Case Studies: HR, Sales & Marketing Search & Recruitment

See below for some sample assignments from the team at B-People

Client: Fast-Growth Global Digital Events Company

Role: Global VP Sales

Brief / Challenges:

This was an entirely new role for an experienced sales leader who could deal in complex and high-ticket sales, and naturally be a leader that people would want to follow. It was an opportunity to work with the brilliant MD to further develop a sales team and a growth strategy that would succeed in line with the client's expansion into new global territories, which would be culturally and commercially diverse. The most intricate challenges were that the successful candidate would most likely come from outside the Events industry and would need a detailed understanding of the Financial Services and Fintech sectors, where high remuneration means that talented people are often not inclined to leave. Fortunately, the client had some unusually exciting digital challenges and their unique standing in the sector meant this was a genuine opportunity to have a direct impact on their future direction and ongoing success.

Outcome:

We hope that we are known for our honesty and we would have to admit that this assignment was far from straight-forward. We had to really work and consult on the brief in the belief that we could find what the client were looking for, although this might come in a different form to the original expectation. It took a little longer than our usual searches, but we were able to find a candidate that we all felt great about, aided significantly by a remarkable relationship with the business and its MD. After meeting the successful candidate quite late into the process, our own MD Jess had an immediate gut feeling that they were perfect for the role - but it still took a lot of discussion about the intricacies of the role, numerous after-work conversations, Q&A and ‘sound-boarding’ to confirm that this was an excellent fit. It was and we look forward to following the new VP's progress in 2020 and beyond.

Client: FTSE 350 Global Information Services Company

Role: Chief Marketing Officer

Brief / Challenges:

New CMO for the group, to take leadership of the entire marketing community globally. Responsible for centralising the marketing function for the business, reporting into the Group CEO. There were several key challenges for us within this role. Firstly, this candidate had to be able to gain buy-in from stakeholders across the board, as this was going to be a huge shift for the business. This meant that the ideal candidate had to be someone who had completed a similar transformation in another B2B company and could prove results at a very high-level, as well as being a perfect cultural fit for the business: hugely dynamic and full of smart, progressive, ambitious people. Critical diversity strategies also required an equally balanced shortlist of female and male candidates, which made for an especially intricate search.

Outcome:

B-People were able to consult openly with the client to offer data-backed advice on how to navigate the market, given the challenges around gender balance. The client was very open-minded and progressive in their approach to this, which enabled us to perform the search using innovative methods to deliver a very confident, gender-balanced short-list. The three candidates that made it to final stages ended up being all three of the women presented, who were all ideally-fitted to the position and company and stood out in terms of ability and attitude. Our client had to make a tough decision on the best person for the role as they were so impressed by all three candidates.

Client: Global Automotive Company

Role: HR Director

Brief / Challenges:

Fantastic role for a high-potential Director of HR within an international advanced manufacturing business within the Automotive sector, reporting into the new VP for their fastest growing division. The client had just acquired a new business into this area, which was quite disparate both culturally and operationally so there was also a large integration piece too. Key challenges within this search were the remote location, extensive travel and the need for multiple languages. Having become familiar with the business through a very thorough briefing process, it was clear that they had an advanced way of working within the company and with their approach to HR, which was a real point of differentiation between candidates.

Outcome:

This was a particularly tricky search with many crucial elements that needed to be fulfilled, but we were still able to deliver a strong initial shortlist ahead of deadline and a second shortlist slightly later. The first candidate on the initial shortlist was the one appointed and we'd had a feeling this would be the case as soon as we met with them. They had all the essential attributes, they could add a lot of additional long-term value, it was obvious the cultural fit was there (based on how they had worked previous businesses) and even the location worked well for them. All in all, a really enjoyable assignment with a great result!

Client: FTSE 250 Listed Global Digital/Media Company

Role: Divisional HR Director

Brief / Challenges:

Divisional HRD role supporting one of three business divisions globally, reporting into the Divisional CEO and CHRO. The main challenge here was finding the ideal cultural fit and a commercial HR mind-set which was very specific, as well as experience of working in a cutting-edge digital/technology enable information services environment combined with genuine global experience. The client was looking for someone high-potential, progressive, tech-driven and creative, working alongside forward-thinking, ‘out-of-the-box’ leadership. Candidates also needed experience with large-scale change: OD, Branding, Mergers and Integrations, etc.

Outcome:

Given the client already had an excellent referral candidate in play, the brief was to supplement this with a ‘very-short-shortlist’ of just the very best candidates in the market. This was achieved by narrowing down to just two candidates, both HR Directors on the passive market who we knew would be extremely excited by this type of opportunity, and equally ideal for the position. This was a very smooth, very transparent process which resulted in one of these two candidates being appointed successfully. On the back of this first project, the client now use our MD Jess as their first port of call for most senior HR roles where they are using an external partner.

Client: Fortune 250 Global Manufacturer

Role: Divisional HR Director

Brief / Challenges: 

HR Director for one business segment, responsible for all of Europe, flexible on home base within Europe. Essential attributes were being able to travel very extensively, languages and experience of working with remote locations. Also experience within very complex decentralised structures, with significant technological change disrupting the traditional business model. This required the ability to work effectively in somewhat fluid, ambiguous situations, with a strong focus on organisational simplification, lean processes and technological transformation. A tough brief!

Outcome: 

The client had been looking for this person for quite some time as the briefing was extremely intricate, and they also needed to find a HR Director who could progress with the company long-term. Our MD Jess was able to work in partnership with them to carefully prioritise the needs for this role and how we could explore different angles to find the best person for this position. Delivered two shortlists, and after very detailed interview processes and assessments, the role was filled within 12 weeks.

Client: Major FTSE Technology Business, UK

Role: Head of HR / Senior HR Business Partner

Brief / Challenges: 

This was an enormous and tremendously complex business. They needed a strong commercial HR Generalist with high levels of resilience and the ability to comfortably support and drive considerable amounts of change across the group – both in the business and within HR itself. The organisation had multiple transformation projects in motion, so candidates needed significant experience of managing change within large, matrix companies - working in partnership with specific client groups.

Outcome: 

Our MD Jess built a strong shortlist including an extremely capable HR professional she had grown to know well over a long period of time. Jess had a strong sense that this could be a great next move and long-term opportunity for the individual, depending on the particular team and agenda for that area of the business. During the interview process, it was quickly apparent that this match would work very well and the candidate was successfully appointed. Through this, Jess formed a number of new relationships within the company and developed a strong grasp of their very specific culture, structure and needs. She now markets their brand externally for multiple HR roles. 

Client: Global Software Company

Role: People Director

Brief / Challenges: 

This client had recently appointed a new CEO to completely overhaul and digitalise the business, starting with appointing a new People Director and transforming the HR function. The key challenge within this search from the client’s perspective was the prospect of so much change so early, and a concern about the sheer scale of the project for any newly appointed candidate. Our MD Jess reassured them that if you ask any great HR person what they want in a role, it’s generally ‘to make an impact’. This was a rare opportunity for someone to genuinely do that, working in partnership with the CEO to completely change the way that company operated. 

Outcome: 

We worked to very tight deadlines to provide one shortlist of four top candidates. All candidates were interviewed and two made it to the final stages alongside one other candidate who appeared after the first shortlist but Jess felt very strongly was a very close fit for the role. Interestingly, this late entrant ultimately delivered a superb final presentation, lived locally and provided everything the client was looking for in terms of experience, attitude and culture-fit - and was hired immediately after.