A coffee meeting with the headhunter

Bibi Boas Bondesen

By Pia Torreck, Katrine Rømert and Caroline Otto – Ingvardsen ll Partners, Denmark

“An inadequate CEO can ruin a company in the course of a few months.”

This quote originates from one of our customers – a well-known Equity Fund.
Both Equity Funds as well as Chairmen’s of the board hold the key to their companies and must find exactly the one top leader, who can handle the responsibility and create excellent results.

All companies wish to recruit outstanding employees who create results. It is based on this focus that we, as headhunters, present a candidate field with sharp and relevant top leaders, who can bring the company forward and ensure continued value and results.

We invest time and resources in finding candidates who match the business model, culture, owners, and the challenges, that the company has. Finding the perfect match is an important discipline when conducting Executive Search – a fancy word for headhunting.

An important element in the screening of possible candidates is to find a top leader who possesses high emotional intelligence, strong analytical skills, and business acumen. A part of this process includes having many candidates “in stock” and having insight into a lot of different top leaders who have a large probability of creating results. A headhunter’s greatest value is using their enormous network of potential candidates to constantly search for people who are upcoming talents or have a broad history of creating good results – preferably skilled leaders who invariably can add even more value to the company.

The way to get to know the absolute best top leaders is to keep an eye on who moves the companies in the top- and bottom-lines. Most results are created, not by the top leader alone, but also because of the global, luck, or other key people in the company. Nevertheless, most owners wish to find a top leader who – in synergy with others – can create the perfect results.

During a week, the headhunter deals with candidate presentations, candidate interviews, client-meetings, and finally coffee-meetings. The main purpose of client-meetings is to understand the client’s company, market and market conditions, competitive situation, culture, history, ownership, as well as wishes for specific skills and competencies in a future top leader. The headhunter has many meetings with many fascinating owners, leaders and chairmen, who have all created fantastic results. Candidate interviews and -presentations are a significant part of the core service in the recruitment process.

The headhunter constantly works on expanding its network with the very best candidates. Some of the sharpest CEO’s who have worked with Power BI, Data warehouses, and have produced a strong foundation for decisions on top management level. The wildest CMO, who has designed a Marketing Automation Platform that creates a basis for further growth in market shares and might be experienced in agile work. Or a CEO who, together with his/her top management team, has affected a bottom-line growth from 6% to 45% over the course of five years. Every day the headhunter listens to marvellous cases in the Danish business community.

One of the investments for the headhunter is therefore to have coffee-meetings and video meetings with top leaders that someday might become candidates for a top job.

Raw materials in stock. Making sure they have their finger on the pulse. What happens in the wind-industry or in medico? Which industry slippages are beginning? Which tasks are becoming automatized or digitalized?

The headhunter takes part in countless conferences and award-distributions.

So, if you are planning on dropping in for coffee, you should be prepared for questions like:

  • Which gold-medal story should we remember you by?
  • Which result are you most proud of?
  • How did you create that result?
  • Where do you think your business industry is headed?
  • Who is the best of the best of the best in your industry? – and why?
  • What do you plan on learning next?
  • What will be the next thing your younger colleague will overrun you with?

So! “Make my day!” Tell us about your best case. Inspire us with cutting edge knowledge and your beautiful results.


About the author

Bibi Boas Bondesen


Director Executive Search, Head of International


  • Executive Search Consultant
  • Head of Business Development
  • Trade Support
  • Client Services Manager

Bibi has delivered Executive Search to a wide range of industries.
Bibi has most recently worked with Executive Search at Spencer Stuart and The Ashton Partnership in London, and she was previously employed by Morgan Stanley.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Mathematics and Statistics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from Copenhagen Business School.

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