Value of an External Search Partner for Emerging Leadership Roles

The Challenge

Our client is one of the largest family-owned home builders in North America, with its head office in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The company has a 27-year history, having built over 28,000 homes. They employ more than 700 people, and many at the executive level have joined within the previous year. As such, they were in the process of transforming their business infrastructure and adding new relevant talent.

Given the ongoing transformation, and the advent of increasing insurance costs in their industry, our client decided to launch an offshore captive insurance business that could manage and mitigate risk. The organization identified the need for a strong and strategic VP of Risk Management who could assume responsibility for risk management and develop appropriate practices accordingly. As the company was in growth mode, they were looking for a leader to evolve the function as the business expanded and took on new initiatives.

Andrew Todd

Andrew is a Director in the Executive Search & Interim Management practice at B. Riley Farber. He specializes in end-to-end national and international professional executive search.

This constituted a new business undertaking, and the hiring manager was not fully aware of where and how to identify talent. Captives in Canada are still new and an evolving strategy; so captive subject matter experts are somewhat unique in the Canadian market. Also, given the dual responsibility for the new captive insurance program and enterprise risk, the right candidate needed a special blend of skills.

The Solution

In collaboration with our client, we began by identifying aligned industries from which to source talent. We were aided in this task by our depth of experience in conducting searches within the real estate sector. We further identified other industries that might be leading the pack in pursuing a captive strategy for handling risk.

Our screen included more than 85 candidates and we reached out to each of them, both to share the details of the employment opportunity and to learn more about the captive and insurance function within their own organization and industry sector.  Interestingly, we learned through our sourcing and intel collection process that each organization was handling risk differently. All were in a different state of evolution which made the search for suited talent more challenging.

We were then able to narrow the list down to four finalist candidates, who we presented to our client. All were passive candidates, meaning that none of them were actively looking for new opportunities. Fortunately, after sharing the attractive features of the position, we were able to pique their interest sufficiently to consider the opportunity. After meeting with these short-listed candidates, our client made a difficult choice to bring two of the candidates along to second and final round interviews.

The successful candidate had an 18-year tenure with their existing employer and was a highly valued member of the senior leadership team. Through close consultation, we were able to support their journey through the various steps of resignation, departure, and subsequent onboarding in the new environment. And, to supplement our executive search capabilities, we enlisted Farber’s Executive Coaching practice to provide onboarding coaching and support for both the hiring manager and the placed candidate.

The Outcome

Two months into the new role, the successful candidate has shared their pleasure in working with a new leadership team and affirmed they had enjoyed a positive and smooth onboarding experience. Although, the candidate wasn’t looking for a new role, they were very thankful we reached out to them and that they took the time to learn about this appealing opportunity.

Likewise, our client has also expressed their satisfaction with the placement, stating “All shortlisted candidates were very strong, and you gave us a very difficult decision to make. Thank you again for all your support in finding and securing top talent for us.”

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