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Global expansion. Don't ruin your only chance for a right start by wrong choice
Published
March 20, 2022
Read
5 minutes

How Kestria helped our client successfully manage rapid international growth in a narrow market segment.

Executive summary

An Australian software company was looking to expand its business on a worldwide basis. They needed to  hire a leader who could run a team and rapidly grow their sales and revenues in North America. 

The company specialized in enterprise software for big data and analytics, and they were expanding into cyber-security as well. Thus, they were looking for someone who had both big data and cyber-security experience. Cyber-security is a hot market, so enticing someone to move from an established company to  one just entering that market was going to be a challenge. 

Thanks to one search, the client successfully filled two positions - the CEO of North American and Senior Vice President of Government. The success was due to a  combination of being deeply and directly involved in working with all of the candidates and the client's confidence in our final recommendation, which prioritized a better cultural fit over industry expertise.

Main challenges

1.

Hot market

Cyber security is a very hot market. It is difficult to  convince a sufficiently experienced candidate to prefer an established company over one just entering the market.

2.

Specific experience and location

The client required the candidate to have experience at a  significantly sized organization and an excellent understanding of the US market. Moreover, they were looking specifically for a candidate on the East Coast because they already had a presence here. 

3.

Flexibility

The ideal candidate had to be a software executive who had managed and developed fast-growing companies and had experience working for an international company literally halfway around the world, willing to work off-hours to help the company grow in new markets such as cybersecurity. 

High touch, low volume. What is the benefit for the client? 

We focus on personal relationship with our clients. Even as a part of a global alliance we’re a “high touch, low volume” type of firm and that's why we're able to do a deep and unique search each time. 

While larger companies may acquire the business and then turn over the search to more junior people, we take a different path. 

Our approach

1.

Two of our senior partners were working very closely with the Chief Operating Officer and Global Chief  Human Resource Officer from the beginning. We interviewed them extensively to know exactly  what they wanted in their North American leader: the key attributes, skills, and experiences necessary to be successful in this position.  

2.

We spoke to the client at length about the company’s culture and environment. 

3.

We created a target list of relevant companies in similar and tangential industries from which we started our search. Altogether, we carried out our search over four months. We had our first slate of candidates ready to present to them within three weeks. Incidentally, our final candidate came from this first 

120
days of search
100
companies on target list
3
weeks for first slate

Guiding the client to the right decision, step by step

Our goal is that every candidate we present we believe could get the job, so that the final decision really comes down to ensuring the right personality, character, and cultural fit with the client, and that just takes time on the client side. 

At the end of the search, we got down to two finalists. One of them was a person with deep cyber-security experience, which is where the client thought they were taking the company at the time. However, during the negotiation process between Australia, us and this candidate, we became convinced that the candidate was not a good cultural fit with our client.

Last minute decision counts

We decided to go with our intuition and strongly recommended the other candidate with less cyber-security experience, but who we believed to be the much better personality and cultural fit with the company.

Because we had taken the time to learn so much about our client and their work environment, and we had been deeply and directly involved in working with all of the  candidates, they trusted our input when we strongly recommended a particular candidate. In the end, that person is still with them today, more than five years later.

Tom Berray
Kestria USA: Cabot Consultants, Managing Partner

We had so many conversations with both of these candidates. It might be an email or a text or an actual phone call over the course of months. So, it's not just the initial interview where we learn about the candidates, it is also all of these additional touch where we pick up a lot of information. We then double that insight by having two senior partners doing that with all of the candidates. Thus, we know exactly what's going on with the candidates and with the market, which gives us a really good basis to help be an advisor to the client.

The outcome?
Twice the success 

The client was so pleased with the both the process and the outcome of the search that they decided to hire an additional candidate who we had earlier presented. This second position, Senior Vice President of Government, was to focus on developing business relationships with the U.S. government.

CEO
Americas

“We have consistently been pleased with outcomes we have been able to achieve working with Cabot as well as the process they follow to achieve these outcomes. We view them as a strong and trustworthy partner to be counted on time and time again to deliver superior candidates with a ‘white glove’ approach.”

Building Connections Between Different Cultures and Industries

Our deep dive search process across tangential industries that we applied to this search would be beneficial for any international organization which is looking to grow its business in a distant market. Or to a company looking to expand its business in an entirely new sector. 

Our strong understanding and experience working in a global environment allow us to recruit leaders who can come together to work in international cooperation. Recognizing and appreciating different cultures and different industries enables us to find talent that can build stronger alliances and grow a business.

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