Expediting a search but leaving no stone unturned
Dec. 15, 2022
2 minutes

Finding global talent committed at the local level

Executive summary

Our case study takes us to South Africa, a highly unique market where the client, following the move of its current regional GM to its US operation, needed to backfill this important position and quickly. 

Finding a GM is a challenging task in itself but finding a candidate with the industry knowledge, understanding of the country’s socio-economic and business landscape and a track record for growing a business required the unique Kestria touch.

With the above in mind it, employing leadership with the right understanding of both the socio economic as well as the business landscape and to be able to thrive within it is something that most multinationals in the area struggle with and takes time to come to grips with. 

The challenges


For various reasons (mainly historical), finding someone who met the right balance of truly understanding the importance of diversity and the nuances (both legal and cultural) of the market was vital.


The search needed to adhere to BEE regulations (Black Economic Empowerment) to ensure more diversity in procurement and employment. The regulatory environment in this respect is highly complex and so required a search firm (and candidate) who could work within these parameters.

A swift path to success with clear expectations 

Given the complexity of the market for the hire, our rapport with the Client and gaining their trust was more important than ever.


The financial point

The salary benchmark was significantly higher than the client anticipated, which resulted in a lot of discussion and consultation about market-related remuneration.


Small pool of candidates

A further unusual factor was the smaller shortlist than we would generally produce, given the limited size of the market.


Time pressure

A short and strict timeline also put some pressure on us to deliver so expectations had to be clearly set. 

To ensure we were driving the project at the required pace, we held weekly meetings with our talent touchpoint and bi-weekly meetings with the regional head of the business, providing regular feedback on our progress and enabling them to meet with interesting candidates faster

The candidate availability challenge coupled with the task of convincing candidates to leave their current organization to join the client was communicated at all times so they were always clear on the difficulties and what could be expected given what we were up against.

About the client  

The client is a global organization, established in 1885. The company provides a full range of systems and digital solutions to make buildings smarter, safer, more comfortable, more efficient, and ultimately, more sustainable.

With their depth of innovation experience, the client has consistently grown its global presence, offering the world’s largest portfolio of building products, technology, software and services. They have been in South Africa for a long time with a focus on heating and ventilation, chillers and large-scale industrial refrigeration.

The human approach to goal attainment 

Despite the prospect of a smaller candidate pool and the possibility of a lack of interest on the side of the strongest candidate to change jobs, Kestria managed to exceed all expectation, first by identifying and then securing a GM who was delighted and excited to make the move to the Client. Kestria took on this challenge and set an equally exciting one for the new GM that they were ultimately very excited to take on.

Until there is no stone to turn

The true marker of success is when the outcome goes beyond all expectations and through tireless efforts to meet the needs of our clients, Kestria continues to outdo itself. Our belief in partnership and the human touch is how we build lasting trust and presence with those who seek our services. 

Our global partners know that we have an ear to the ground and local knowledge to ensure no stone is left unturned when we search in a challenging territory, even one as unique and complex as South Africa.

We value your privacy

This website uses and other technologies in accordance with our Privacy Policy to collect data about website usage, which are further processed cookies to personalise content and advertising, to provide social media functions and to analyse traffic on our website. Information about how you use our website is primarily used to analyse traffic. We also share information about the use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Further information.