A leader in the cyber security space was looking for a new Country Manager to revitalize their stalled business
A cyber security software and services leader was looking for a new Country Manager who would be able to transform the local organization.
The hiring manager, the regional General Manager located in Australia, had just recently taken over the position in Asia and was keen to completely transform the local entity which wasn’t living up to its full potential. The former Country Manager had only focused on channel sales, had neglected the team and had damaged the company’s reputation in the market.
To turn the organization around the hiring manager was looking for an individual who could engage large enterprise customers and at the same time lead the team effectively – in short, a strong leader who wasn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves. The ideal candidate would also have startup experience, had sold similar solutions and had a background in cyber security.
Last but not least, they were looking for a professional with an international mindset who would be able to be a mediator between the local entity and the US headquarters.
Immediately after the client had retained us for this critical project, we started to thoroughly map the market. A team of 3 people – 1 lead consultant and 2 researchers – identified more than 100 companies that were likely to have leaders that would fit our client’s expectations.
We then drilled our selection further down by looking at the number of employees in the local market as well as the profiles of the top executives who would be our main targets. After a few weeks of research, we were able to present 12 candidates that matched the expectations of the client. However, after meeting with a few of them, the hiring manager quickly recognized that most domestic candidates with a background in sales wanted to stick with an unsuitable channel sales approach that they were most used to instead of directly selling to their end user base. We consulted with the client and suggested to shift the focus onto bilingual, non-native individuals with a strong track record – a shift that further limited the available pool of talent.
To engage qualified candidates, we needed to overcome the rather tainted image of the company caused by the previous Country Manager. By putting a spotlight on the strengths of the products as well as the attractive customer portfolio we were able to spark interest in the market.
Another challenge that further complicated matters was the sudden acquisition of our client midway through the search – a development that of course surprised and upset the talent we were communicating with. Fortunately, we had experience in dealing with clients who had been suddenly acquired. This knowledge helped us assure candidates that this change would not impact the daily operations and responsibilities of this role since the new shareholder was a passive equity firm.
Finally, we were able to present the client with a strong shortlist of 3 candidates from which the client selected an American individual who had been living for more than 25 years in the market with a fantastic track record and reputation in the security space. The client and candidate were both extremely happy with the process and the match. We have since helped the new Country Manager strengthen his new team and rebuild the organization with further injections of fresh talent.
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