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Armstrong Craven Casebook


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A portfolio of Armstrong Craven work

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Armstrong Craven Casebook

  1. 1. The Armstrong Craven Casebook Search & Intelligence
  2. 2. Executive search – Information Technology Global pharmaceutical companyRecruiting an inspirational leaderT he UK, USA and EMEA operations of global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have been clients of Armstrong Craven for a number of years. The company had a requirement for anexceptional leader to bring together its IT Security, Risk, Governance and Compliance into a singleIntegrated Assurance/Information Security function, a search which called for a consultative approach.The Brief The Armstrong Craven ApproachAstraZeneca, a leading global pharmaceutical company, Armstrong Craven invested time in obtaining a detailedwas looking to locate and secure a high-profile brief from the client, in order to understand not justindividual to lead its planned merger of the IT Security, the role description but also the vision for the job andRisk, Compliance and Governance functions. It wanted the personal behaviours that would be found in anto benefit from natural synergies between the two ideal candidate. Armstrong Craven is committed todisciplines, while providing strong and inspirational delivering the best shortlist, benchmarked againstleadership to positively drive change among those the market, whether local, national or international.affected by the decision. In this case, the company’s researchers used their deep expertise of the pharmaceutical industryA long-standing client for whom Armstrong Craven had to define a global search strategy focusing onconducted a number of key projects, AstraZeneca knew companies in highly regulated industries in additionthat significant organisational restructuring, including to key competitors of AstraZeneca. Publicly availablestaffing and process changes, would be necessary information, for example lists of conference speakers,in order to achieve their vision for the newly combined was also used as a secondary source.functions. Therefore a leader with considerablemanagement experience was required, preferably AstraZeneca had defined this role as two levelssomebody who had already successfully completed below board level. It soon became apparent that theythe integration of IT Security, Compliance and related needed to revise this, as the research demonstratedfunctions in a similar organisation and could bring both that, in order to achieve the business objectives andenergy and authority required to excel in the new role. influence the relevant parties, the role needed to report directly to the CIO. Search & Intelligence
  3. 3. Executive search – Information Technology Global pharmaceutical companyConsequently, Armstrong Craven acted in a consultancy committed to developing and raising awareness ofcapacity to provide feedback from the market, reposition next-generation security architecture.the role within the IS structure and continue the search.A shortlist of eight candidates was produced, from The fixed fee for this search was £22K, a considerablethree diverse industry sectors. saving versus the costs AstraZeneca would have incurred by using a traditional search consultant. ArmstrongThe Result Craven’s services and fee structures are flexible,AstraZeneca’s resourcing team made the candidate so the Astra Zeneca team was able to select justselection and managed the interviewing process the research services they needed to get a result,in partnership with Armstrong Craven and an while handling the remainder of the selection andappointment was made. The selected individual referencing process in-house.was a recognised leader in Information Securityand assurance from the chemical sector. Not only Armstrong Craven believes in total transparency andhad he previously combined the relevant functions always shares all the information gathered during thebefore, he was also a well-known contributor at search with the client, enabling them to derive ongoingglobal conferences and also a founder member of a business value from the market information.worldwide group of Chief Information Security Officers, Search & Intelligence
  4. 4. Pipelining best-in-class marketing talent FTSE 100 FMCG CompanyGathering information to make intelligent hiring decisionsT o stay ahead of the competition, this well-known premium drinks client knew it had to have the right people onboard. Succession planning revealed it would not have the internal marketing talentit needed in the next 18 months. As it prepared to hire executive level talent for its iconic beer brand,the first step was to understand the competitive landscape and profile outstanding performers.The Brief • Understanding of how competitors use marketing toThis FTSE 100 premium drinks company operates maximise the potential of beer productsin a highly competitive sector where market share • Identification of marketing professionals who mayis constantly challenged and complacency can be achieve success in this market segmentlethal. Consequently, the marketing function plays a • Benchmarking of external versus internal talentpivotal role in the success of the organisation and its • Generation of a candidate pipeline to meet businessproducts. The company appreciates the importance needs in the next 18 monthsof forward planning and wants to recruit the bestavailable marketing talent, with the appropriate The Armstrong Craven Approachexperience and creativity to secure the future of the With two decades of experience in Search andbrands in its portfolio. The client’s succession planning Intelligence, Armstrong Craven has substantialprocess highlighted a shortage of internal candidates expertise in understanding markets and locatingfor business-critical director-level marketing positions talent , irrespective of location and sector. This wasdue to become vacant in the next 18 months, including a comprehensive brief which allowed the company’sthe lead role for its iconic beer brand. researchers to put their proven intelligence gathering methodology to best use.Recognising the need to hire externally, the clientasked Armstrong Craven to conduct a market To focus on creating a global pipeline of peopleintelligence study to learn how other beer companies they would need to deliver competitive advantage,created success through organisational structure and Armstrong Craven worked with the client to identifybest-in-class talent. The client sought insights into a companies who would employ people with thenumber of areas: required profile and behaviours. Research was then undertaken to identify the marketing structure and Search & Intelligence
