French MNC asked us to turn around their stalled President search
The client is a French MNC, a manufacturer and distributor of household goods, including materials, glassware, and cookware. Through another agency they had searched for 9 months to identify a suitable Regional President capable of scaling them to a next level of growth, but the search had come up dry. They called us after hearing we had a reputation for successfully closing out on searches where other firms had failed.
Because the role had been in the market for a substantial period of time, a large swath of the target market of suitable candidates had been spoken to already, though we expected this. We also knew there would be numerous un-approached candidates in the market who had already heard about the client’s open role through their own network.
The client expected a candidate with experience managing a staff and revenue of double the client’s size but willing to join a company only half as big. Our first big challenge was identifying a candidate open to just such a move, and who would be comfortable working within the context of a French firm.
Over the course of the search we faced another unexpected challenge. We had to keep that candidate warm through the course of a one year hiring freeze put in place just after the client extended a verbal offer.
Because the obvious targets had been covered by another agency in the previous 9 months, we spent considerable time mining more removed parts of the market for prospective candidates. In fact, our research brought us in touch with a strong base of generally qualified candidates who had not been approached nor heard of the assignment.
We put together a shortlist of 4 candidates, of whom 1 was strongly preferred for past his experience working with a French firm, his stellar accomplishments in the FMCG space, and his management experience. He was a highly desirable candidate with great interest in the company even though its revenue and management scale was only about one third that of his current situation.
However, though he had managed large organizations and lived overseas in the past, he had never been a President and this along with the company culture attracted him. In the end all terms were agreed upon verbally. However, the Client could not extend a written offer due to a global hiring freeze which lasted over 1 year. Over that time we maintained constant contact with the candidate whom we successfully on-boarded as soon as the global freeze was lifted.
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