A failsafe approach to ‘mission impossible’
We were required to find a resilient candidate with proven leadership skills for a senior, safety-critical role, with the personality to implement positive change in a very complex and challenging sector.
The Challenge: This was no fresh task for our client. Despite a 4-year recruitment process, they had struggled to fill the role and were beginning to think about alternative options.
Managing the task: Key to the success of this assignment was the ability to understand what skills and traits make a good leader within the industry and applying this information to our search practice. Our intense, in-depth research opened the door to a broader range of proven candidates with the specific mix of skills to be successful within the role.
One-to-one meetings we essential in ensuring the right candidate accepted the job offer.
What benefits the assignment provided: We were able to find a high caliber candidate for our client, who was in place and fully operational within 2 months of our initial contact with the client. The individual successfully implemented a change program, which has been positively received around the organization.
Testimonial: After 4 years, we thought the person we were looking for simply didn’t exist. It took only two months for Edward Drummond to prove us wrong.
Creative approach and impeccable research yields high returns
The purpose of this assignment was to find a Non-Executive Director with a proven track record, refined skills and relevant experience to drive transformational growth. Our client organization was a global, niche technology company, headquartered in the UK, operating internationally with a turnover of £100 million.
The Challenge: This assignment was particularly challenging due to the ambitious growth plans of the client organization and necessary breadth of experience required.
Managing the Task: We set about finding suitable candidates by applying the needs of our client to those who were currently in CEO/executive roles within organisations of the right profile to our targeting plan. This provided an attractive opportunity for candidates seeing a first Non-Exec appointment, providing our client with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills available. Furthermore, this increased the number of available candidates from less traditional sources.
Outcomes: Through applying our innovative research methodology to our unique range of sources, we were able to identify over 55 Senior Executives suitable for the role. 40 of these were consulted without compromising client confidentiality, and six exceptional candidates were shortlisted in just 6 weeks.
Top candidate + top clients = no guarantee of success
The objective throughout this assignment was to gather insights that enable effective use of an important hire to inform a strategy for market differentiation.
Our client, a global tier 2 legal practice with aspirations to build significant, new revenue streams from the banking sector. Specifically, they were interested in hiring a respected and influential Real Estate/Finance specialist, drawn from a Magic Circle firm, with a considerable Financial Services client base.
The Challenge: The challenge of this assignment was to see beyond the acknowledged technical and business development expertise of the candidates, in order to uncover potential challenges to successful integration.
Managing the task: In order to deliver a detailed report, which critically examined assumptions in the business case and reaffirmed direction, we conducted in-depth analysis of the markets identified, their barriers to entry and potential. Furthermore, we carefully and confidentially validated candidate’s relationship capital with existing client base.
Outcome: Our research indicated that, despite the candidate’s strong and valued client relationships, the requirement of ‘Panel only’ appointment would rule out any opportunity to transfer existing banking clients to the recruiting firm.
Meanwhile a significant business opportunity was identified within a sector previously out-priced by the fee rates at the candidate’s existing firm.
This resulted in a successful hire, but with an alternative business strategy, delivering differentiation in a rapidly expanding new sector. Our findings also helped avoid costly and futile efforts to overcome significant market barriers.
Rapid Response to a Crucial Deadline
In this case, the objective was to secure an experienced Head of Investor Relations for a large Financial Services company, 3 months prior to an IPO. Due to this crucial deadline, our client needed to find an executive with proven investor relations experience in order to engage with potential institutional investors urgently.
The challenge: This proved to be an extremely difficult task due to complex client requirements; a highly intelligent person with an excellent track record in financial services, a clear understand of IPOs and willing to take a contract immediately, offered for just 6 months. Above all, they had to integrate seamlessly with the senior management team.
Managing the task: Unfortunately, the task of shortlisting coincided with the peak holiday season, which added to the challenge. In order to overcome this complication, we rapidly and simultaneously identified key experts within the industry, by holding in-depth conversations with industry bodies and organizations across both London’s financial and IR sectors through a concerted, comprehensive and confidential telephone campaign.
The Final Outcome: After our team pulled together to make it happen, we were able to present a shortlist of 3 candidates within 2 weeks. The organization had a new Head of Investor Relations at his desk just 14 days later. 3 months on, the Chief Executive is delighted with the new team member’s contribution.
Perfect fit for a close-knit senior team
The objective was to find and recruit a Non-Executive Director with both a rare and specific set of skills for a UK SME, specializing in the development of solutions for the Nuclear industry. It was imperative that the candidate had the drive and personality to enhance a high-achieving and well-established management team.
