Construction - CIRIA - Head of Membership, Marketing and Comms

VMA GROUP Recruit Head of Membership, Marketing & Communications for CIRIA

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VMA GROUP Recruit Head of Membership, Marketing & Communications for CIRIA

Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) is a not-for-profit, member-based research organisation, which has delivered support and good practice guidance to the construction, built environment and infrastructure sectors for over 60 years. CIRIA works with industry leaders to encourage and support innovation and performance improvement through collaborative projects, publications, training, networks, events, and conferences.

Following an organisational restructure, CIRIA was looking for a Head of Membership, Marketing & Communications to join the organisation. Reporting directly to the CEO, the role involved developing membership services along with marketing and communications across the business.

However, the search proved to be challenging as CIRIA had reorganised the team to merge membership and marketing roles. Therefore, they were looking for a person with a specific skill set and experience within member recruitment and retention, commercial development, external engagement, as well as sponsorship.

VMA GROUP embarked on the search for the ideal candidate, who would have experience in developing and sustaining business strategies. The ability to implement marketing and communications campaigns, along with a proven history of business development and relationship management skills, was also essential. In addition, experience in the construction market or a membership-based organisation was highly desirable.

Following the search, Tam Simmons was appointed to the role. As a marketing communications professional, Tam’s proficiency in marcomms and stakeholder engagement along with over 18 years of strategic management experience within the engineering and construction sector, was a perfect fit. Until last year, Tam worked at the Association for Consultancy and Engineering as Director of Campaigns, prior to that she headed up the marketing department at the Engineering Council.

Tam Simmons has joined the CIRIA in February 2022 and since then she has been identifying and developing new and existing revenue streams and leading strategies for member recruitment across all memberships.

Dirk Vennix, CEO at CIRIA said:

“VMA GROUP ensured our company had a terrific recruitment journey in finding the ideal Head of Membership, from start to finish. They were responsive with a competitive quote, finessed the job specification to suit the market, found an excellent range of candidates, provided salient feedback on the company's recruitment processes, and assisted the interview assessments perfectly.

“Often, I am still thinking about their achievement daily. More importantly, I will come back to VMAGROUP first when I have another suitable vacancy that I need help with. I couldn't recommend VMA GROUP highly enough if you're stuck with a marcomms vacancy and need the right solution found quickly.”

Tam Simmons, Head of Membership, Marketing & Communications at CIRIA said:

"From a candidate’s perspective, my experience of VMA GROUP, in particularJoanne Watkins, was a joy.

"I have worked with various recruitment consultancies over the years, and I have often struggled to build a rapport with the consultant and didn’t receive the support I expected. I always felt that I was a money generator. Joanne was the complete opposite. Not only was I fully supported but I also received a great amount of constructive and encouraging feedback. If in the future, I am looking for a new challenge, I would certainly approach VMA GROUP for new opportunities."


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications, marketing, digital and change industries, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London, Bristol and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.