  5. 5. Pipelining best-in-class marketing talent FTSE 100 FMCG Companysenior personnel at a global, regional and country companies grow market share, as well as confirminglevel within three organisations with outstanding that the three companies selected for investigationbeer marketing functions. Confidential conversations were universally viewed as leaders in their field.were held with well-qualified individuals in these Fifteen outstanding individuals were identified fororganisations and in the wider industry to understand consideration and, after approaches were made andindustry-led definitions of best-in-class marketing other recommendations were received, Armstrongtalent. These definitions, alongside the client’s Craven produced a pipeline of ten interested people.definition of its ideal candidate profile, were used to These have been screened by the client, who isidentify individuals who were regarded as the leading maintaining a relationship with them until a specificmarketers in the industry. Finally, these people were hiring opportunity arises.approached and engaged in discussions about theclient’s value proposition and potential opportunities. For forward-thinking organisations, gathering talent- related market intelligence has become an essentialThe Result part of human capital management. This clientUsing a classic networking approach, Armstrong Craven demonstrated that an appreciation of the importancewas quickly able to understand how the client’s of market intelligence can shift the emphasis fromcompetitors structure their marketing operations and recruitment fees as an irretrievable cost to being ahow they execute marketing strategies at regional and long-term investment in hiring the right talent. Apartglobal level. It was also able to define best-in-class from contributing to the search and selection processmarketing talent, information which could be used to itself, the project delivered considerable added valuecreate an ideal candidate profile in future. By locating to the company, which now has invaluable marketoutstanding performers, Armstrong Craven was able information about how successful competitors build a pipeline of top beer marketers with particularstrength in innovation that would meet the client’s Armstrong Craven’s commitment to the client centresneeds in a 6-12 month timeframe. on a process that is transparent and provides outstanding value for money. The client has beenAlmost without exception, relevant marketing billed £25,000 for work completed to date – a highlyprofessionals were willing to discuss their industry, competitive rate for market research as well as theas well as their perceptions of what made their source of ten potential hires for positions where basecompanies successful and who was driving results. salary will range from £80,000 to £120,000. Hiring willThey shared information about structure and process now be a faster, simplified and much morethat allowed the researchers to understand how beer cost-effective process. Search & Intelligence
  6. 6. Business intelligence and talent pipelining Financial Services IndustryManaging talent flow to meet organisational development goalsA major retail bank sought to understand the branch operations of its competitors ahead of making changes to its own organisational structure. This project led to the development of a comprehensivetalent pipeline, resulted in subsequent ongoing multiple hires and has changed the way the bankmanages its search process.The Brief The Armstrong Craven ApproachThis top 3 UK bank was examining the structure Using its experience, research skills and establishedof its UK branch infrastructure with a view to methodology, Armstrong Craven’s research team was ablemaking organisational changes. It was interested to reach out to people at different levels throughoutin discovering how competitors managed their the branch network, to build accurate intelligence andoperations, specifically how products were delivered market insight. Armstrong Craven delivered a detailedthrough the branch network. Armstrong Craven was report to the bank’s management, interpreting the datacommissioned to research competitor structures and as a whole and on the basis of individual competitors.profile key roles, providing details of experience levels, This included detailed organisational charts andresponsibilities and remuneration packages of senior company overviews, including structural comparisons.employees. The intelligence obtained would be used Armstrong Craven also took a consultative approachto inform significant decisions about organisational to identifying key themes and findings and highlightingdevelopment, fulfil succession planning needs and important conclusions.create a significant pool of potential candidates forimmediate, medium and long-term requirements. Twelve months after completion of the original project,The ultimate recruitment goal justified the initial Armstrong Craven continues to conduct searchesexpenditure on collecting intelligence about the for multiple hires; from area managers to senioravailable talent pool as a precursor to short-listing director roles. For example, a high-quality shortlistof candidates for specific roles. for an executive search to fill a Regional Director position was produced in five days, as intelligence regarding suitably-qualified candidates had already been gathered. Search & Intelligence
