Strategic Client Partnership - Industrial Technology

The company

In 2006, we started working with a growing $1 billion US business. They had been established for over 100 years and had a high profile in certain industries as a manufacturer of industrial cables. The business produced a solid, profitable revenue performance year after year as an engineering-led organisation with product management defined as marketing and internal technical sales being their commercial focus.

A new CEO was appointed to reignite the business and achieve very aggressive growth. Following a bottom-up organisation review, he set the following objectives;

  • Transform the business to be sales and marketing focused.
  • Develop and introduce a talent management strategy to both invest in employees and entice “high potential” individuals.

The Brief

Collingwood were retained as their strategic headhunting consultancy in Europe to initially recruit a new EMEA Marketing team based in Manchester. The roles were Marketing Manager, Product Portfolio Manager and a Marketing Information Services Manager. The roles were quite standard but the candidate brief was the real challenge.

To instigate the sought growth, (double their $1 billion turnover) and cultural impact, Collingwood were briefed to find and introduce individuals who were on the “high potential” programmes of such companies as Siemens, GE, Honeywell, Danaher etc… From the outside looking in, the perception of our client was an old, dirty engineering business with boring, highly commoditised products. The big planned change and ultimate dream of doubling turnover and the creation of a global high value, technology led market leader were not on anyone’s radar.

The Process

Collingwood worked closely with key stakeholders in the company to both understand the business and the individuals they needed to employ before helping to create exciting literature that would provide tangible evidence to potential candidates of the future that would be fantastic to be a part of. We delivered a pure, proactive and data-led headhunt project focused, on researching a dream target list of companies, identifying individuals on the “high potential” programmes before enticing them to a face to face conversation in which we could ensure there were no poor perceptions and instead saw the “whites of their eyes” to give them real information.

At the outset of the meetings, most had never heard of our client and by the end, the majority really wanted to move to the next stage of the process as the career proposition and transformational culture was a very exciting one. Collingwood also helped design a robust recruitment process particularly around candidate attraction. If we were to put the best in class candidates in front of our client, we had to ensure our client would excite and engage with them. In most cases, candidates would gain access to a senior manager at first interview. This proved to be a game changer and as time went by, Collingwood knew that candidates would do anything to work for our client.

Since the success of this project, Collingwood has become a key strategic partner globally. We have been supporting the HR teams in North America and EMEA to appoint their targeted sales and marketing talent. Roles have ranged from €60,000 Business Development Managers to Global VP's.

The key to our success is not advertising or finding candidates who are on the market and in need of a new job, instead we focus on the “hidden job market”. This is where high performing individuals are working and generally enjoying where they are but when details of a really exciting client and career opportunity are communicated directly with them, they are willing to invest time to find out more. It removes the risk of a 'Dutch auctions' against several other job offers, it removes the need to shorten interview processes in order not to lose out on a desired candidate due to their other interviews and it increases the calibre of our candidate shortlists. 

Our process does not only provide value in the appointments we make but clients also benefit from market intelligence and key information about each of their competitors. Our relationship has flourished and regardless of vacancies, we meet the HR team regularly to update each other on new developments.

This regular communication allows us to also operate a candidate pipeline for our client as they share which roles and in which geographical locations they anticipate vacancies to arise. Our strong networking and profile as a strategic partner maintains an interest from potential candidates.

Our client is now an organisation full of high performing individuals, with an impressive end to end talent management programme. They are an employer people really want to work for and receive a flow of applications due to their new profile.