We were thrilled to be recruiting for one of the biggest and most recognised names in luxury fashion in New York, but it was not easy!
Like many other high-profile businesses, when it comes to attracting talent there is limited cause for concern. The number of applications received daily for any role posted by their HR team on either their website or LinkedIn was huge! This seems to be a great problem to have and the only challenge is how to manage the sheer volume of applications.
However, is not always the case as our client’s team discovered when recently recruiting their new Head of Global Treasury Technology.
Let us give you a brief overview of the challenges they faced and the reasons why a targeted headhunt approach from a specialist treasury consultancy provided the solution to their headache.
Search Part 1 – The Problem
Their initial hiring strategy was that of many generalist vacancies within the business;
- advertise on the website
- advertise internally
- advertise on LinkedIn
Often this approach generates results again for non-specialist roles, but it is still a passive methodology.
The era of simply posting a job advert and waiting for the talented candidate that you want to come along has passed.
You want the candidate who is so busy they have not got time to look for another role, they are being looked after by their current employer, they are happy in their current position.
BUT they may consider a role if they are being represented by a consultancy who has looked after both them and their treasury career for the past 10 years.
This was the case for our client three weeks into their campaign they realised that whilst response rates were high, the quality simply was not there, and the responses just kept coming. After 8 weeks, the team had received more than 250 applicants.
250 candidates who needed reviewing and responding to.
On average that is a dedicated HR person, working fulltime, for 3 whole weeks, just on this one campaign, who knew nothing about Treasury and who was struggling to work out what the difference was between a good or a bad treasury professional.
The real kicker came however when after identifying what they thought was a potential shortlist of 6 all 6 were found to lack both the technical expertise required and the interpersonal skills required for the role.
250+ applications, 25 screening calls, 6 candidates through to one-to-one interviews with the Global Treasurer, a final shortlist of ZERO. None of the candidates were right for the role.
Search Part 2 – The Solution
OK so you know what happens now right?
We come riding in on our trusty steed and save the day, great, call us we can save you now! OK alright you want to understand how we approached the problem! Okay why didn’t you just say so?
After 12 weeks, many hours of work, the HR team were back to Square One, the situation was at crisis point. They could not continue with the same high-risk advertised approach that was exhausted.
They had to get the search back on track, fast…
Although The Treasury Recruitment Company had not worked with this client previously, the Global Treasurer had heard very positive things about us through our mutual connections at the Neu Group.
He had listened to a selection of our weekly Treasury Career Corner podcasts, so he knew we knew what we were talking about, he liked the feel of our brand and what we had to offer. He decided to reach out to how we could help.
As always, we were thrilled to be approached about a fantastic opportunity but before we got too excited, we needed to find out more.
We needed to be confident this would be an opportunity that we could fill. After a very open and detailed conversation with the Global Treasurer and the HR team we presented our proposed solution.
Our immediate response was that we needed to take control of the situation and to achieve this, we would need 100% commitment from them as their exclusive partners. We would become an extension of their internal recruitment team and there could be no aspects of the search that we were not involved in.
This was a niche search, focusing on a specific area within treasury and as such, only a handful of individuals would potentially be right for the role. As a result, this would require a very targeted and streamlined search and a multiple agency approach or a disjointed strategy simply would not work.
The team were in total agreement with this and they were able to outline the backgrounds of many of the applicants who had already applied, then been reviewed and were part of the previous process.
This was an essential step it ensured we would not waste our time reaching out to the people who had already been considered and secondly, it enabled us to continue to build a deep understanding of exactly who would be ‘right’ for the role.
The next step was that it was agreed that any further direct applications would be sent to us to be reviewed alongside our candidate shortlist. This ensured a centralised approach and that all applicants were treated equally, their team loved this way of working.
Everything was now under control and we started our targeted Search campaign.
As a specialist consultancy we only operate in the corporate treasury space, we were immediately able to identify a pipeline of potential candidates who were a close match, this formed our initial longlist. After a series of in-depth interviews to further assess suitability and fit, a promising shortlist of four strong candidates was produced and subsequently presented to the team.
One candidate stood out to us, his background was ideal for the position and matched the brief perfectly. He also demonstrated characteristics and traits that truly mirrored the brand’s values and ethos, again confirming his suitability for the role.
The team were excited by his profile and acted quickly to commence interview proceedings. He excelled at every stage and after just three weeks was formerly offered the role which he gladly accepted. Three weeks later, he joined the team and is absolutely loving his new role.
What Our Client and We Learnt from The Campaign
There was a positive outcome to the campaign and our client welcomed a super talented treasury professional onto their team, fantastic!
But it was a tough, time-consuming, and costly process to get there. In many cases, advertising a vacancy on your website and other job boards can prove successful however this is not always the case.
It is critical to consider all options at the start of a search as adopting the wrong hiring strategy can have a real detrimental impact on the business.
Here are some tips on why working with a specialist consultancy is the best hiring strategy.
Urgent role where speed to hire is important – Working with a specialist consultancy means that project timelines are agreed from the outset. Opting to advertise a role where there is no control over who will be applying is a high-risk strategy when time is of the essence. Specialist consultancies will also have an instant network of candidates to tap into and approach.
Limited internal resources to manage high-volume advert responses – Candidate engagement and candidate experience are both critical to ensuring not only that you deliver a successful recruitment campaign but that there is a positive perception of the business overall. If you do not manage quickly and efficiently then what impression will candidates have who apply for the role whether they are successful or not.
Limited internal sector expertise – The nature of internal recruitment teams means that they are generalist recruiters. They may specialise in a certain broad business function e.g. finance but it will be unlikely they are true experts in one given field such as treasury. Any role in treasury requires a recruiter who can identify and match candidates within a specific niche and that requires years of practice. Understanding where to find these types of candidates, what good looks like, what the ‘pull factors’ will be for them and how to manage them through a hiring process is what makes us stand out. It requires specialist expertise.
Senior level role where the pool of candidates is naturally more limited – Opting for a multiple agency approach often leads to problems and has a negative effect on candidate perception. Equally opting for an advertising search methodology will only focus on those candidates that are actively seeking a new position as opposed to the passive market where your ‘winning’ candidate may be sitting and as illustrated in this case the successful candidate wasn’t actively seeking a role but he was interested when we approached him about the position itself.
Confidential position where company names cannot be revealed – This type of role needs to be handled very discretely and will often require the use of Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). A specialist consultancy is really the only answer in this scenario.
Niche or specialist position where there will only be a handful of candidates with the required experience – This requires a targeted search focusing on the passive candidate market.
Position based in a tricky/rural location where there will be a limited pool of candidates – The focus here will be on appealing to candidates that are open to relocation which is often not possible to identify through an advert.
If we have not provided enough compelling evidence as to why you need to pick up the phone or email, then I do not what I should do 😉
Look we are here to help you as we have been doing for the past 18 years if you want further advice about your best treasury recruitment strategy then call us, if we think you could do it yourselves then we will tell you!
But if we think we can help you then we will tell you that too if you take our advice well as always that is up to you.
If you would like to find out more about the services, we can provide then please get in touch we would love to help.