What do you do when you as an Israelian company have been searching for an experienced Managing Director for your location in Romania for several years, but can’t seem succeed? This organization is small but ambitious and active in a niche market with a few big very known competitors. The Israelian owner decided to discuss this challenge with his local HR partner, in this case IESF Israel, Kishurim HR, to see if an international cooperation could support in solving this problem. Dror Katabi, owner at Kishurim HR, discussed the challenging assignment with his international colleague Adelina Rosca, Managing Partner at Rosman Talent Solutions in Romania, and together they developed a strategy to search and find the best suitable candidates with an entrepreneurial spirit, looking for a real challenge at this Israelian led company. What were the main objectives and which difficulties did the consultants came across?
Dror Katabi – IESF Israel: “It was really interesting to investigate how a successful but small company led from another cultural background could turn their recruitment efforts around. This company has been searching for a potential new Managing Director for over more than 3 years. The location in Bucharest was being managed from the head office in Israel, but they really needed a local Managing Director responsible for the local Operations: Finance, Human Resources and Maintenance. Adelina Rosca – IESF Romania – adds: “Also the client – who would like to remain confidential – was searching for a candidate who could take Business Development to a whole new level. By bringing a strong network, contacting new potential clients and investigating interesting target audiences.”
Together the IESF partners developed a strategy in which they created a target map of the market and selected focus areas and companies, as where to find the best candidate. The client also requested to add one internal candidate to the project and evaluate this candidate the same way the new candidates would be assessed. Adelina Rosca: “We decided it was best to hunt the candidates directly from a list of the main competitors. This is always a very delicate and confidential procedure. The ideal candidate wasn’t active in a Managing Director position already but should demonstrate the skills and ambitions to move towards his / her first step as Managing Director. Our main strategy was to put emphasis on building trust in this small Israelian family-owned company. And really look for a candidate with an entrepreneurial spirit.”
IESF Romania interviewed several senior managers with high potential. With frequent feedback conversations IESF Romania managed to win the trust of the Israelian client, and they both agreed on an ideal bandwidth to find the best candidate the company could afford. The position was in Bucharest, but the search extended nationally in Romania. As the client agreed on relocating a potential candidate, including the costs, and housing. Adelina Rosca, IESF Romania: “Overall I’ve been evaluating the candidates online in January ’21 and presented the first candidates in February. This first introduction was based on a profile list consisting of eighteen profiles. Our main goal was to check anonymously with the client which type of candidates they consider to be the best five. Main reason for this strategy was helping the client define what they exactly needed in a candidate. After this valuable discussion we selected eight profiles and I interviewed them (included the internal candidate). After the interviews we generated a shortlist of five persons. The next day we had the online client interviews scheduled, which resulted in narrowing the candidates down to three. The final step was to meet the candidates face to face and show the factory.”
Covid & Confidential
But then the worldwide crisis of Covid arises. Adelina Rosca: “We had months of delay because of Covid travelling from Israel to Romania was not possible. In that period one candidate received another offer. So, we only scheduled face-to-face meeting with two final candidates. Both candidates prepared a business plan. The client selected the candidate who was more senior and had a portfolio of clients. He knew the markets so could grow sales. He had both operational management and team management experience. Also, his adaptive skills were good, so he would position himself as a senior in the existing local team. The candidate made the courageous step, switching from a German company with strong structures to this Israeli family-owned company with a lot of potential. He will relocate together with his wife to Bucharest. It’s a courageous but great step for him becoming Managing Director and we wish him good luck in his new position.” The search was confidential from start to finish. At the location in Romania nobody knew that someone was coming to fulfill the role of Managing Director. Both IESF Israel and Romania coached the client about the Romanian labor market, the process, the legislation, the contract details, and the key performance indicators. Together we prepared the company for this change. The negotiation between the client and the final candidate was also completely managed by IESF partners together. For the client it was important having two trusted advisors close to him. Adelina Rosca: “The company is now developing a factory in Serbia as well and would like to work together on staffing and recruitment for this location. We are here to support them in any key decision, not only as an executive search partner, but more a business partner. That’s what makes IESF such a strong global team. With our local knowledge we can offer our clients global reach.”