  7. 7. Business intelligence and talent pipelining Financial Services IndustryThe Result immediate added value enables the bank’s internal teamThanks to Armstrong Craven’s strength in both to directly retain, manage and grow comprehensiveIntelligence and Search, this area of the bank alone talent pools. Various areas of the bank are addinghas already saved £2.9m in recruitment budget, to the data by asking senior management to provideby working in partnership with Armstrong Craven recommendations from within their own network;to pursue a more proactive resourcing strategy. those individuals are then added and stored inThrough gaining an understanding of the market and ACORN. New hires are also encouraged to recommendexisting talent, the bank is now one step ahead of the former colleagues and contacts, allowing the bankcompetition by generating interest in the organisation to continuously build on the research undertaken byand understanding how to attract the top achievers for Armstrong Craven and therefore resource withoutkey roles. It has also significantly reduced time to hire further cost.and utilised Armstrong Craven’s flexible, transparentapproach to gain valuable market insight. The success of the relationship withWhere it would previously have automatically turned to a Armstrong Craven has led us to asktraditional search provider, the bank has now adopted the what added value do we receive and why payArmstrong Craven approach across the Group, which has percentage fees per placement when there isproved to be a viable option from board level to middle- an alternative research approach to board levelmanagement positions. & senior executive hires, succession planning and multiple hires.In addition, another key benefit of working withArmstrong Craven is that the intelligence gatheredis stored in ACORN, a bespoke, fully searchable HeadofExecutiveResourcing,UKRetailBankand accessible talent management database. This Search & Intelligence
  8. 8. Talent engagement among ethnic minorities UK public sectorDelivering diversityA s part of a major diversity initiative for its fast-track prison manager training programme, HM Prison Service needed to proactively identify and engage individuals from minority ethnic groups (BME)The BriefHM Prison Service had commissioned a recruitment The company’s researchers approached contactsadvertising campaign for its fast-track prison manager across both public and private sectors, including theprogramme, open to individuals from all ethnic health service, emergency services, education, socialbackgrounds, however, they wanted to proactively care and commercial organisations, to positivelyencourage equal opportunities by simultaneously identify people who might be interested in workingconducting a search for candidates from under- in the prison service. Making direct approaches torepresented ethnic groups. Once the advertising individuals who were recommended as possiblecampaign had been launched, Armstrong Craven candidates, the team was able to positively explainwas asked to manage a positive action programme both the concept of the fast-track prison managementto increase diversity, by searching for potential training scheme and also how it might match theircandidates among the relevant groups. personal values, career aspirations and skill sets.The Armstrong Craven Approach At the end of this process of talent identificationAdvertising alone does not always deliver sufficient and engagement, CVs and reports of the telephonecandidates of the desired profile. By supplementing interviews were presented to the client. Armstrongan advertisement campaign with bespoke intelligence Craven delivered a number of black minority ethnicgathering, clients increase the likelihood of achieving candidates to be incorporated into the core selectionthe results they expect. Armstrong Craven’s long process. Candidates sourced in this manner wereexperience of understanding the talent market and added to those generated by the advertising campaignlocating the right people allowed them to reach and all candidates went through a formal, standardindividuals who would never have otherwise seen selection process which was managed by the client.or responded to an advertisement. Search & Intelligence
  9. 9. Talent engagement among ethnic minority UK public sectorThe ResultArmstrong Craven takes a committed partnership All intelligence gathered on behalf of the Prisonapproach to engaging with clients in order to really Service during this project was shared with the clientunderstand their requirements and deliver the best and that information has been included in their talentoutcome. Services and fee structures are flexible, so pipeline for medium-term recruitment purposes. Theclients can select and pay for the level of information initial project fee of £20K was turned from an expensethey actually need. into a longer-term investment in hiring more of the right people.Armstrong Craven’s commitment to the client centres ona process that is transparent and provides outstandingvalue for money. Search & Intelligence
  10. 10. Senior Investment Officer Financial Services IndustrySearching the world for rare talentA US-based client International Finance Corporation (IFC) filled a niche role with a very specific ideal candidate profile, recruiting a new Senior Investment Officer for Madagascar at a cost thatrepresented less than 15% of base salary, in spite of the complexity and global nature of the search.The Brief national with experience of studying and working inPart of the World Bank Group and headquartered the Washington DC, IFC provides investments andadvisory services to emerging markets, building The Armstrong Craven Approachsustainable economies driven by the private At first glance, this appeared to be an extremely tallsector. Creating jobs, generating tax revenues, order. However, with Armstrong Craven’s proven andimproving corporate governance and environmental transparent research-led process and track recordresponsibility, IFC helps private-sector organisations of conducting searches in 105 countries, IFC hadcontribute to the communities in which they operate, confidence that no