In this case study, we detail how our Human Resources practice provided an effective solution to a valued client.

THE CHALLENGE

When a well-known business-to-business services organisation needed a new HR Director to take over from a failed hire, they called in the experts at Rapid to lead the process. The exiting HR Director had only been in the role nine months, but hadn’t been able to adjust to the flat hierarchy and relatively organic business model. The split was amicable and the incumbent HRD was happy to stay on until a replacement could be found, but the business were keen to progress at pace—there were business critical projects on hold that were a considerable concern.

 

THE APPROACH

The team at Rapid loves these HRD briefs, and we were excited to have the chance to work for a business we’ve already worked with over a number of years, mainly in the Finance division. Our view of the problem, which was confirmed on investigation, was that the previous agency’s failed hire was largely an issue of culture fit—the candidate was not a great match with the way the business is structured, and the way it likes to work. In re-defining the role, we created a detailed person specification that outlined the specific behaviours and leadership style that would be the best fit for the business. While the role was reasonably technically straightforward—a classic HRD mandate—exploring the cultural elements was the key challenge. Following a multi-channel attraction programme, we devised an implemented a psychometric assessment programme, combined with face to face interviews, with shortlisted candidates presenting to the management group as the final hurdle. In the end, from a long list of 14, two great candidates progressed to the presentations.

 

THE SOLUTION

Management presentations had never been used in the business previously, but they proved to be an excellent test of the candidates’ cultural fit. While both candidates performed well, one was the clear winner—comfortable in the fluid structure and capable of coping with challenge and robust discussion. This was a role where the cultural fit was the bigger challenge than the technical side, and, with the candidate two years into the role, we’re happy to say it worked out brilliantly.

 

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