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Recruiting Assignment: Build-out of a Database Analytics Department (12 assignments)
Organization: Loyalty / Direct Marketing Company
The client organization was in the process of building a new and highly sophisticated database analytics capability. The vision was to both provide analytics services in support of company programs and their existing customers but also to develop an organization of a caliber that the analytics department would become a new profit center for the company providing services to potential external customers.
This new department would require a blend of experience and expertise to deliver against highly complex data analysis requirements. The search timeline was very concentrated and as these were new positions, within a new department, the need for flexibility to changing position descriptions would likely provide additional complexity to the search.
The hiring manager was a brilliant, very lateral thinker that provided a broad-strokes outline of the capability requirements for the whole department and an outline of the overall deliverables for the group. Aside from that, the direction from the client was that they had no preconceived notion of where the talent would come from and a directive that the one common trait they wished to see in each candidate was an insatiable curiosity – people that would turn over every stone to find the answers. While no individual would possess all of the qualifications, the team as a whole needed to cover off all of the technical and business requirements. From there, the challenge was in putting the mosaic together – both in terms of the bringing together the requisite qualifications and keeping a close eye to the potential fit between all of the colleagues recruited for the team.
This was a long term client of our retained executive search practice – The ExeQfind Group which initially led this project. They were able to support us with breaking down all of the requirements and grouping them in related categories since there was a likelihood of finding multiple capabilities within individual candidates. Leveraging both specialist recruiters and our executive search consultants we developed a search strategy that covered a wide range of potential sources ranging from consulting companies to academia and embarked on a broad-scale recruitment program.
As data analytics expertise was very much in demand at the time the project required out-of-the-box thinking in building this department within the overall budget. Ultimately a series of shortlists was assembled that included PhD’s in statistics and econometrics, analysts from numerous and wide ranging businesses, as well as actuaries – due to their predictive modeling expertise. The entire team was hired during the course of four months and the department was fully functional well within the client’s timeline.
While the 12 selected candidates represented a very diverse group, the overriding common trait amongst them was the insatiable curiosity the client was looking for. The finalist candidates came from equally diverse backgrounds including consulting, financial analysis, data analysis and academia. Each brought their own unique approach and business and technical expertise to the organization and the entire team possessed the collective capabilities that the department required in order to deliver against its mandate. As well, although traditionally several of the roles would have been considered “backroom”, all of the candidates were very capable of assuming a front line role when it was required.
With 12 hires made in fairly rapid succession and candidates coming from such diverse backgrounds, building cohesion amongst the group was a real challenge. Of the 12 placements, one candidate proved not to be a cultural fit and struggled with the change from academia to a business environment. This candidate was replaced in short order.
Both The QualiFind Group and our retained executive search practice – The ExeQfind Group continue to be a preferred supplier for this client, making placements across a broader range of disciplines.