Client brief:  This client is a worldwide leader in IT outsourcing services. The rate of digital transformations means that these organisations need to have agile structures, responding to market needs rapidly. This has a strong impact on internal processes. Due to this, the management sometimes needs to recruit new profiles to make each country entity better able to meet market needs.    

3 years’ ago, this client had to restructure one of their subsidiaries and they set a new matrix organisation in this country that involved recruiting a new CFO profile (the former one was operating within a classical organisation that was centralising all the support functions). The new structure was pointed towards operations and business; that is to say, looking for leverage effect for profitability and growth. One the features of this type of business is there is an important data flow. Therefore, my challenge was to look for a profile coming from business services with the ability to manage a strong, complex flow of data.    

What I did:  Since the flow of data is huge, complex to sort, and requires strong IT systems and procedures, I started by focusing on profiles within the financial and insurance services, headhunting into big banks, insurance companies, and financial services such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. However, the issue I kept coming up against was that most of these structures already offer good compensation to managers, particularly profiles working in Asia or North America.    

In this challenging situation, the recruiter has to open his search towards other markets so that he can find the best profiles. I advised my client to do this, and he accepted the challenge. It was important to find someone able to reframe the way the finance department was driven, a sort of ‘change agent’ able to set change within such a good container. I selected six candidates, two from banking, two from insurance, one from IT outsourcing activity, and one from financial services. The last profile had the strongest international background and showed evidence of approaching roles with curiosity and imagination, as well as the ability to undertake the kind of courageous conversations needed to make things happen.    

Outcome:  This candidate appears to be an outstanding Finance Manager, with strong leadership skills that are appreciated by staff and colleagues. The transformation of the finance department has been a tough process but he has shown the ability to embed people in the change process.