years, Rob’s skillset lies in developing strong relationships through his consultative, straight talking approach delivering solutions-focussed recruitment solutions.

With a stellar network of experienced executives, turnaround specialist and business consultants Rob has a genuine passion for the sector and is well placed to offer a full suite of executive recruitment solutions.

Rob lives in Yorkshire, with his wife, two children and Labrador. Outside of work, he’s an (over) enthusiastic junior football coach, mediocre (at best) golfer and (very) occasional cyclist. 

Landline: 0113 512 1500
Mobile: 07341 558 262

Partners, Richard Hewitt and Robert Smith

I really like the way Rob works, communicates well, and gives a clear view of opportunities. When working with him I’ve found that he walks the client/interim line very well. I have also found Rob to be very supportive and tenacious on my behalf. One of the good guys!

Interim CEO and Client