Case Study -- ABC Corp


Case Study Overview (names have been changed)

ABC Corporation needed to hire a leader in their Sales/Marketing Department. This role will report to the senior staff and be responsible for sales revenue, company growth, business development, and marketing functions.

Background: The company is a leader in their industry with a successful track record. In the recent past, they made a couple of hires that didn't work out and were looking to prevent the same thing from happening, again. There was backlash from the bad hires, including things like - extended position vacancies, poor moral and missed opportunities.

Sales were OK but not increasing at a rate consistent with the forecast.

At the end of each process step in this section, we will discuss our role in the process, in order to see how our process integrates with your company's hiring process.


Step 1) The HiringForFit Analysis

Upon being engaged by ABC Corp, we immediately had a discussion with the leadership to discuss the goals for the position to be hired, in order to gain a brief understanding of our common goals.

Then we implemented the 360° On-Line Position Survey with the interviewing stakeholders, 2 direct reports to the position, 2 peers to the role and 3 outside vendors in order to obtain an objective overview of the role and to create the talking points for future discussions. The survey took about 15 minutes, on average, to complete.

Our next step, to meet with all the people surveyed to gain a first hand account of their perspectives. This allowed us to gain insight to the motivation of each person and their feelings, which cannot be completely conveyed in the survey. The information collected in these meetings is entirely confidential.

Finally, we had a meeting with the hiring executive to provide a detailed synopsis of our findings. This activity provides an opportunity to determine if all the stakeholders are on the same page.


Step 2) The Hiring Profile

Next we developed a Hiring Profile which includes the position, personal attributes and company culture items which we believe that ABC Corp is seeking. This Profile is then distributed to the interviewing stakeholders for approval.

In this situation, because the company had a collaborative style, we met with all the stakeholders to come to a consensus and agreement on the Hiring Profile. This meeting took less than an hour, but at the end every person was in agreement on the 18 items needed to seek for an appropriate candidate.

Now, we sent the Hiring Profile to the executive search firm handling the project. We outlined the company's needs in a more complete manner than the company had previously. The search firm was better able to focus on the specific areas rather. They found our Hiring Profile and guidance a benefit in their screening process. This in turn decreased their search time.

The Hiring Profile could just as easily be distributed to an internal recruiting department. 



Step 3) Interviewing Guide and Deployment

Our next task was to deliver an interviewing guide to used by the interviewers. This information was taken directly from the Hiring Profile. The Guide also included a series of questions that were tailored to the company and the position in order to focus on the areas outlined in the Hiring Profile.

The company had an interviewing practice whereby each interviewer had a specific area to probe when interviewing candidates. Our Interviewing Guide was easily segmented, so that each interviewer could focus on their topics.

Next the interviewers were given instruction on best practice techniques and the usage of the Interviewing Guide. The techniques used are behavioral based and require probing not normally used by traditional interviewing techniques. With a little training, the team found the Interviewing Guide easy to grasp and utilize.



Step 4) Talent Evaluation

Once the finalist candidates were assembled by the search firm, the interviews commenced. Our role was to participate as a member of the interviewing team. In this case, we meet the candidate(s) at a location of their choosing, so that our role did not hinder the speed of the process.



Step 5) Talent Selection

Once the finalist candidates were interviewed, we convened a meeting to discuss each candidate in detail. Our role was to facilitate the meeting to provide an objective, third-party role. (Usually, we do a debrief after each candidate is interviewed, but this client wanted to debrief all at the same time).

Each member of the interviewing team is expected to discuss each candidate by the items on the Interviewing Guide. Often the discussion started to veer off into areas not covered in the Guide, so it was important to bring the conversation back to the salient points. Note: It is very easy at this phase of the process to get distracted by skills or attributes of the candidate which are second tier issues. This must be avoided to make good decisions.

Finally, we selected a candidate as a finalist and the company began the negotiation process.



Step 6) New Hire Coaching & Assimilation

Our first step was to provide the hiring executive with a management development plan about the new hire. Since no hire is perfect, we are able to identify areas that will require some special attention, both in the near term and longer term. The hiring executive later found our conclusions to be accurate which aided the assimilation of the new leader.

Once the candidate had accepted the position, we began the assimilation process. We gathered profiles about the ABC Corp and their leadership team in order to give the new leader a quicker start in knowing his peers. Much of this information was obtained during the stakeholder/management interviews.

In this particular case, we felt some face-to-face time with the new team would be valuable, so we arranged social engagements with the new leader and his peers.

Also, we found ourselves being a conduit of information between the HR department and the new leader, helping to smooth out some sensitive issues.

Finally, after the new leader started we met with them (by phone) on several situations as a sounding board about their new situation. This is especially helpful because new executives often don't have early allies in their new company and objective counsel is very helpful.



As stated before, the company was doing OK, but with the new hire the company improved their sales revenue and the their biggest surprise was the continuity of the new hire. In the previous hiring experiences, it felt as if the new employee was slow to acclamate to the new situation, and in one case never really made the jump.

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