Earning and Building Trust for the Long Term

05 July, 2021

By Iulia Pietruschevici, Iventa The Human Management Group (Romania)

Introduction:

Our client, part of a reputable international group, is among the top-5 FMCG companies in Romania with a turnover exceeding EUR 400m. It employs more than 1500 people, has a diverse portfolio of iconic national and international brands, and operates multiple manufacturing facilities.

Finance is a key contributor to the company-wide strategic agenda through constant business partnering, while also accountable for process governance and group / legal / statutory compliance. Following department structure review triggered by the need to respond better to the challenging business demands, the new role of Revenue Manager was established at a senior level, to enhance the commercial culture of the organization and also to attract talented individuals, well-positioned to become the future leaders of the department.

Challenges:

Following several successfully concluded projects, Iventa Romania was given the assignment of finding the best candidate for the CFO-1 Revenue Manager, a project that implied overcoming some specific challenges:

  • Assignment-related challenge. The client approached us following an unsuccessful experience with another Executive Search provider, who decided to abandon the project after two series of candidates rejections, as the client would not compromise on their requirement of finding a high potential individual, potential that they would measure through a rigorous battery of psychometric tests.
  • Role-related challenge. The role of Revenue Manager is a relatively new one in Romania, and only a few FMCG and retailers have this type of position at CFO-1 level in their organization charts. The purpose of the role, as designed, is to act at a strategic level moving the focus of the company on maximizing topline revenue, by setting pricing and promotional strategy and continuously analyzing the combination of brand / package / price / channel performance to look for revenue-enhancing opportunities on existing and potential new SKUs. Besides this, the role incumbent was meant to work with company departments to implement the agreed strategic plans, with the long-term objective of building a strong commercial mindset in the company.
  • Candidate-related challenge. With a keen interest in having talented, high-potential people in key positions, our client was looking to meet candidates who have the technical competencies to perform in the new role but who also have the potential to develop and lead the Finance department in 2-3 years. The resulting candidate requirements were not easy to find on the market and stretched from strong business acumen, economic analytical and modeling understanding to soft skills such as communication, the ability to work collaboratively while being assertive and resilient, and finally to have the capability to take the lead.

Managing the task:

Based on the above-identified challenges, we focused our efforts on building a partnership with our client, in order to join forces to overcome them and obtain the desired outcomes.

The Assignment Challenge

  • Managing the task: we collaborated with the client to understand the list of candidates approached by the previous Executive Search provider and the reasons why they were not selected in the list of candidates to be approached. We also convinced the client CFO to agree to extend the candidate search pool (i.e. including new industries like retailers, management consulting).
  • Outcome: we concluded our research phase with a long list of candidates including new candidates, some candidates considered and dismissed on the previous search for various reasons, including no interest in the opportunity, based on the lack of understanding of the role.

The Role Challenge

  • Managing the task: agree with the client to consistently explain the seniority of the position and openly present the expectations and perspectives of the Revenue Manager role. The client also accepted our suggestion (based on initial candidates’ reaction) to agree to a slight change of job title to “Head of Revenue” which would change the existing candidates’ perception of role seniority.
  • Outcome: Through the new job title and role clarification during the interviews, we consistently pointed out the seniority and strategic positioning of the role, to attract the right candidate caliber.

The Candidate Challenge

  • Managing the task:  We rigorously built our industries and candidates lists during the research phase and, with the client’s agreement, we did not dismiss some candidates approached by the previous Executive Search agency, who marked them as not interested in the position.
  • Outcome: Although the client had been trying to fill this position for six months, we managed to identify a shortlist of strong suitable candidates for the role and, after going through a careful recruitment process, two of them were shortlisted, passed company tests and one of them was finally offered the position…. while the Client agreed to keep in touch with the second one.

Conclusion:

The selected candidate signed the offer and we had a very happy client, who congratulated us for the quality of the candidates presented within our agreed 5 weeks time frame.  This was possible due to:

  • an excellent communication and close partnership with the client during the whole assignment process, by which we gained a clear understanding of the role specifications, candidate expectations, challenges and company context.
  • an equally good understanding of the professional experience, progression, and expectations of the candidates and finally, helping the candidates clear uncertainties and understand how this role may fit and accelerate their desired career objectives.

Finally, we believe the successful outcome of our close cooperation has earned and built trust for future repeat projects.