The client, a leading oil and gas equipment manufacturer backed by a $100 million private equity company, confronted a crisis at the top: Namely, no one was capable of providing high-level leadership and oversight across key areas of finance and operations. After struggling for nine months to transition their operational finance executive to a new VP of FP&A role without any luck, the client turned to Tatum’s executive search experts for support.
A perceived drought of qualified candidates was a major concern from the client’s perspective, so Tatum’s large network of nationwide talent and relationships with passive candidates came as a major relief. We immediately got to work, partnering with the client to align on requirements and develop an initial list of candidates in the Houston market.
Core competency requirements, must-haves and other differentiators for our client included:
- demonstrated leadership skills — in particular, accountability, decision-making and the ability to build, develop, manage and mentor highly effective teams
- expertise improving finance functions and creating partnerships with other departments around KPIs and metrics
- a history of success with fast-paced, growth-oriented companies
- familiarity navigating with limited resources and competing priorities
- experience leading businesses throughout all stages of the sale process (e.g., M&A/IPO experience)
Having aligned with the client on all requirements, we leveraged our extensive nationwide talent network to develop an initial candidate pool, ultimately conducting qualifying interviews with more than 130 highly experienced senior finance leaders in the Houston market. To narrow the field from there, we next conducted over 30 second-round interviews in person. Finally, short list in hand, we also shared candidate profiles with the client, including the results of our cultural-fit assessments, in order to further enhance the decision-making process.
Highlights of the engagement included:
- completing our search within 72 days of signing the contract — a significant improvement on the expected 90-day timeline for the end-to-end process
- successfully delivering a short list of eight candidates, all of whom satisfied not only the core competencies, but also the highly preferred requirements identified during the discovery phase
- receiving praise from the client’s CEO and CFO for the strength of our effort
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