stone would be left unturned ingiving people in developing countries the opportunity order to secure the right candidate for the escape poverty and improve their lives. As partof IFC’s strategic programme in Africa, it wanted to With almost two decades of expertise in research-appoint a Senior Investment Officer in Madagascar. driven executive search, Armstrong Craven’s researchers examined international press, theThe nature of IFC’s business called for a rare company’s in-house and specialist industrycombination of skills and experience: an individual databases, conference delegate lists and MBA schoolwith substantial expertise in international project alumni. Very quickly, they had generated a list offinance, as well as considerable local knowledge and organisations which might employ people of thisunderstanding of infrastructure deals in Africa. The calibre and profile, as well as names of individualsclient was also seeking someone who had an MBA to who might be potential targets or recommenders. Indemonstrate broad-based business acumen. To be particular, they approached French-speaking banks,successful in this role, the best candidate would need African development and finance organisations andfluent French and English and ideally be an African independent advisors in the sector. Search & Intelligence
  11. 11. Senior Investment Officer Financial Services IndustryEngaging with these groups and individuals to seek Armstrong Craven’s commitment to the client centres onrecommendations and begin to approach candidates, a process that is transparent and provides outstandingArmstrong Craven demonstrated that success in value for money. Research-based headhuntingexecutive search is dependent on having the right produces the same outcome as traditional headhunting,contacts, not necessarily on having a local presence. but at a significantly lower cost to the organisation.It made good use of its multi-lingual resources, In this case, IFC recruited its new Senior Investmentbased in the UK and USA, extending the search Officer for Madagascar at a cost that represented lessacross multiple cities and continents while drilling than 15% of the base salary, in spite of the complexitydown into individual banks to locate the appropriate and global nature of the search.Africa-focused teams and specifically project financeprofessionals working on the African trade desks. The added-value to IFC went beyond cost savings. For forward-thinking organisations, talent planningThe Result has become an essential part of human capitalConcluding a search covering 120 contacts in 55 management. That’s why Armstrong Craven providesorganisations and 25 countries across Africa, Europe clients with all the data collected on their behalf duringand the USA, Armstrong Craven produced a shortlist the search process, in a proactive and collaborativeof three candidates. From this list, IFC selected a approach to talent identification and pipelining. TheFrench-speaking African working for a merchant insight document shared with clients on conclusion ofbank in Johannesburg, a candidate who had been a search contains profiles of other individuals identifiedrecommended by an Armstrong Craven contact in in the marketplace, along with details of their salariesthe USA. and career history. IFC now possesses information on a global resource pool of project finance professionalsArmstrong Craven used a classic networking approach with Africa-specific knowledge, information whichto an apparently very tough brief. Its success was could prove invaluable to their business in future. Thisdue to the unparalleled depth and quality of data and unique transparency in market information shifts thecontacts, allowing a global project to be completed emphasis from recruitment fees as an irretrievableswiftly and thoroughly, locating not just candidates cost to being a long-term investment in hiring thewho were available, but those who were best qualified right talent.for the job.
  12. 12. Talent pool research Global pharmaceutical companyInvestigating international site locationsA global pharmaceutical company had narrowed down the potential locations for its European financial shared service centre to seven cities. But which one was bested suited to its operationsand viable as an ongoing source of appropriate talent? Armstrong Craven set out to find the answers.The BriefThis global healthcare company had enlisted the market research reports or information in the publicsupport of a management consultancy to determine domain. Armstrong Craven was willing to accept thewhere to locate its European financial shared services challenge of discovering whether a talent pool existingcentre. The consultancy had produced a shortlist for each site and understanding the expectations ofof seven cities in three countries - Cork, Dublin, the local workforce.Maastricht, The Hague, Manchester, Glasgow andEdinburgh - but needed further information in order to The Armstrong Craven Approachmake a recommendation to the client. Combining telephone and desk-based research, Armstrong Craven gathered quantitative andIntelligence was required regarding compensation qualitative information about salaries and availabilityand availability of skills for four key functions, from of staff. Publicly available data, such as statisticsclerks to senior managers. The client also wanted to on demographics, was supplemented with outreachknow whether it might be expected to pay a premium to HR professionals and individuals working in thefor language skills at any of the locations. The recruitment sector in each of the seven cities. Theseconsultancy’s shared services team had not found a recruitment specialists were asked to share their viewssupplier who could help them acquire this information and experiences concerning current salary levelsin a very tight timeframe – they needed the answers and ease of recruiting staff for the defined skill sets.within ten working days. Armstrong Craven has deep experience in executive search in the shared services arena, which was usefulA recommendation led them to contact Armstrong background to this project. It was thanks to the company’sCraven, who are experts at delivering this type of non- linguistic capabilities, however, that the researchersstandard research to answer difficult business questions were able to complete the project in only seventhat cannot be adequately addressed by published working days, making contact with 235 individuals. Search & Intelligence
