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  Case Studies The Situation The Search The Successful Results  

    Human Resources Executive For A Rapidly Growing Professional Services Organization

Business & Professional
Services

 

 

  The Situation

Our client had experienced phenomenal recent growth, more than tripling in size in just three years. An intensely client-focused professional services organization, this young company had succeeded by directing the majority of its resources externally, servicing clients and growing business. This combination of rapid growth and external focus resulted in an organization that had outgrown its HR infrastructure and was beginning to feel the pain of having done so. They needed an HR professional to take their company to the next level.

As they began to direct more focus on developing internal systems and infrastructure, our client realized their most pressing, strategic need was for a person to head up human capital. A team of Ray & Berndtson partners invested a considerable amount of "up front" time before being selected to conduct the search, working with the executive management team to define a range of operational and organizational issues the successful candidate would face. During the course of these discussions two synchronicities emerged that led this company to choose Ray & Berndtson as its executive search provider. First, Ray & Berndtson had recently completed a broad range of change management initiatives that closely mirrored those facing this potential new client. And second, the partner who was to manage the relationship and lead the Ray & Berndtson dedicated team had built his practice around helping young, emerging companies transition to the next level of mature, established enterprises.

 

  The Search

The people equation is a particularly thorny one in professional services companies where knowledge and expertise are the "product" and where no physical product changes hands. This challenge was compounded by the very specific corporate culture of a young, dynamic and rapidly growing company transitioning from a founder/entrepreneur-led start-up to a more mature, mid-sized company. We needed to recruit an executive who would bring a new level of discipline and structure to support the recent and future growth of the company, but who would also respect and retain the entrepreneurial spirit which made it unique and fueled its success.

This person also needed to excel both strategically and tactically. The director, human capital would have to function effectively at the grass roots level, quickly bringing HR systems and infrastructure in line with the company's current size and scope; however, he/she would also need to partner with the CEO/founder, fine tune vision and put strategy and programs in place to secure the company's future as an employer of choice and a leader in its market.

The client wanted the search completed quickly; however, given the specificity of our client's culture and the detailed requirements of the position, no objective target list was likely to yield results with sufficient speed and accuracy. Instead, our search team deployed a "full court press" of sourcing; speaking with entrepreneurs, HR executives and general managers who would likely have worked with an ideal candidate. We especially focused on those with whom we had personal relationships and who would therefore be willing to engage in a lengthy and detailed discussion of the company and position.

 

  The Successful Results

As a result of our team's aggressive and creative sourcing, the successful candidate was introduced within the first 60 days of the search's initiation. The successful candidate is an alumnus of three global financial institutions (one of which is known worldwide for its HR programs), a veteran of two start-ups that have gone on to become category leaders, and a rare combination of strategic savvy and operational chutzpah.

Because of Ray & Berndtson's success in identifying an executive who has been a perfect cultural fit and value to the client, we have been retained to conduct numerous additional searches for this client.

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