executive search, RETAIL
Chief commercial officer for a federal retail chain
Ksenia Smirnova, leader of a practice at Kontakt InterSearch Russia
A large non-food retailer was faced with increasing inefficiency of business processes in the retail unit and decided to organize a global transformation of the chain. In this regard, the company initiated the search for a new CCO with strong expertise in the formation and development of business processes. The top manager had the task of transforming the structure, auditing the team, and working out a new strategy for the development of the retail unit.
Management on the client side wanted to attract a candidate from specific Western companies in the market where they thought the structure and processes were excellent. However, the difficulty was that employees in the Russian offices of Western corporations lack autonomy and implement the decisions sent down from above by the headquarters. Thus, it was important to find a manager who not only understood the "entrails" of foreign brands, but was not afraid to take on more responsibility and initiate the necessary tasks themselves.
Project progress and key challenges
The consultant team decided to expand the search map and include the most appropriate candidates for the task in the long-list. The client opted for six specialists, as a result meetings were held with two candidates, one was made an offer. The finalist was a top manager with strong competencies, excellent leadership and management skills, high result orientation, and background in both Western and Russian companies.
Difficulties of the project included the client's controversial HR brand from the past – the consultants were ready for a harder "sale" of the client and arguments that the company had changed its corporate culture and attitude toward employees. In addition, applicants were required to submit additional documents before signing the offer, which slowed down the project progress. Eventually, for the finalist, the position was a grade lower than the one they had held at the time of negotiation, making the consultant's role in motivating the candidate paramount.
It took a little over a month from creating a position profile to signing an offer, and about 2.5 months for the candidate to start working. The finalist was offered a larger motivational package than at their previous job, as well as LTI bonuses.
Two months after joining the company, the new CCO successfully transformed the retail structure. The manager's immediate tasks include the assessment of division directors.