The challenge: What made this assignment particularly challenging, was the difficulty in finding a person with the right skills combined with the right personality to fit into a niche executive team. The candidate needed both experience with regulatory and compliance issues in nuclear decommissioning, along with a Legal background or profile.
Managing the task: We began by producing extensive insights through industry and regulatory bodies, along with focusing our search on current professionals within the sector across the whole of the UK. This produced a much wider pool of talent.
Outcome: After careful interviewing and in-depth research around prospective candidates, we were able to shortlist three people within three months. Our client was left with a tough but desirable problem of choosing the candidate from the 3 shortlisted who could effectively deliver within their niche management team.
Due Diligence – International Partner & Team in Financial Services
Throughout this assignment, we were required to examine the business case behind a multi-faceted, Financial Services focused, team of seven Partners (and their respective teams) based across the UK, US and APAC.
The purpose, was to understand how each partner is perceived, individually, in their own circle of influence (technically and geographically) and how these perceptions might impact on the development of new markets for our client.
The challenge: Due to the diverse range of differing technical abilities, locations, skill sets, levels of seniority and relationship capital with clients and referrers, it was essential that our methodology was logical, effective and efficient.
Managing the task: Due to the number of variables between individuals, attributes, experience and relationships etc., we designed a research-driven approach to assess each partner in the context of specific opportunities and concerns relating to each individual profile, as well as the whole group.
To accompany in-depth desktop research, identifying a range of people who could provide insight into each of the candidates as well as a group of sources who could offer views on the whole group and it’s subsets. This task was carefully performed to protect the identities of all involved.
Outcomes: We strive to produce reports that objectively present information regarding hiring prospects in order to provide clients with insights to help inform a decision to hire. Where appropriate, we also provide information to direct subsequent integration planning.
In this case specifically, we presented much evidence to support the acquisition of the whole team in respect of client opportunities and potential synergies and advantages gained.
Furthermore, we included details regarding the strengths, limitations and development requirements of each of the Partners, along with evidence of how they interacted with each other and how clients perceive them as a group.
Most notably, our reports were critical in informing our client’s decision to appoint a different ‘Head of Team’, who had been identified after clear endorsements from research subjects.
Testimonial: The market insight is excellent and offers more intelligence than anything else we have received externally
CEO for a new retail chain in India
The mandate was to identify a CEO to set-up a retail business from scratch and scale it up rapidly in the face of tough competition.
Challenge: Since the Retail sector was in its infancy in India, local seasoned talent was not easily available. The client therefore wanted us to identify talent from a developed retail market like the US. Given the challenging business environment in India the best of talent was unlikely to perform unless the person additionally had prior experience of dealing in an equally difficult market.
Execution: We selected China as a similar market to India with excessive government control, difficult labour laws, a complex real estate scenario, etc. After a long and arduous search, we were able to zero in on an American professional who had spent 15 years growing a retail business in the US, before moving to China to set up and grow a business there, and who was open to replicating the same all over again in India.
CPqD Brazil - Organizational leadership restructuring project
CPqD is a nationally known IT Research Center in Brazil. Hunter received the assignment to design and execute LIDERE, a project to map, evaluate and identify the capabilities and possible gaps of 116 leaders, with the intent to develop their skills and increase their performance.
The results, compiled in 116 Individual Development Programs, allowed Hunter to create a Leadership Map that classified the executives according to their performance.
The Leadership Map gave CPqD valuable input for their future strategic decisions related to Human Capital. The project, which lasted eight months and concluded in October 2014, paved the way to a Coaching Program in 2015 with the company's current VP.
Selection assessments for a Chinese start-up
A Swiss industrial household appliance producer had decided to build an assembly plant in China.
In the past, the client had always relied upon the selection assessment provided by their local Swiss assessment specialists, Convidis, the PRAXI Alliance member in Switzerland. In this case, the company decided to conduct the assessments through the PRAXI Alliance China member firm, Dragonfly Group.
All assessments were conducted in the local language and in line with cultural norms, with the Convidis quality guarantee. The client was very satisfied with the collaboration.
Establishing an olive oil expert base in Greece
Our Italian multi-national food industry client was interested in setting up an expert base in Greece to facilitate its high volume of olive oil purchases. The client asked us to search for an industry expert who would be able to manage the end-to-end process.
Challenge: The unique mix of requisites eliminated a large number of candidates. Not only did the position require a long and established career in the olive oil business, and skills in handling procurement and business administration, the individual needed to have experience as an agronomist with English and Italian language capabilities.
Execution: The search involved a thorough sweeping of the main olive oil production regions in Greece. Within two months, the client was able to offer employment to a suitable candidate. In addition to fulfilling the main objective in a timely and efficient manner, the client developed an extensive contact base in the oil and legal sectors that will benefit their operation for many years.