How do you a hire for a client if we are yet to agree on the ideal candidate? This question was rankling in my mind ever since I returned from my big meeting with Cheers and Celebrations, a leading player in the gifts and greeting cards industry, this morning.
The crux of the meeting was this. Cheers and Celebrations was looking to hire a new CEO. Now, most of their employees had grown with the company and had been around for decades. "We need a new pair of eyes to come and change things around here," the founder told us. His second requirement - "We are looking for someone who can double our revenue."
With no other brief, I was in a fix. It is no secret that finding a CEO is a very critical job. If the leadership is not right, it is a big risk. And finding the right CEO of a listed company is no less than a Herculean task - if the market perception of the new CEO is anything less than ideal, then the stock market would have something to say about it.
Not just this, we would be competing with other recruiters to reach the finish line first. It was difficult to convince them to give us an exclusive contract, since we had just come on board as their recruiting partner and had not had an opportunity to prove ourselves.
However, this did not remain an issue for long. Along with the task of hiring a CEO for them, Cheers and Celebrations had given us another position to fill. Thanks to our high-power search team and our custom in-house Artificial Intelligence platform, we were able to send them some awesome profiles in a very short span of time. And once they were sold on our expertise, the contract for hiring the CEO was all ours.
So far, so good. But before proceeding with the search, we needed a solid Job Description in place. From the current industry to crores of revenue handled, we researched about the experience and skills required and curated them into a succinct JD. "This is exactly what we're looking for," the founder told me. With his nod, we began our hiring process.
First, our search team used market mapping to find quality candidates. To the experienced eye, a cursory glance at a person's CV is enough to qualify them for Step 1 of our robust multi-level screening process. But with a position like CEO, our Head of Search had to study the person's profile in great depth to find out some very specific metrics. Contribution to revenue growth, for instance.
It was no walk in the park. But would you believe it? With the help our powerful outreach technology, we were able to contact nearly 100 potential candidates, and found that one person who would make a great CEO for Cheers and Celebrations. He did.