Client brief & Objective
We were engaged by the HR Director of a Fortune 500 organisation to help them identify an outstanding candidate for their newly created European Supply Chain Director position.
The challenge was that the position could be based in any one of five countries in Europe necessitating a broad geographical Search and potentially time consuming candidate and identification selection process.
Our Methodology And Solution
The client detailed their criteria, objectives, timescales for the position and we gave our advice on a suitable process by identifying:
- the recruitment market conditions for the desired skill set
- salary differentials across the five possible locations.
We then designed and proposed a solution to meet their specific criteria which had the following key activities to produce an initial long list of candidates
- Searching our existing database of procurement and supply chain professionals
- Networking across a wide range of contacts in each of the local markets where this person could be based: France, Denmark, UK, Italy or Germany
- Use of online research tools to research specific target organisations
After the initial screening the best candidates were then to use an online video interviewing tool to record their answer to the same standard questions. These question were agreed between ourselves and the client in advance.
Their responses were then used to jointly create a shortlist for face to face interviews with the European VP and HR Director.
These have proved to be excellent for sifting when undertaking senior leadership appointments and are particularly effective for international appointments across different locations as it significantly reduces the time and expense required and actually increases candidate engagement with the process.
Eight candidates recorded video interviews, five of which were invited for face to face interviews in the UK.
After face to face interviews with the European MD and HR Directors, the chosen candidate was offered the role and accepted despite a strong counter offer due to the relationship that had been built.
The process was a great success and took up far less senior management time than the client had anticipated.
Our client had never used video interview facilities in this way before, but they will do so again in the future.
The Key Benefits For Our Client
- This project was delivered on an exclusive contingency basis, de-risking it for our client
- Approximately 10 hours interviewing time was saved plus associated travelling time & costs for the two senior executives.
- Three candidates were ruled out upfront by the video interviews
- This equates to 16 flights across Europe costing roughly £5000
- We used several different candidate sourcing processes to maximise interest in the role across Europe resulting in an outstanding shortlist (see client comments below)
Here’s the note sent to Andrew Daley by the HR Director upon completion of the process:
Just a last note to say a big thank you for your support.
XXXX (the European MD) and I were really impressed by your responsiveness, the calibre of the shortlist and of course the result.
Here’s an excerpt from our Procurement Quarterly Market Update for the second quarter of 2015 which addresses recruitment market trends and the availability of skills in the consulting sector.
The picture in the consultancy space is not as bullish as in quarter one. It is somewhat mixed as some niche areas (spend management) are doing well but many others are either static or struggling to win new deals and hence we have seen a number of examples of organisations pulling back on previous expansion plans.
Most consultancies are still recruiting but not at the rate anticipated or merely to cover leavers or to backfill promotions. The picture varies according to each organisation’s project pipeline and this can change week by week currently. This is impacting on recruitment as candidates become nervous when recruitment drives are delayed or even cancelled.
Much of the new project work being awarded centres around technology led procurement transformation and many of these organisations are successfully ‘on-selling’ other services. In our view organisations not offering access to a technology solution seem to be at a disadvantage in the current market
The larger outsourcing deals appear to be less in number as many CPO’s or senior Procurement Leaders have indicated to us that they are focusing on ‘targeted help or consultancy on specific areas of spend or to speed up specific projects’ This implies they want to retain full control and don’t want to commit to the costs or risks of a long term outsource unless there is a long standing relationship or a specific business problem beyond the in-house capabilities.
Some organisations are in effect running transformation projects internally by carefully utilising interims directly instead of ‘outsourcing’. However there remains a shortage of experienced consultants with the requisite skill set to deliver major transformation projects in procurement and supply chain at senior levels.
An increasing trend that we have reported before is the shortage of junior level consultancy candidates with 2-3 years experience. Many consultancies are increasingly delivering projects via a tiered delivery model with good junior people increasingly being used to support senior people on-site from day one. Therefore they can only consider those with existing client facing skills and experience as they cannot risk putting those without this straight into this environment. This increasing demand means salary rates for these levels are becoming increasingly inflated as competition for good candidates becomes more intense.
As an example we are finding that good junior people with 2-4 years experience can command a base salary of £45-50k for a move to another consultancy. There are examples of individuals with only 3 years experience being offered £55k to move to some of the smaller niche consultancies. This we think will cause increasing problems for the bigger players or those organisations with strictly controlled salary and career bands who are unable to flex.
If you wish to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please contact Peter Brophy.
Here’s Peter Brophy’s article which was published on http://spendmatters.com/uk/ on December 2nd.
The Chasm Separating Companies from Good Candidates
Following on from his recent article “Confessions of a Procurement Recruitment Specialist – An Insider’s Experience” part 1 and part 2, Peter Brophy of procurement recruitment firm Edbury Daley, highlights some areas where both organisations and the recruiters that represent them can improve the chances of finding the right candidate who has a good experience during the recruitment process.
