Executive Search & Recruiting Case Study: Net Promoter Score®
Corporate Vice-President Client Care Program
Increasing Share of Wallet – Net Promoter Score®
Even though AECOM’s Client Care Program is now a successful global analytics team devoted to optimizing the firm’s project excellence and client experiences, just a few years ago it was a fledgling element of the company still getting off the ground and no one was familiar with Net Promoter Score® (NPS).
A newly created role of Corporate Vice-President, Client Care Program was identified to help grow and develop the nascent division – whose existence was a relatively new concept in the engineering and construction industry, in general – into the client feedback powerhouse it is today. Leading the hiring charge were the two creators of the program, a company president and a director, who each had a huge personal stake in seeing both the hire and the program succeed. The program was one of the top three initiatives for AECOM’s CEO at the time.
“We were very, very involved and very interested in the hand-off of this program because we wanted it to continue to be successful,” said AECOM Industrial Strategy Director Jordan Sweeney, and member of the hiring committee. “This was something that even at the shareholder level was considered critical to our success as a company.”
The ideal candidate for this new senior role had to be a market researcher, a statistician, and behavioural expert while at the same time having a passion for client service and feedback. The ideal candidate also needed to be senior enough to lead an important new division at a large multinational company, while also whose approach could inspire the C-suite to think about new ways of looking at information and client care.
An intensive research phase was first conducted by Perry-Martel to locate the most ideal candidate for the role. Because the hiring authority already had well-defined opinions on the type of individual they wanted to attract, the initial search phase was spent creating a Position Profile and reviewing relevant resumes closely with Ms. Sweeney and the hiring authority to determine the benchmark candidate.
“I’ve heard people refer to my searches as unicorns, which I guess is another way of saying I’m looking for a mythical creature,” said hiring authority Seth Deutsch, President of AECOM’s Industrial Group. “But I know the people I want exist. (Perry Martel’s David Perry) understands the depths and the complexities of our thinking, and the types of people it takes to be successful in our group and our organization.”
After identifying and engaging with the eventual desired candidate, a first face-to-face meeting between the candidate, the hiring authority and Perry- Martel was then arranged to gauge the candidate’s psychology and determine their potential “fit” within the company and the group. This was followed by a progressive, five-stage interview process conducted in partnership with the hiring authority. Through ongoing brokering by the executive search firm, the desired candidate eventually earned enough of the hiring authority’s respect that his own feedback was used in the creation of his eventual new role.
Luke Williams, a former Ipsos researcher, New York Times bestselling author and developer of a client feedback mechanism called the Wallet Allocation Rule, was identified as the desired candidate by Perry-Martel and eventually hired as Corporate Vice-President, Client Care Program at AECOM. Mr. Williams said Perry-Martel’s approach in engaging him was unlike most search firms, who typically recruit to finish a short-term project and not to provide long-term value to both the company and the individual.
“I’d never heard a recruiter before break down an opportunity that made sense in my terms, which I thought was really refreshing,” he said, adding that most recruiters he’d been contacted by are simply “looking to close that deal and move on to the next one, and David doesn’t work that way.
“He wants to close that deal, and he wants to stick with you after that deal is closed for a number of years making sure he’s helping you through the process.”
Mr. Deutsch agrees, adding that Perry-Martel acted as part organizational psychologist and part recruiter during the entire process, while always keeping the organization and individual’s long-term interests in mind. “And my personal belief is that (this approach) tends to have the best, most long-lasting outcomes on successful searches.”