Chad Harrison International (CHI) was in exploratory discussions with a high-profile, US-based glass manufacturer around how we could support their talent acquisition efforts. The company was going through a period of significant growth, accelerated by multiple acquisitions and extensive geographical expansion, creating a range of challenging and business-critical vacancies. Scaling headcount at senior level during a rapid growth phase is complex and challenging, regardless of a company’s position as a market leader within their field.
To address this issue, a senior executive within the company’s HR function, who’d worked with CHI in a previous role, reached out to our packaging division to discuss how we could support their recruitment requirements. However, there was reluctance from other key decision makers to commit to an upfront/retained model having had a poor experience with several alternative (and reputable) global search firms; they’d found the process to be slow and lacking in sector-specific knowledge, culminating in an inability to identify and secure the right personnel.
To allay concerns around a retained model, we proposed a two-stage trial. In the first instance, CHI would deliver talent into two of the most time-sensitive requirements, across their sales and finance leadership team on a contingency basis, with exclusivity for a short timeframe. Our aim was to demonstrate the strength of our network and understanding of their market. Within days, our team identified shortlists of candidates who had the relevant technical and management experience, as well as a proven track record in ensuring that all commercial and financial objectives are met. With the clients support to turn around feedback and the interview process quickly, these initial assignments were filled in the opening month – the equivalent period it took their last retained specialist to reach shortlist stage.
In stage two, we worked with the client to identify their next three most important hires, and agreed a bespoke two part retained process with a sizeable upfront commitment. In return, the client received a reduction in the overall fee, as well as the flexibility to move the commencement to a second role should their priority change in this fast-moving circumstance. With an upfront commitment in place, we were also able to conduct additional market research, including competitor reward benchmarking and market perception of the business in these new geographical areas; information key to the continuing success of the growth in these new locations. The reduction in overall fee alongside a significant decrease in time to hire also gave the business the confidence needed to roll the process out across their remaining operational and senior leadership requirements.
We now work with this client on a 100% retained model and have access to all senior, operational and commercial appointments across their extensive North America operations.
Our bespoke retained model has enjoyed a 96% success rate with this client in the months that followed. What’s more, our closest competitor proposed charging 30% of package over a three-stage process, lasting anywhere from 12-20 weeks from taking the brief to onboarding the hire*, whereas CHI’s process saved them an average of £15,000 per hire, and reduced the time to hire to an average of five weeks. Over the next 10 hires, this represented a saving of £150,000 on recruitment spend, and considerable additional savings from a combined six-month reduction in hiring time and effort.
The additional market intel CHI have been able to provide from this committed partnership has allowed the business to grow quickly and successfully in new geographical locations, ahead of time, and under budget.
*based on a £120,000 base salary/£150,000 package