  13. 13. Talent pool research Global pharmaceutical companyThe Result This project demonstrates Armstrong Craven’s expertiseThe client was presented with a final report in in locating appropriate talent and understanding itsspreadsheet format and a document containing motivations and expectations, in order for companiestranscripts of conversations with sources. The to begin building relationships with potential futureinformation gave insights into the availability of talentand also considered whether it was refreshable. employees. Armstrong Craven believes in totalThe client particularly appreciated the qualitative transparency and shares all data collected duringcomments gathered about locations and people. an assignment with the client, who derives ongoingOn the basis of the data collected, the management value from detailed intelligence about the markets itconsultancy was able to further reduce the shortlist to operates in. The company’s intelligence gathering isthree of the cities, which were subsequently visited by underpinned by strong language skills and technology,the healthcare client. Eventually, Dublin was selected removing boundaries and allowing Armstrong Cravenas the location for the shared services centre. to locate, understand and attract talent, however rare, wherever it resides – locally, nationally or globally. Search & Intelligence
  14. 14. Strategic business intelligence Global engineering industryUnderstanding a finite specialist talent poolA global industrial corporation wanted to grow its nuclear capability in response to renewed emphasis on civil nuclear energy. Armstrong Craven conducted detailed research to identify andscope a talent market in short supply, as a foundation for the organisation’s strategy development.The BriefThe unpopularity of nuclear power over the last currently employing individuals with civil nucleartwenty years has led to a skills shortage in the engineering skills, to assess the size and demographicsnuclear engineering workforce. Nuclear physics hasbeen a less attractive option for undergraduates and of this specialist workforce. Key objectives for thethe existing ageing population of experienced civil experienced researchers were to determine wherenuclear engineers and scientists has consequently an agreed set of transferable skills existed and alsonot been replenished with fresh talent. Now, nuclear to understand how other companies were addressingenergy is back on the political agenda and this global the overall shortage of available skills in the short- toengineering company had recently appointed a new medium-term.president to develop a strategy for revitalising itsnuclear division. Faced with important decisions about To meet a tight deadline, the research was conductedthe location of new facilities and attracting talent to over a six-week period, using a combination ofresource the business, the company asked Armstrong publicly-available industry information as well asCraven to conduct a detailed market intelligence networking among industry contacts to gatherreport into the size and scope of the nuclear supplementary insight, validating the skill profile ofengineering workforce. each company. After engaging with industry leaders and managers, academics, regulatory authorities andThe Armstrong Craven Approach professional bodies to discreetly acquire the relevantEmploying its expertise in strategic intelligence gathering information, a comprehensive report was produced,to understand markets and people, Armstrong Craven drawing conclusions about the availability andfocused on identifying organisations across Europe applicability of skills. Search & Intelligence
  15. 15. Strategic business intelligence Global engineering industryThe ResultArmstrong Craven was able to identify pockets of Armstrong Craven now has an in-depth understandingrelevant talent across Europe and highlight those of the various kinds of civil nuclear talent that existareas where the most severe skills shortages existed. around Europe and is ready to assist the clientThe client also gained a good understanding of how with identification of key individuals and groups ofkey competitors were attracting transferable skills and individuals who may be targeted for hire. With longwhere those skills were located. The client used the experience of researching and managing key talent inintelligence report as the starting point for its business markets where resources are scarce and competitionstrategy development. to attract the best people is tough, Armstrong Craven helps organisations to find talent that meets theirNow the talent pool has been identified, the client is business requirements, understand how they canworking with Armstrong Craven to extend the scope of attract the top performers, hire and retain the talentthe intelligence in specific areas, for example graduate they need to be successful.attraction, comparing the viability of a number oflocation options and gathering additional informationneeded to develop an acquisition strategy. Search & Intelligence
