One of the world’s largest chemical producers needed a Senior Director for their Tax & Reporting group. The position had been open 18 months and they had only been able to interview two candidates during that time.
The client needed someone to head up their Tax & Reporting operation for a $1B USD operation, a role that would also involve significant government interaction. The client did not have a functioning recruitment team nor any experience with this kind of search; they were reluctant to pay money up front given their prior unsuccessful experiences with filling the role. The client was asking for someone with the highest level of certified tax accounting experience, who had started his/her career at one of big four accounting firms, and then moved into a manufacturing company. So the successful candidate would need both tax consulting and in-house experience within a manufacturing or related industry, quite demanding requirements given the required timeframe. Finally, the young age of the reporting manager would have implications for the candidate pool, as many candidates would be reluctant to report to someone much younger.
When the Client described the situation, we advised that retaining the search with us would allow us to put the appropriate resource in place to ensure thorough coverage of the market and the needed results within a six week timeframe. Once they understood that reporting and service level would be qualitatively higher but the pricing would be effectively the same as contingency, the Client were happy to agree. We put together a team of five, created extensive target lists focusing on the big four accounting firms, as well as large industrial MNCs with dedicated tax functions within their finance teams. Upon finalizing these market maps, we worked with the CFO to build in flex on the search parameters to ensure shortlist objectives were realistic. The client had in mind a salary range of about half market rate. Our market map of individuals positioned against the desired spec also served as a salary survey and clearly showed the range the client would need to pay. Once we reached final agreement on parameters we went to market with the role. Our successful candidate candidate met all requirements including the tax certification, big four experience, and industrial sector experience. By focusing on the value of the role to the organization and its potential career path we were able to persuade the candidate to accept the offered package even though it represented no rise to his current salary. The search was completed within six weeks.