Case Studies

Hiring the wrong profile

The Client:

Private, owner-operated mid-sized manufacturing company.

The Challenge:

Through two other search firms, our client had previously hired two subsequent Vice Presidents to head the Human Resources function. Each placed candidate was unsuccessful in the role. We were retained to get it right.

Our Strategy:

Through meetings with key stakeholders, we invested significant time upfront to learn about the business and gain a thorough understanding of issues facing the company, as well as the corporate culture. We listened carefully and were unafraid to ask tough, often out-of-the-box questions. We ensured we had a thorough understanding of why the previous placements had failed, and set out to ensure that history not repeat itself.


We were successful in attracting the Vice President Human Resources. During the six years she remained with the company, she was promoted to Vice President, Operations, and then to Chief Operating Officer. Subsequent to our success in this role, we assisted the company in rebuilding its entire management team, and also helped the client to attract an additional Board Member. To date, we have successfully completed twelve assignments for this organization.

Post Mortem:

What was the secret to our ultimate success? As our client had been operating his business for 35 years, he did not have a sense of what other types of candidate profiles existed in the broader marketplace. It was therefore difficult for him to vocalize what he was truly seeking. Through much upfront discussion, we were able to determine that first and foremost, he was looking for a strategic, trusted and respected business advisor to help him grow his business. He was not looking for a traditional Vice President of Human Resources. The successful candidate brought experience in both Human Resources and Operations, making her a perfect fit.