Madison MacArthur Executive Search - Corporate Communications Assignments

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

Search
Senior Manager, Media & Public Relations (3 assignments)

Organization
Tier 1 Bank

Situation
The client was in the process of building up their Corporate Communications department to manage media and public perception during a time of significant upheaval. The client had initially given out one of the searches to another firm but pulled it very quickly. This was as a result of the firm putting a junior researcher on the assignment who promptly called members of the financial press for potential candidate leads. The fallout was significant as, at the time, part of the upheaval was due to broad scale layoffs within the bank. The need for absolute confidentiality was paramount in engaging our services for these searches.

Assessment
While parallel roles, each assignment required very different and specialized industry experience as each would be working with different lines of business. As the fallout from the initial search took a bit of time to overcome, the timelines for getting the new people on board was very tight. Timing became even tighter when considering the rigorous client interview process and the searches taking place in the summer with overlapping holidays to contend with.

Challenge
The assignment required sourcing candidates with specialized experience in commercial and investment banking as well as technology - each requiring a separate search strategy due to the depth of skills and experience desired in their respective areas. The confidential nature of the search would also provide a challenge especially for one of the positions where a financial journalist was the preferred profile. In each case, the candidates would require both superb writing skills and the personal dynamics to function as the official spokesperson for their client group.

Solution
Working with the client, hiring priorities were developed and interview times were blocked off with the various stakeholders at the beginning of the search process. The team at Madison MacArthur developed a work back schedule in order to meet the tight timelines. Target lists were developed for each assignment and scripts showcasing the opportunities without divulging the client were developed as well. As per our usual practice, one of our senior Directors made all of the candidate calls to ensure that the positions were appropriately showcased and no potential candidate opportunities were missed as there would be no time to revisit them. Initial potential candidate shortlists for each position were developed comprising of four to five candidates per assignment. These candidates were invited back in to meet with other senior Directors at Madison MacArthur for an additional screen and the top two for each assignment were presented to minimize compromising confidentiality. Only the two candidates selected for each of the positions were informed of the identity of the company after signing a confidentiality agreement. Candidates from each of these abbreviated shortlists were hired in very short order and the searches completed within the client timeline.

Candidate
Each of the candidates brought a depth of experience in their respective areas and was able to hit the ground running. Two of the three candidates found the opportunities sufficiently compelling to make lateral moves resulting in a level of experience beyond the client's expectations. Each of the candidates demonstrated exceptional writing skills and each was an accomplished and comfortable spokesperson with extensive media contacts.

Postmortem
The hiring manager was extremely pleased with the process and the level of confidentiality that was maintained - especially after the earlier fiasco. Due to the level of candidates selected, integrating them into the client company was painless and required minimal ramp-up time. The candidates were able to add value to their respective client groups almost immediately which reflected well on the Corporate Communications department.

Footnote
The HR Business Partner involved in these searches commented that this was likely the most seamless recruitment experience he had ever had with an external firm..