Executive search to find a Head of Professional Services for a software company
The business problem
An international high growth finance software company, was in early stage growth in the UK market.
Sales were strong, but there was a gap in the business between their sales people and the software implementation project delivery people. As a result, implementation time was too slow.
They needed to hire someone to liaise closely with project managers and take a pro-active role in driving projects forward to ensure that the solutions were built to specification, on time and on budget.
This was a key appointment and vital to enable the business to meet its growth objectives.
They needed to hire someone who had strong skills in four areas: finance & accounting, the technical side of software, project management, and sales processes.
In addition, this person had to be at the right stage of their career and want to join an early stage software company.
A difficult combination of skills to find.
How I found the candidate
The target candidate would be found in either: corporate performance management software providers and resellers, BI software providers and resellers, systems integrator firms, accountancy firms who resell finance software, or ERP providers and resellers.
After extensive research I identified a large number of companies where candidates might be found.
From a wide search of these target companies, I identified circa 150 potential candidates.
This was a difficult search because only after contacting potential candidates could I ascertain whether they had the depth of skills in the four skill areas required to perform the role. Most candidates were strong in one of two areas, but not in the others.
The search uncovered a shortlist of three suitable candidates.
There was one candidate who was the clear favourite. He was a perfect fit. A qualified accountant, who had deep experience working for a finance software implementation partner, he had strong project management experience, good technical skills and also consultancy/ client interface skills.
It was then a simple process for the client to interview and select the favoured candidate.
I negotiated the offer with the candidate on behalf of the client – this included salary and package that was satisfactory to both parties.
The successful candidate accepted the role and started shortly after.
What was the business impact?
The person hired interfaced with customers and the project delivery teams – project implementation times vastly reduced, they had happy customers, and improvement in the bottom line!
Client reference from the UK Managing Director:
"Hi Jonathan, Just a short note to say thank you for your efforts in finding the Head of Professional Services for us. He joined last week, is settling in well & I think he will be a key member of the team for the future. Job well done. I must admit that the exclusivity approach has opened my eyes to the positive impact on our time by keeping the number of candidates to a sensible short list from the outset, so I would certainly consider using that approach again in the future."