Marina Sidorenko, senior consultant at Kontakt InterSearch Russia
A large insurance company approached Kontakt InterSearch Russia with a request to find an IT business partner (ITBP) for its corporate unit. The reason for the search was the departure of the previous employee and the lack of a pool of potential candidates for the vacated position. Thus, the new manager was tasked with "picking up" the processes built by the previous ITBP and initiating changes to the architecture of IT solutions.
Project progress and key challenges
A feature of the project was a lengthy process of hypothesis testing. So, after analyzing the market, we realized that we should focus on specific industries and companies: retail, banks, and e-commerce. We chose the most technologically advanced market players as our target, having previously conducted an analysis of organizational structures in terms of interaction between the IT function and business customers.
The main difficulty of the project was related to where the position was placed in the organizational structure of the company. In common parlance, ITBP is a line position with no subordinate team. In the case of our client, the ITBP position in terms of status, level of responsibility, and expertise was comparable to that of an IT director in a large company. Often candidates, upon hearing our proposal, refused to continue the conversation. Our experience in negotiating with demanding candidates was a key success factor: we were able to compile a long-list of 40+ managers who met the client's requirements. Talking to candidate ITBPs, we emphasized the area of responsibility, the level of subordination, and the importance of the IT platform for the business. In addition, we delved into the specifics of the tasks, so that during the conversation we highlighted the most key ones for the business: in contrast to the classic set of an ITBP, the client's tasks were more strategic and required a solid experience and cases in the portfolio.
The next step was a consolidated analysis of the financial expectations of all candidates interviewed by the client. This allowed us to discuss with the client the optimal wage bracket for a potential top manager of the company. As a result, four candidates became finalists, each of whom had relevant experience in forming a strategy for the development of the IT business unit and met the requirements of the personality profile. Strategic thinking, communication skills, STEM mindset, and a business approach were the key competencies that the company expected from the finalist.
After six months, we completed the project – the final candidate received an offer from the company. Our client is pleased with the results of cooperation with the new ITBP: the manager not only effectively supports operational processes, but also initiates infrastructural changes. The company plans to implement several projects proposed by the ITBP.