  16. 16. Market research and candidate attraction Leading insurance underwriting firmBuilding a more attractive employer brandB ased in the UK, this insurance underwriting firm was struggling to attract good quality candidates to the commercial side of its operation. Work Group was commissioned to create a compellingrecruitment brand for the company. As a starting point for developing the brand messages, ArmstrongCraven conducted extensive research to understand what motivates and attracts insurance professionals.The Brief client company and among four key competitors,Part of one of the leading UK retail banking groups, whom the client wished to understand more closelythis commercial and personal insurance underwriter and against whom it wanted to benchmark itswas having a hard time persuading high calibre attractiveness as an employer.individuals to join. Work Group was commissionedto create a new, compelling recruitment brand for the The first step was to identify the underwriters in thesecompany, but first it had to understand the individuals organisations who had the skills and experience profilein question – what motivated them, what they thought required by the client. This was achieved throughabout the client company and how they evaluated a combination of desk-based research, telephonepotential employers. As part of Work Group, Armstrong interviews and anonymous telephone research.Craven was asked to undertake the preliminary The researchers investigated a number of areas:research among insurance professionals, enablingWork Group to obtain a clearer picture of what would • The companies who were most respected as employersattract them to a prospective employer and how they and whyviewed their ideal job. • The companies individuals would like to work for and whyThe Armstrong Craven Approach • Specific opinions on key companies in the sector, Intelligence gathering is an Armstrong Craven including the clientspeciality. Two decades of experience have made • Elements of an ideal role and how it compared to thethe company a leading provider of business insight, individual’s existing rolehelping companies answer the difficult questions • How individuals gathered information aboutthat call for deep understanding and a sensitive yet career optionsthorough approach. In this case, Armstrong Craven • How people preferred to apply for new roleswas briefed to conduct its research both within the • Which designs and images elicited a positive reaction Search & Intelligence
  17. 17. Market research and candidate attraction Leading insurance underwriting firmArmstrong Craven also interviewed a number of recent Similarly, Armstrong Craven discovered that therecruits to the client company, to determine what had client had a weak employer brand in the marketplaceattracted them to the organisation, how the client because respondents had to be prompted to namecompared to their previous employer and whether the them as a respected company. Also, among recentrole had lived up to their expectations. joiners, the client’s internal communications were judged to be very poor. Armed with this knowledge,The Result Work Group was able to make recommendationsWork Group received invaluable feedback to the about effective targeting of employer brand messages.branding process. By using Armstrong Craven’sresearch skills as part of an end-to-end process that Armstrong Craven is equally strong in Intelligence andaddresses all aspects of an employer’s recruitment Search. As the client had an immediate need to hire,and retention needs, it could be certain that its this project led into a consultancy project to look at thebranding solution addressed the real motivations middle and senior management structure and provideof this specific target group and that recruitment a shortlist of underwriters who could be approachedcommunications were designed to resonate with with a view to employment.individuals. Taking this approach is likely to producea better long-term outcome for the client, as it has an The £14,000 invested in upfront research savedincreased chance of hiring and retaining people who the client considerable sums in potential wastedare right for the role. advertising and also provided a talent pipeline for future recruitment. Armstrong Craven is committed toSpecifically, the research revealed that underwriters providing the best outcome for the client and provideswere receptive to approaches from head-hunters access to all the information it gathers during aand they all preferred to develop relationships with project. This transparency allowed the insuranceexecutive search firms, instead of responding to client to benefit from the added value of having aadvertisements in the press. The majority did not even pre-qualified talent pool from which to developlook at job advertisements or job websites. This insight shortlists for particular roles.was invaluable to Work as it developed a strategy forimproving the employer brand – visibility in newspaperadvertisements and online was not going to promotethe client effectively. Search & Intelligence
  18. 18. Review of management structure UK RetailerAn intelligence-led approach to business restructuringT his UK retailer operates in a highly competitive segment. A new CEO wanted to ensure his company had the right management and compensation structure in place to gain market share inan increasingly difficult environment.The BriefLooking around the company where he had The client wanted to understand the scope andrecently taken the helm, the Chief Executive of this remuneration of the top 50 roles within each of fourUK retailer and his newly appointed HR Director competing organisations. They asked for detailedconsidered the challenge of creating a business fit information about the scope of each role, the jobto compete effectively in a crowded and aggressive responsibilities, reporting structures, salaries andmarket. Neither was convinced that the company’s other benefits, to determine whether the client’smanagement structure was as finely-tuned as it could management team had equivalent roles andbe. Before making any decisions about the roles of comparable pay. This information would providethe senior team going forward, they decided to find valuable insights into how the businesses consideredout more about how the most successful companies industry leaders managed performance and drovein their industry configured their business and to business success.benchmark current salaries against industry norms. Armstrong Craven’s research team reviewed andThe Armstrong Craven Approach gathered intelligence about 200 roles in just six weeks.Armstrong Craven has significant experience of They leveraged publicly available information andconducting non-standard research projects to uncover extended it through bespoke telephone research toinformation which is highly sensitive and not available identify individuals in key positions. The team thenin the public domain. The first step was to fully spoke to these people and others who had previouslyunderstand the client’s business problem in order to been employed there, to explain their research goalask the right questions. Given the sensitive nature of and confidentially gather information about bestthis project, the research team would need to adopt a practice in the four organisations.creative approach, to persuade senior people to sharethe information they needed. Search & Intelligence
