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When support on the side leads to a significant executive search project

Consumer & Retail Practice Team | 22.06.2022

Going beyond executive search with a highly regarded business

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Executive summary

This project brought us to Egypt, a very large market to the client where the experience and work of Kestria was highly regarded and referred to years later.

Kestria initially came on the project of client’s new CFO search to provide some data but ended up driving the assignment alongside the client.

About the Client

A global operation holding leading innovations, brands and technologies in the field of personal/beauty care.

The Egypt operation, one of the larger global markets, is somewhat unique in that the Client also manufactures the products on a local level.

Because of the size of the market, it also possesses a large talent pool and sees a lot of movement of employees from there to the main headquarters in Europe.

Drawling on a good relationship from previous ties

This client typically carries out all recruitment inhouse with their own talent acquisition team and therefore rely on their own expertise and recruitment guidelines, meaning they hadn’t been dealing with executive research teams for a long time. Because they had worked with us 4 years before and successfully, the client once again chose Kestria to assist exclusively in this multiple rounded search.

Main challenges

1- In-house recruitment

All of the clients recruitment has been done in-house. So they have a talent acquisition team and they haven't really been dealing with executive search firms for such a long time. They mostly rely on their own expertise.

2- Salary benchmarking

This cooperation went beyond just recruitment as our support also involved the compilation of the composition range and salary mapping for Egypt to help the client to benchmark and set the appropriate compensation range for the position.

Rigorous selection process with internal KPI score at 80 %

Experience level and background needed to be conducive to Egypt and them fitting in there, however taking the connection to Dubai into account, a functional aspect suited to that market also had to be present in the appropriate candidate. This led to a rigorous and complicated selection process which led to the provision by the client of an exclusion list and clear transparent information on each person excluded and the reason for this.

Given the global presence of the Client, approaching candidates from certain companies was not as straightforward, so the presence of Kestria was fortuitous and removed complications in this respect. 

The team involved in the project all had previous experience with fast moving consumer goods so the combined experience and passion with leading brands in the industry meant a much shorter ramp up and debrief as the team needed very little explained to them about the industry to get started. The internal KPI score for the team for roles such as this was 80 percent so to say the Client was in good hands was an understatement.

The synergy resulting from a great client and team alike

What stands out in this case was the fact that Kestria came on board with the client purely to advise but based on positive feedback from previous cooperation, then ended up directly supporting with the executive search. This is made all the more exceptional by the fact that, as previously mentioned, the client had its own talent acquisition team, a true testament to the positive experience provided by our team.

Working with Kestria on the CFO search was a very pleasant experience in fact. The team understands the business, the market and has an outstanding reach to talent. It was a true partnership whereby we used to communicate regularly brainstorming ideas and approaches not only on the candidates' level but also on the compensation and market benchmarking. The team was always responsive and agile and had a can-do attitude. Kestria team was there for us in every step of the way until the CFO was on board.We will never hesitate in partnering with Kestria team in the future if the need arises for any CXOs.

Because every good experience counts

The client query to us initially was about the compensation ranges (knowing of our market expertise) and this support request was based on the previous cooperation which we were happy to provide. The decision of the client to elicit our help with the executive search then came later.

This transition happened in the most natural way, partially due to the fact that the client in turn was extremely flexible and open to our advice and changing criteria where necessary which in turn helped the team to provide a full and diverse shortlist of candidates. The partnership was supported with frequent communication and mutual support and understanding which helped our team to see the needs of the client very clearly and act upon them.

Furthermore, the wealth of experience of the team in the industry (collectively more than 100 years) meant that we could hit the ground running by being able to speak the exact language of the client and having natural insight to choosing the right person, knowing exactly what their role would involve and most importantly, whether the person fit the culture of the company that our team understand so clearly.

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