Successful Signium cross-border search competition leads to client learning, as well as satisfaction


When a large, international healthcare group contacted Angela Westdorf in Cologne looking to source a Group Strategy Development Manager it led to a real team effort involving Signium Germany and Signium Poland.

The Background
The two CEOs of the two divisions  were based in Germany and also in Poland. The individual was to partner with each CEO in identifying and acting on development and investment opportunities, acting as an internal consultant to each. 
The Search Challenge
The ideal candidate had to fit the culture of the privately-owned, dynamic client company. They were looking for senior international strategic experience, but someone who would also roll up their sleeves and wasn’t expecting assistants at their beck and call. 

The location for the recruit was not fixed and they could just as easily locate in Berlin or Warsaw. So Signium operated a search in both companies, led by Angela in Signium Germany and Tomasz Szaynok and Joanna Srokowska in Signium Poland. This required very close cooperation between both operations, as client feedback from interviews in each country informed subsequent interviews and search tactics in both counties. Both markets relied on their local knowledge and know how to develop short lists, whilst sharing information with each other on a daily basis. The preferred candidate would be either German with Polish connections or vice versa, narrowing the field further. The fact that one is an established and the other an emerging market meant that the experiences of candidates from each market had somewhat different profiles and backgrounds.

Naturally, both Signium Germany and Poland wanted to outdo each other in terms of the quality and quantity of candidates sourced - there’s nothing like a bit of healthy, fun rivalry between friends, right?! 

The Outcome
It was neck and neck between Signium Germany and Signium Poland in terms of both the quality and quantity of suitable candidates brought forward. In fact, one could say it was a tie (phew!).

However, executive search is often a journey of discovery for the client. In this case, working through the process, Signium and the client identified a greater requirement on the part of the German divisional CEO. Thus, it became apparent that a German-based candidate would be the preferred solution. 

The assignment took three months to complete and the candidate has been placed with initially very positive feedback on performance and satisfaction from both client and candidate.

The Client Says
‘We knew that this was a pretty tricky search to get right and we are very glad to say that Signium came up trumps. We were highly impressed with their approach, ability to cooperate so closely and adaptability (as we learned along the way). In fact, we feel that Signium’s ‘hands on’ culture mirrors our own and we identified with that. Both markets produced an impressive array of candidates for the position. Ultimately, though, the proof is in the performance of the appointed candidate and, on this measure, we are delighted with the results of this search.’