Peter has been recruiting Procurement Professionals for over ten years; his experience spans a number of sectors including aerospace, engineering, manufacturing, professional services and corporate functions such as HR, finance as well as procurement. He is well placed to give us a first-hand view of the process.
There are two parts to this:
- The expectations and specification of the role (the new recruit)
- How we treat people during the process
We’ll discuss the first part here and follow up with the second tomorrow.
Expectations of new roles or new recruits
In my experience both as a recruiter and a candidate, job adverts and job specifications are increasingly described in terms that elevate each role to an incomprehensible level of unrealistic requirements. I call this the ‘superman requirement’ as only such a person could ever match the brief.
I wonder whether anyone is taking a reality check on this as it deters many capable people from applying. Yes we need to sell a job to a candidate but I advise that we reflect on the day-to-day aspects of the job not just what we would like it to be – yes be realistic and use plain English that is understood by those outside the organisation.
Ask: does such a perfect person does exist? Can we really recruit someone who meets all of our requirements at the salary level we can afford? Or worse, do you recruit a person who knows the key words and phrases rather than the best person who isn’t as good at selling themselves?
This is a problem most recruiters know too well and when we do find this ‘superman’ candidate they often tend to be looking for a role and salary at the next level. In my experience most people move from a company to get additional responsibility and development. They rarely move to something which repeats their current role (other than after redundancy) unless there is a salary increase, so if you recruit externally it is likely to cost you more than you would benchmark it internally.
Additionally another problem of over specifying a role results in someone being recruited who has unrealistic expectations which will not be met. What happens? They get bored and de-motivated and leave and you have to recruit again!
We all fall into the trap of making jobs sounds exciting and with great career progression but with flat organisations more the norm, then clearly this isn’t going to be possible for all your staff and will impact on turnover and morale.
We promise something that doesn’t exist … –
See more at: http://spendmatters.com/uk/clarity-and-expectations-in-recruitment-part-1/#sthash.L6KxUevN.dpuf
Client: International Banking Group
Position: Category Manager, Latin America region
The client needed to make a vital appointment for a key area of indirect spend as part of their transformation project to develop a truly international procurement capability.
The role had been vacant for several months and was becoming an urgent requirement despite the best efforts of local agencies and the in house recruitment/HR teams. The UK based hiring manager needed some fresh impetus in the process, ideally in the form of stronger candidates to consider and discussed the problem with us.
Despite us never having worked on roles in Mexico before, we were very confident that we would identify the most relevant candidates in the area quickly based on our previous success in other new locations and the transferability of our core recruitment methods.
Edbury Daley’s Head of Research, Raluca Pirvu ( an experienced international recruiter who is fluent in four languages) then worked closely with Andrew Daley to quickly assess the local talent pool and define a suitable strategy to identify and target the most relevant candidates for the role in question.
Our process included the following tools and techniques:
- Conducted an initial assessment of the local talent pool using our global database and online research tools.
- Using our in depth knowledge of the best international sourcing teams, we identified several target organisations to prioritise as part of our research for suitable candidates.
- We spoke to trusted contacts in our existing network to seek recommendations and local market knowledge. e.g. our contacts in North America recommended current and former colleagues in South America.
- We researched the cultural differences in the local recruitment market to understand how best to approach the most relevant candidates.
- We prioritised six stand out candidates and engaged with them via e mail in the first instance due to the time differences. We also approached four additional candidates with very relevant experience.
- Any candidates that didn’t respond to our initial communication were followed up within 48 hours and where necessary a third time 48 hours later, resulting in all ten responding to our approaches.
- Video and telephone interviews were arranged with the best candidates to assess their suitability, affordability and interest in the role.
- All the relevant information was passed to the UK based hiring manager and local HR teams for them to assess and decide who they wished to prioritise for interviews.
- We then liased with the clients HR team throughout the recruitment process providing the same level of support that we do with all of our work, in order to maximise the likelihood of the chosen candidate accepting our client’s offer of employment.
The successful candidate is now working her notice period before joining our client and her feedback on the guidance and support we provided to her is the source of great professional pride to our team here.
The key reasons why we have delivered effectively for our client on this and many other similar projects is that we know our markets intimately, we research any new geographical areas thoroughly, and then apply our tried and tested recruitment processes using all of our skill, tenacity and experience.
We’ve experienced a very positive start to year in terms of the recruitment market conditions for procurement professionals. Last year saw a marked improvement in the number of quality opportunities available in the market, with a particularly strong final quarter, and that increased demand has been sustained in the early months of 2014. Competition for the best procurement people remains fiercest in the middle market, experienced Category Managers in particular, but there is also healthy demand for emerging talent with strong academic backgrounds and a slight increase in the number of leadership roles. These are very encouraging signs for the profession and excellent news for those seeking to move roles in 2014. To view the Q1 indirect spend data and read the rest of our report please download the Procurement Quarterly Market Update Q1 2014