Case study: CEO

Recruitment background: the issue

Talents First’s services were commissioned to take on the recruitment of a CEO in order to replace the current incumbent who had decided to leave the company after many years of service.

The challenge we faced in this recruitment assignment was to seek out a candidate who would be able to support the Chairman and the Board of Directors by efficiently assisting and guiding the client through the maze of future developments by securing the support of the Management Committee whose members had recently been recruited by us.

Before embarking on the assignment, Talents First was keen to introduce itself to the Board of Directors and to look into the company’s requirements and expectations. Our aim was to jointly define the job description and outline the assignments involved and the profile sought.

Proposed methodology for the recruitment of a CEO

The screening of the role and requirements and the context enabled us to define the main goals and the core aptitudes and skills required to fill the position.

Based on our understanding of the client’s goals and expectations, we recommended starting a direct search.

This proactive method allowed us to approach the best candidates actively and directly in the market.

As part of the direct approach, our researchers compiled a list of target companies operating in the client’s sector and within a defined geographic area if required.

We subsequently approached the potential candidates with the utmost discretion. In doing so we did not disclose the client’s name and preserved the confidential nature of the recruitment process, without any risk.

We included in the recruitment process one internal candidate who was put forward by the client. They wanted this incumbent to take the exact same process of assessment.

Working closely with the client, we had weekly review meetings on Teams to update the customer about the milestones and progress made with this specific search.

Talents First also developed a relationship of trust with the candidates to whom we pledged confidentiality and transparency. We guided them through every stage of the recruitment process, providing regular updates of their application, including during the negotiation stage, all the way up to the signing of the employment contract and integration. Every candidate was also debriefed about the conclusions of the report as part of the Harrison assessment.


Our team presented to the Board of Directors an initial shortlist of three candidates. The internal applicant was also included in this interview phase.

For each candidate selected, the consultant prepared his interview notes including an analysis of the candidate’s skills and abilities against the criteria sought, the remuneration package, notice period, ability to relocate if applicable, the qualifications and certificates obtained, a complete reference check, the summary of the Harrison assessment and a conclusion regarding the candidate’s suitability for the role.

This candidate presentation took place in the presence of the consultant.

At the end of this first presentation, the client wanted to meet other candidates before making a final decision.

This prompted us to continue our research efforts, which resulted in the presentation of a second shortlist of two further qualified candidates.

At the end of this second round, one of the two candidates was chosen with unanimous approval. On our recommendation, this candidate met the other managers with whom he would be working to enable the client to ensure that they will be able to work efficiently as a team.

We followed up on the candidate throughout his induction period by scheduling appointments and discussing how things stood with the company which we provided with a summary of our observations. This candidate excelled at this job. This recruitment proved to be a real success.