Automotive tech start-up, Managing Director, Europe

The challenge.

A ground-breaking start-up, developing cutting-edge technology within the automotive industry, needed to find a Managing Director for their European operation. This was a business-critical role requiring a specific background and knowledge base. The ideal person also needed to be trilingual, with global exposure. Due to the specific skillset required by the hiring company, this role had been open and unfilled for some time and there was now a high level of urgency due to the seniority of the position and the real risk of deadlines being missed across the European business. As with all start-ups, this could cause a significant knock-on effect as regards forecast and market confidence. As such, this assignment had to be completed quickly, efficiently and covertly.

The solution.

Chad Harrison International (CHI) conducted a retained search for a highly strategic, knowledge-based expert who had the required experience. This was carried out by employing true executive search methodology; working closely with senior executives and gaining a thorough understanding of the requirement of the role and capabilities needed. CHI then ran a fast-paced campaign, pulling out all stops to enable the role to be filled in the shortest possible timeframe. Our Future Mobility division allocated significant resources to ensure the standard of service was not compromised in any way, despite the short time-to-hire requirements.

The search comprised market mapping to target companies across multiple countries globally and drawing up a diverse pool of highly credible prospective candidates. Working in collaboration with the client’s HR Director, CHI identified a long list of suitable candidates. We then commenced a targeted headhunt on all preferred candidates based on credentials, salary requirements, and motivations. This created a shortlist comprising qualified and fully engaged candidates.

CHI coordinated a combination of face-to-face and virtual interviews in a multi-stage hiring process. The final stage was conducted in person with the CEO flying from the US to Europe. Other stages of the four-part process were conducted with the Global President of Vehicle Operations, the Group CFO and the VP for Vehicle Engineering.

The result.

By utilising our established network of connections and with complete visibility in the market, together with broad customer knowledge, we were able to produce a strong shortlist to present to our client within nine working days.

Following interviews, an offer was made to the first-choice candidate who accepted after a total of four weeks from the commencement of the assignment, with a start date agreed for three months later (in line with the individual’s notice period). CHI handled the offer presentation and negotiation stage to facilitate the smooth onboarding of the desired candidate. Their experience fit all the relevant skillsets our client required, as well as being an excellent cultural fit with the business.

This placement led to a close-knit working relationship between CHI and the client. As such, we have agreed on a long-term partnership covering North America and Europe.