Case Studies

Talent for What’s Next

Project – Executive Vice President & General Manager Search

Client – Iron Foundry & Plastic Injection Molding Company

Our client owns a large iron foundry and plastic injection molding operation, the right candidate would be acting as General Manager of the manufacturing plant and would also have a role of Executive Vice President of the parent holding company.  The Company, needed to hire an individual with senior level industrial manufacturing experience as well as operations, production, supply chain management, talent management, as well as business development.  Not an easy task to find the right person!  The pool for talent that fit the mold was tight and would likely require a relocation to a remote part of Virginia.

This was a classic passive search as the criteria was tight, requiring industry experience and a proven history of success. Beyond identifying candidates with the proper experience and skill sets, the culture fit was vital to the CEO.  It was important that the right candidate could not only manage the manufacturing operations but also be a strategic partner at the holding company level.  As most foundries are family owned, the talent pool shrunk even further – a top prospect would not leave their family business to join a competitor.  Our client possesses and excellent reputation for the level of quality of their work, their responsive service, a great work environment, and top-notch safety requirements – all very meaningful to anyone considering joining their team.

After an exhaustive search we were able to present two very strong candidates to our client for the role. Ultimately our client offered the role to the candidate who met every qualification. After facilitating the compensation negotiations, we were able to land the candidate. The CEO helped the new hire to relocate his family to Virginia and the transition was a smooth one. Both client and the new GM/EVP are very happy with the outcome.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Search

Client – Industrial Manufacturing Holding Company

Our Client was preparing for the retirement of their current CFO who originally was brought on as a fractional CFO consultant and ended up staying with the company on a permanent basis. The holding company’s CFO oversees multiple manufacturing entities that operate separately, each with its own General Manager. The CFO reports directly to the holding company’s CEO who oversees all of the business entities

During our discovery period, the CEO put a huge amount of emphasis on trust and noted cultural fit was very important, certainly as much as experience, skill set, and qualifications. The incumbents leave date was approaching quickly and the organization required no gap in that role – needless to say the pressure was on to find the right person quickly.

We conducted thorough candidate research, building a database of over 100 prospective candidates. Through the vetting and interviewing process we ultimately identified 3 finalist that were presented to the CEO who, in turn, narrowed the choice down to two based on qualification factors. Because the CEO and this new hire would be working very closely together, we suggested that she take each out to dinner separately, allowing her to have a less formal conversation and to ascertain firsthand the real personality of each.

The candidate who are client chose was a highly qualified senior executive with prior CFO experience within industrial manufacturing but had spent that last several years as a CFO of a major retail chain.  The two just clicked – he was methodical and had a soft, thoughtful approach, along with excellent skills and relevant experience.  The chemistry worked. In the end, both parties were thrilled with the outcome.

Project – Multiple Positions – Director of Legal Affairs & Director of Title IX and Equity Compliance Search

Client – Private Northeast-based University

The VP of Human Resources and Chief Operating Officer of the University met with us and presented a unique request. Their current Administrative Assistant to the COO, who also handled any internal legal affairs, was leaving. The decision was made to redefine the role and to create two separate positions to handle the significant legal issues that may face the University.

The Legal Affairs role needed to change in order to attract not only the best candidates but to best serve the University as a whole. The title of Administrative Assistant would be a hard sell to someone with a law degree and the experience that the school required. The Director, Legal Affairs role required a law degree. It was also determined that the Title IX administration portion of the job should be a separate position all together. Compounding the complexity of the search, was the university setting itself, which is quite different than that of a corporate culture.  We wanted to identify a candidate who not only worked in academia but also loved the university culture.

After an extensive search, we were able to fill both roles with people who not only had the required skill set but both worked within higher education and wanted to remain in the sector.  In the end, working with the University to flesh out what they needed for talent, and develop new roles was the right move and a win/win for all involved.

Director, Global Sales Search

Client – Privately-held Manufacturing Firm

Our client is the CEO of a 50-year old family-owned niche manufacturing firm in the Northeast. The firm designs, engineers, and manufactures sophisticated measurement devices utilized by companies in industry sectors that include aerospace, automotive, textiles, and others. The firm’s products are sold globally and the Sales Director role required an individual to not only oversee the sales, but also be a vital part of the senior leadership team of the company.

As with many of our searches, cultural fit was very high on the list of important candidate characteristics to be assessed by the company’s CEO.  The new Director must be able to work in a very tight knit community – manage up and down – and be a revenue generator for the business.  Initial feedback from some of our candidates was that the technology was a bit dated and hard to sell.  What we needed was someone who understood the vision of the company, the uniqueness of their product, and to be a part of the next generation of innovation for them.

