Building HR capability with a market leader

An iconic Tasmanian enterprise, our client was experiencing significant growth in its markets spurred on by the quality and reputation of its product and the capability of its people. So when Red Giant was approached by the company’s HR Director to recruit multiple positions, we viewed this as an unique opportunity to contribute to the future of an iconic Tasmanian brand and its status as an Employer of Choice.

As with all search and recruitment assignments, our process started with a ‘Deep Dive’, providing us with an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders and immerse ourselves into the organisation’s past, present and future.  Armed with insight into the company’s strategic direction, its operating challenges, leadership capability and cultural attributes, we set about building a search strategy to identify candidates capable of enabling business outcomes through the provision of commercially-focused advice and support.

With the search brief encompassing the appointment of five HR professionals of differing seniority and capability, each one requiring precise alignment to the divisions they would be servicing, our partnership would involve regular communication between the Red Giant search team and our client so that we could test assumptions and adapt our search in response to the blend of talent being identified.

At Red Giant our search and recruitment activities are usually confined to the appointment of senior managers, executives and Board directors, although from time to time we partner with clients to appoint supporting roles for key executives. For this client we would need to identify two senior HR Managers – one in Tasmania, the other in Sydney NSW – and three HR advisory positions to work under their leadership.

A multi-faceted search ensued with candidates for the two senior roles being uncovered through full extension of our reach across local and national networks.

For the three supporting roles a local network search was executed, supplemented with targeted advertising and engagement of trusted sources; senior HR professionals and strategic business partners whose connections have frequently led to new relationships being formed.

At Red Giant we thrive on a challenge and for this assignment more than most, our Executive Researchers would really be put to the test!  Of the five positions to be appointed, three were categorised as ‘hard to fill’ due to their regional locations and the impact of skills shortages in the general market. To mitigate situations like this, Red Giant has long adopted a proactive approach to candidate generation, prospecting for new candidates in specific fields in between assignments so that supply can meet demand.

While candidates for the four Tasmanian-based  positions were being assessed, the search for a Sydney-based candidate continued.  Based in suburban Greater Sydney, far from the CBD and on the fringe of the commuter belt, the search for this position employed every search tool available.  Our Executive Researchers talked to local contacts to gain an on-the-ground appreciation of the market and to identify the key selling points that would evoke interest in prospective candidates.  We learned about local market expectations on remuneration and non-monetary benefits, travel times, real estate costs and we explored the relativity between similarly titled positions in other regions and industry sectors.

Ultimately our experience in the Sydney market proved fruitful, a strong field of candidates being engaged and a competitive shortlist presented to our client. Fulfilling our commitment to our partnership, a Red Giant Director traveled to Sydney to facilitate the final round of interviews with the client; a process which ultimately led to a successful appointment.

Meanwhile, in Tasmania the search and selection process was being compounded by the limited availability of candidates in regional areas.  A not entirely uncommon challenge – especially in Tasmania – we responded to this by adopting a strategic and methodical approach to candidate generation, effectively leaving no stone unturned.

Wind the clock forwards and today our client is benefiting directly from the increased capability the new HR team brings.  The company has set its sights on new horizons and central to this will be continued capability building, not just supported by HR, but driven and led by them.

Ignite the Spark