In this case study, we detail how our Rapid can provide an effective solution to avert a potential crisis.


Our client, a mid-sized services business based in the midlands, was facing a huge challenge when their CEO announced his resignation—further complicated by the fact that he was leaving for a competitor organisation. He was immediately put on gardening leave, creating a major gap at the very top of the organisation. With a permanent hire likely to take 6-9 months with a fair wind, the business needed to import interim leadership with considerable urgency. None of the incumbent management team were ready to make the step up to the role, so an external hire was the only path.


As you might imagine, this was a highly sensitive situation—with a lot of potential for negative PR. The client called Rapid in to handle finding an interim placement. Our first move was to work with the client’s communications division to create an internal communication about the recruitment exercise that would provide some level of comfort and transparency to the team, many of whom were understandably shaken by the surprise departure. We kept that communication short and simple, outlining our track record in similar situations, our approach, and the timelines for finding an interim CEO. Then, we set about finding the right person for a really tough situation.

We used a multi-channel approach, with ‘blind’ advertising drawing on our existing talent pool and getting plenty of great referrals from our networks of interim managers. We were able to longlist 7 candidates, interviewing 5 face-to-face and the remaining 2 via Skype. From that exercise, we were able to shortlist four great candidates to meet the board within 8 working days of taking the brief.


The interim CEO was in place just 13 working days after we took the initial brief—which was considerably earlier than we’d specified in the timeline presented to staff. The communications department was able to release the information to the press with a positive spin. The assignment itself was a great success, and the candidate was offered—and accepted—a permanent position in the business after four months. During the fallout period after the former CEO’s departure, financial results remained steady and staff attrition remained at normal levels. We were delighted to meet such a challenging situation head on.


To benefit from Rapid’s Search & Interim solutions please call us today.