  19. 19. Review of management structure UK RetailerThe ResultThe resulting intelligence report provided a summary This market intelligence allowed the CEO and HRanalysis of the information together with details about Director to consider any potential decisions regardinghow competitors were structured. For each business organisation structure and management team remitsthe research team presented an organisation chart with a higher degree of confidence. Armstrong Cravenalong with compensation information, role descriptions takes a committed partnership approach to engagingfor each of the roles, as well as transcripts of all with clients in order to really understand their businessintelligence-gathering conversations. issue and deliver the best outcome. Services and fee structures are flexible, so clients can select and payArmstrong Craven’s long experience of market for the level of information they actually need. Forintelligence gathering and consultancy approach this client, their investment was money well spent,provided conclusions which helped senior providing a degree of insight into the competition thatmanagement better understand the competitive had never been achieved before and allowing the newenvironment and see where there was misalignment CEO to have the facts at his fingertips to make betterwithin its own organisation. informed decisions. Search & Intelligence
  20. 20. Business intelligence and salary benchmarking High Street RetailerProviding valuable information to support business decisionsA US-owned jewellery retailer was considering changes to its organisational structure and wanted to assess whether centralising HR services was a viable option. Armstrong Craven was asked toconduct a market intelligence exercise to determine best practices among organisations of a similarsize to help make an informed decision.The BriefUS-based senior management at this high-street The research team then began to make bespokejewellery retailer wondered whether the company had enquiries, identifying and contacting individuals withinthe right HR infrastructure in place to support its UK those businesses, as well as former employees,operations and were considering moving to a shared to discover information about the make-up andservices model. As they have no direct competitor of management of HR in each company. In a projectequivalent size in the jewellery market, they asked of this nature, the challenge is gaining trust andArmstrong Craven to carry out a benchmarking persuading people to share sensitive data, notexercise of their HR structure versus a sample of just about salaries but also their views about howother selected retailers, whose businesses most successful their company is at managing certainclosely matched theirs in other ways. They wanted functions and establish how these organisations managedtheir HR function and understand their reward and The project had to be completed within six weeks, aremuneration packages. Where a shared services deadline that called for resourcefulness and focus frommodel was in place, they required insight into best the Armstrong Craven team. Nevertheless, they deliveredpractices in managing centralised service delivery. a 40-page report to the client within the agreed timescale, including detailed organisation chartsThe Armstrong Craven Approach with information about associated compensationUsing its deep expertise and established network in the structures. The team also compiled commentary andretail sector, Armstrong Craven’s research team was able analysis on each of the six retail companies they hadto identify six high street retail organisations that most studied. Armstrong Craven believes there is greatclosely resembled the client in terms of size; taking into value in transparency, so it shares all the informationconsideration number of employees, number of stores, gathered on behalf of a client, for example transcriptslocations and annual turnover. of significant conversations. Search & Intelligence
  21. 21. Business intelligence and salary benchmarking High Street RetailerThe Result departments in the retail industry, as well as insightsArmstrong Craven’s long experience of market that could not have been gained from off-the-shelfintelligence gathering allowed them to share with reports or published information.the client not only bare facts, but also analysis ofthe information. A consultancy approach provided This market intelligence allowed senior managementconclusions, which helped senior management to consider the decision with a higher degree ofbetter understand the competitive environment and confidence. Armstrong Craven takes a committeddetermine the relative merits of a shared services partnership approach to engaging with clients in orderenvironment versus their existing business model. to really understand their business issue and deliver the best outcome. Services and fee structures areThe research-based approach is ideal in non-standard flexible, so clients can select and pay for the level ofsituations where clients want to answer very specific information they actually need. For this client, theirquestions and obtain information that is not accessible investment gathered sufficient evidence to preventthrough publicly available sources. In this case, the costly mistakes and justify the decision based onclient received valuable information about contacts actual, up-to-date and relevant the UK who have hands-on experience of HR Search & Intelligence
