Our client is a mid-sized services software business that has demonstrated extremely strong growth since inception in the mid-2000s. The business had a hit a plateau, with tougher times forecast, and the financial management had come into question. The decision was made to exit the Finance Director, and seek a new person with experience in a turnaround situation. Rapid was called in to outline the challenge and find a new permanent hire to lead the business from a financial perspective.


The role had actually been recruited just two years previously, so there was a foundation launch the exercise—although the hire hadn’t been successful. We explored the reasons for the failure with the management group, and found that the agency engaged had cut corners on the due diligence, particularly in regard to technical competency. We suggested a new path, with far more rigorous technical competency testing, combined with an extra layer of interviewing in the form of a formal board presentation. We advertised this role in online and in print, leveraged social media and ran a full executive search process. From the 64 candidates for the role, we long listed 7 for interview with our consultants, forwarding just 3 for interviews with the client. All three were invited to present to the board.


The board found one clear winner from the talent pool we presented, offering her the job immediately. She accepted, and is currently in the role, some months into a turnaround programme that is progressing well. The business has a new financial model, and changed its software in order to manage costs better. The candidate has set up a Finance Programme Office, and the early results are extremely positive.


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