After sifting through hundreds of potential candidates we narrowed it down to a short slate, each of whom met with the CEO and her business advisor.  After in-depth interviews with all, the CEO found a clear winner.   The new Director, Global Sales not only possessed the skill sets, but had the leadership qualities needed to lead the company into the next generation.

This hire afforded both our client and the new employee with significant upside opportunity for professional and personal growth.

Project – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Search

Client – Senior Healthcare and Assisted Living Organization

This client began planning early for the retirement of their long-time Chief Financial Officer. Tough shoes to fill, as the incumbent was mission driven and possessed a strong analytical business background. He had put the organization on the right track. It was important that any prospective candidate for this role could not only perform the duties of the position, but the right hire would also be able to manage and work well with the board of directors, many of whom have a strong financial background. The perfect candidate would be able to comfortably challenge board members when needed, assist with strategic planning, and be confident in his/her decision making when dealing with the senior leadership.

The board was undecided if they should seek candidates from within the industry – healthcare services providers, or should they hire from the healthcare consulting division of one of the Big 4 accounting firms.

We  sifted through hundreds of candidates and produced a short list to present to the organization’s President and its Board. Ultimately, the client hired their number one choice. The newly hired CFO came from a health care background and has easily onboarded to the position and the culture. A great fit for both client and candidate.

Testimonial From The President

“It was vitally important that our new CFO blended seamlessly into our culture here,” says the client organization’s President. “We have a very active and involved Board – this new hire had to be on their level and share in the overall vision and mission of our company. Ken McGovern and his team delivered. He spent the time to interview key members of our Board as well as myself – by the end of those conversations he had a keen sense of who we are culturally as a company and what our dream candidate looked like. I’m happy to say that we were able to hire our first choice from Ken’s short list. Thank you, Ken and the rest of the team for finding us the perfect candidate that met all of our criteria.”

Project – Multiple Senior Management Positions

Client – Bank

Our initial search involved replacing the longtime Chief Financial Officer. The Bank was seeking candidates that were tech savvy and could bring the Bank to the next level. As this is a small yet growing Bank, it was imperative that the new CFO possess the ability to handle the culture of a smaller organization yet be forward thinking, innovative, and be able to manage up and down. After significant contacts, screenings, and interviews, Ken produced a short slate of three candidates, with the Bank ultimately choosing and hiring a candidate from Florida. Relocation was coordinated.

With a great experience from the CFO search, the Bank engaged Ken when they were looking for a SVP, Mortgage and Consumer Lending. The client really needed someone who was willing and able to expand the brand of the Bank outside of its home state. Ken produced a highly-qualified candidate who fit the organization’s culture. Unfortunately, this position changed and the hire simply didn’t work out, departing after less than a year. The client decided to change the focus of the position to a SVP, Home Loan Sales and again reached out to Ken to fill the role. The Bank was looking for a solid leader, an innovator, and someone who could hire, train, and manage multiple locations in multiple states. This time the Bank had a newly defined and clearer focus on the position they needed filled, as well as the level of talent and experience they were seeking in a candidate. By expanding the geography of the search, Ken enlarged the pool of prospective talent. Ultimately, the Bank hired an industry executive from outside of their home state.

Testimonial From The President

“Working with an executive search consultant such as Ken McGovern just makes sense. Ken and his team have the ability to really understand our culture, our business goals, and to uncover our dream candidate from a large field of potentials,” said Martin Geitz, the Bank’s President & CEO. “We worked on several search hires with Ken and each time he spent hours diving into what really mattered for us here at the bank. Anyone can read a pile of resumes, interview a myriad of potential hires – but Ken is different. He understands teams, he understands culture, and in the end he understood our organization and what we needed to grow our company. “

Project – Vice President, Sales

Client – Information Technology Consultant and Value-added Reseller

The CEO and Chief Operating Officer of this client hired Ken McGovern to identify, attract, and hire a new Vice President, Sales.

Our client had already posted the position on multiple job boards, along with their own corporate career page, and they had gone through several contingent search firms with no results. They needed to work with someone who understood their culture and would invest the time to find them the right candidate for such a critical position within the client’s organization.

Testimonial From The President

Testimonial From President:
“Our culture and our team here are the ingredients that make up our secret sauce,” says the company’s President & CEO. “The executive search firm that we hired had to not only understand our culture, but be able to find a critical employee that would work within that culture – Ken McGovern and his team did not disappoint. They spent the time to get to know us, and empowered us to find and hire the right team member within 4 months – exceeding our expectations.”