  22. 22. Business intelligence and due diligence Marketing services companyBusiness referencing to identify root causes of poor performanceT he parent company of a field marketing organisation was concerned that the newly-acquired subsidiary was under-performing. Armstrong Craven was retained to investigate the underlyingcauses and conduct a due diligence exercise on the effectiveness of the leadership team bybenchmarking against industry competitors.The Brief excellence in field marketing is achieved. This allowedIf a business is not performing according to the researchers to benchmark the profile of theexpectations, it can be difficult to ascertain where the company in the industry, perceptions of its services androot of the problem lies. The new parent company of an assessment of the capabilities of its key people.a field marketing organisation suspected that therewere leadership issues preventing the company from The Resultmaking progress and asked Armstrong Craven to Armstrong Craven prepared a comprehensive reportinvestigate why results were disappointing compared for the client, which concluded that the root causes ofto other companies in the market. poor results were related in part to a shift in market conditions and in part to the existing managementThe Armstrong Craven Approach team. The company was operating in a saturatedArmstrong Craven embarked on a detailed review market where services were becoming commoditisedof the field marketing industry and identified market and it was increasingly difficult to achievetrends that might be impacting on performance. differentiation from the competition. Unlike competitorsSubsequently, bespoke research was conducted who had developed experiential marketing offerings,among clients, potential clients, key competitors the company had not been agile in its response toand other industry sources in order to validate the market pressures. It was suffering from having a lowerresearchers’ conclusions about industry trends, profile than others in the industry. Furthermore, thereas well as benchmarking the overall performance of were flaws in a new business development processthe organisation in question versus its competitors. which had been introduced, as well as weaknessesA combination of telephone interviews and desk- in responses to tenders that were preventing thebased market research allowed Armstrong Craven’s company from winning new business. It was losingresearchers to gain the trust of industry insiders and out to competitors in bid situations because it hadpiece together a picture of the underlying issues. Questions not made allowances for the fact that clients werecentred on trends in the industry and asking how now looking for bespoke solutions. Search & Intelligence
  23. 23. Business intelligence and due diligence Marketing services companyThe recommendations included taking steps to raise sensitive projects and commercial due diligencethe profile of the organisation, address concerns meant it could gather the information discreetly, in araised by due diligence regarding the current CEO and timely and cost-effective manner. Armstrong Cravenadapting the go-to-market mode to suit changes in the services and fees are flexible, allowing clients toway field marketing services were being purchased. select the level of service appropriate to their specific business issue. At the same time, researchers workThe client benefited from a thorough analysis of the closely with clients to understand the nuances ofindustry environment and an objective evaluation of their problems, applying an innovative and committedthe subsidiary’s performance which would allow it approach to delivering the best outcome andto make decisions based on solid evidence and to successfully unearthing intelligence to address oftenguide the field marketing company towards recovery. complex questions.Armstrong Craven’s extensive experience of similar Search & Intelligence
  24. 24. Client testimonialsIn their own words“When I heard of Armstrong Craven’s unique executive “Armstrong Craven’s passion, in-depth knowledgesearch model, I was dubious but interested enough to of our needs and research expertise has helped usgive it a shot. It would have cost me a very substantial to develop our talent acquisition capabilities. Indeed,sum of money with a traditional search firm to recruit our through market intelligence, talent mapping and directCEO for Asia Pacific, they did it for a fraction of the cost resourcing, they have provided a flow of highly skilledand I was absolutely delighted with the service.” people across our global R & D organization which isGlobal SVP HR, vital to our continuing success and growth.”leading market research and brand VP Global R&D Recruitment,consulting company major pharmaceutical company“Time after time Armstrong Craven has delivered rapidly “The transparency of their process, their internationalto meet our complex requests and tight deadlines. An reach and ability to understand and penetrate ourexcellent, top quality service, on flexible terms, delivered specialist markets on a global basis has positioned themby a great team of people – highly recommended.” as a strong and valuable resourcing partner which isGlobal Head of Recruitment, of particular importance to us given our organization’sinternational engineering consultancy development plans.” Global Head of Recruitment, international engineering consultancy“We have used Armstrong Craven on a variety ofrecruitment projects, many of which have involvedsearching Europe and the US. The methodology “I use Armstrong Craven to take advantage of theiradopted by the AC team was a departure from research-based approach when requiring competitor andour traditional methods of recruitment but the market intelligence, in addition to their ability to generateprofessionalism, quality of candidates, transparent superb quality candidates.”communication, flexibility of fee structure and cost Staffing Director,effective model is a breath of fresh air.” global pharmaceutical companyHR Director Strategic Operations,leading multi-nationalengineering company Search & Intelligence
  25. 25. Client testimonialsSearch & Intelligence