When traditional search & in-house recruitment fail : Supporting a Bank to appoint its CEO


A prominent teir 2 financial institution  had long been aware of its impending need to appoint a new CEO as the existing one had delivered all they had set out to do. Logically, the executive including the HRD selected a well respected search partner able to offer discretion and a head hunter approach.

The issue:

The head hunter was selected based on its heritage, prominent reputation within the financial services and banking search sector but the bank failed to realise this may not have been the right basis for selection. The internal recruitment team was also considered to be very adept at process management but deemed to lack the ability to position in such discrete way to those businesses and individuals of greatest likely relevance for an appointment of such critical importance.

The evidence:

The head hunter provided a long list to the client from which a short list was presented. The feedback from the bank was;-

  • 3 of the 4 were clearly too expensive as compared to the budget for the appointment.
  • all 4 were tier 1 banking sector biased used to several tiers of command and teams far in excess of the reality existing.
  • individual competence was quite silo; understanding depth as opposed to breadth.
  • internal considerations had not been considered.

What we did:

On recommendation, we were invited in the meet with the executive and were quickly able to understand the need and determine where the right individuals for consideration were most likely to come from...

  1. Our unique model of 'no off-limits' enabled us to research and map and engage individuals active in role, performing in line with the direction this bank was intending.
  2. We did not need to rely on advert or online presentation of the opportunity nor limit our discussions to those actively known to be looking or out of role.
  3. A total of 4 individuals operating from within their key target community were introduced to them and all were positively engaged in conversation and happy to meet with the bank. This, we achieved within a 2 week time frame from the agreed brief.
  4. Additionally, we highlighted to the sponsoring executive market intelligence enabling that person to articulate best their opportunity relative to the situations the applicants in question were coming from enabling a cleaner exchange to occur, free of the salesmanship that often blurs a considered selection exercise.
  5. A successful appointment was made.

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