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Software Company

J.C. Wilson Associates had been in discussion with a large, well-known and highly-valued software company, one described in Business Week as “…a standout…” Although this company had achieved a unique position in its business, the Board finally determined the need for a leadership change and initiated the recruitment of a new CEO from a Fortune 10 enterprise. The company was a favorite of Wall Street, its stock selling at a multiple of earnings well above its peer group. Despite - or perhaps because of - its prominence and success, the long-serving CFO determined that he wanted to step down and retire.

Targeting a CFO successor, our client wanted an experienced professional with all of the accounting, financial, M&A, international and presentation skills expected of a world-class CFO. Beyond the personal and professional skills, the company wanted a CFO who would be a close working partner of the CEO, one who had “brand name” corporate CFO experience, and who would be continuously conscious of creating additional prestige and value for the company’s brand.

J.C. Wilson Associates invested considerable effort at the initiation of the assignment to understand precisely what the client needed, both explicitly and implicitly. Pools of talent were identified that included direct competitors, companies generally within the same industry, and some top “academy” companies outside the industry. Consistent with our firm’s practice, we produced an initial book of seven candidates within five weeks of the search start date. Ultimately, the successful candidate was identified and contacted within the first two weeks of the search. He was the CFO of a prominent high-tech firm located fewer than 10 miles away from our client. The competition for the position was intense, with more than 20 candidates from companies around North America interviewed by our search team. The successful candidate officially took up his new responsibilities approximately three months after commencement of the search.

 

Healthcare Company

A large healthcare and health services enterprise, with eight lines of business in 10 locations around the U.S., concluded it needed to recruit the newly created position of Head of Shared Services. The client, nationally recognized and highly regarded within the healthcare field, had duplications of functions such as receivables, payables, procurement, travel, billing, etc. There appeared to be some expertise in some areas of its organization, and amongst some of its more experienced personnel. Unfortunately, there was little successful history of cooperation among the different divisions of our client’s organization. More importantly, there was a lack of consistency, processes and procedures from one business to another, and from one locale to another. The client enterprise had done a lot of homework, studying a number of large corporations in a variety of businesses, and concluded that it wanted their successful candidate to come from a company that was exemplary in designing and running a shared services organization. Finally, our client wanted a national search to identify and contact the best possible prospective candidates.

J.C. Wilson Associates began by interviewing key members of our client’s organization and getting a deep perspective as to what was needed, and what kind of candidate would best fit the corporate culture. We simultaneously conducted our own deep research into Shared Services. What did that concept really mean? What companies had been practicing Shared Services for the longest time and what had their respective experiences been? Who were regarded as the best practitioners of Shared Services? As a result of the initial work, we identified pools of talent that helped us navigate the landscape of Shared Services throughout North America, and in some cases Europe and Asia. We contacted more than 200 prospective candidates from more than 150 organizations. Our initial candidate list, produced within five weeks of starting the search, included nine qualified candidates, all of whom were highly acceptable to the client. The successful candidate in our national search was one of these nine short-listed candidates. The candidate, originally based on the East Coast with General Electric, accepted his new responsibilities with our client approximately four months after commencement of the search.


 
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