Case Studies

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International QSR – European General Manager

The Situation:

One of the UK’s biggest qsr brands had been aggressively growing its international business through organic growth and acquisition. A significant historic acquisition in Poland required urgent attention to improve performance and bring the acquired business into line with the parent brand.

The Challenge:

  • The business wanted to recruit a high performing GM to lead the turnaround and reposition the brand.
  • It had already ascertained that there were no suitable candidates currently working in the country.
  • It was essential, that the appointee spoke fluent English and Polish and had a strong understanding of the Polish market.
  • In addition the candidate needed to be high potential for future leadership roles.

The SyBlue Solution

  • As a specialist within the QSR sector our network allowed us insight into a great many GM / MD profiles across Europe.
  • In addition to our network we mapped the relevant talent market within agreed target organisations, especially in Eastern Europe.
  • We delivered a shortlist of two candidates, one male and one female. Both were considered to be appointable by the client. The candidate who was not appointed was kept in touch with as the organisation wanted that person in the pipeline for potential future roles.

Education FTSE 50 Company – HRD Enabling Functions, Global

The Situation:

Our Client is a FTSE 50, global education provider. They have recently been through a re-organisation of their business units and global functions. As a consequence they were looking to hire key talent to drive and embed the new business model.

Two key enabling functions, Corporate Affairs and Marketing had recently been through a global re-structure. The organisation was looking to align and build capability, within these functions.

The Challenge

The organisation wanted to hire a high potential HR Director who could inform the organisation design of both of the functions and build an HR strategy aligned to the functional strategy.

  • Essential the individual had international business partnering experience
  • Broad talent management and OD experience was also key
  • This position was seen as wider succession for the HR function
  • Critical the candidate could progress to VP level in the future

The SyBlue Solution

  • Map out all HR BP’s and Directors within over 30 organisations
  • Approach all Candidates
  • Interviewed 15 profiles
  • Presented a shortlist of candidates from Unilever, BT Global Services, Rexam and Telefonica

US QSR – Multiple Senior Positions – Europe

The Situation:

A US qsr brand is expanding in Europe. The brand is unknown in Europe and previous attempts at recruiting had been unsuccessful.

The Challenge

  • We were asked to advise on and help recruit several senior positions. These comprised both functional and business roles.
  • Overcoming the poorly perceived employer brand was an issue. This was an issue with candidates who had been contacted in the past and with the network of those candidates.
  • We also needed to identify and attract candidates who had best in practice experience with large brands and who could perform well in a smaller, non-bureaucratic, highly entrepreneurial organisation.

The SyBlue Solution

  • We assessed the distinctive employer culture and distilled the key points of that culture into a straightforward, simple to understand message.
  • This was a message that would be attractive to relevant candidates and would help not so relevant candidates deselect themselves.
  • As we were aware of issues surrounding the employer brand that had been created by previous recruitment attempts we confronted them upfront with target candidates. The result was that we attracted a stream of on profile candidates to the organisation including some who had previously rejected the proposition.
  • This was achieved by being passionate and honest with target candidates and by being direct and honest with the client even when this involved difficult conversations.

Payment Solution Company – Head of Sales Operations

The Situation

Our client is a rapidly growing, private equity backed payment solutions company. They have expanded rapidly and achieved double digit growth annually. Their strategy is to be the global multi-channel payment solution provider across sectors.

The Challenge

Having established a large pool of customers, and over £26m in transactions being processed every day, the organisation was looking to strengthen and develop their large account/corporate business.

In line with this development a VP of Sales was recruited into the organisation approximately a year ago to drive large account growth, leverage cross selling opportunities and build key enterprise accounts.

To support this development the organisation needed to appoint a Head of Sales Operations who could drive sales effectiveness, put in place processes, systems, training and operations to drive revenue growth.

The SyBlue Solution

Due to the nature of the role and the maturity of the function we needed to hire an individual with extensive sales leadership experience alongside deep change management and operational excellence exposure.

  • Mapped out over 50 organisations
  • Spoke to in access of 150 potential candidates
  • Interviewed 20 candidates to present a shortlist of 6 candidates
  • Candidates presented from Accenture, Barclays, BT Global Services, Global Crossing and Motorola Enterprise Services
  • Candidate successfully placed.

Start Up UK QSR – Board Members

The Situation:

A start up UK qsr brand with significant funding and an aggressive expansion plan.

The Challenge

  • Mark Gilbert was asked to recruit several members of the board for the start up.
  • At this stage the business didn’t even have a name and we couldn’t mention the backers or specific area of qsr.
  • Add to this a very exacting requirement for proven high achievers and a specific cultural match to ensure that early leaders set the key cultural cornerstones.

The SyBlue SolutionWe totally believed in the brand and managed to convey that belief and enthusiasm to prospective candidates. Very few relevant candidates were unwilling to engage in the process and the business recruited successfully.

International Retailer – IS Business Partner

The Situation

International retailer with huge programme of change across the entire IT function looking to challenge existing IT structures and introduce a senior level interface, still with hands-on capability to work between the business and IT.  The role required solid retail experience from a merchandising or buying perspective, not just IT, combined with an ability to evangelise about the positive impact of IT change and to champion what the business actually needed from IT from a knowledge-based perspective.

The Challenges

The comparative newness of the position and therefore the very limited pool of potential candidates who were already doing this role.  We were looking for a cross between programme management, business systems analysis and service delivery underpinned by real retail experience in merchandising and buying functions.
Finding the gravitas and the personality to be able to be regarded as trustworthy by the business and able to translate IT speak into retail language and impact, but with a blend of skills and able to work at Board level.
The ability to attract candidates from the most prestigious names in retail to an up and coming company rather than one that had ‘arrived’.

The SyBlue Solution

  • We have more than 18 years’ experience in the IT and retail markets which gave us a great springboard to understand exactly what the client was trying to articulate to us and where this person would sit in his business, and crucially where we would find this person in the competitor companies.
  • The initial solution considered all the retailers within a reasonable travelling distance of the client.  Geographical impact was a clear consideration.  Candidate had to get to work
  • We examined the structures of competitor companies and investigated their merchandising and buying lines in particular  in order to understand who had the retail skills and then the IT skills
  • We used our client’s size (smaller than its main rivals) as a strength and enabled candidates to see that they had a wonderful opportunity to be close to the action and the decision making in this organisation against a background of dynamic change rather than BAU projects.  Once we could position the role individually to our potential candidates, we could engage them and the response was hugely positive.
  • The additional benefit to the client was that we took a strong and very positive marketing message to the IT and retail market.  We gave the market a view they might not ordinarily have had of the client, its ethos, potential, history and the scope of the business in a very positive light, laying groundwork for future recruitment and candidate attraction.  We made sure that every candidate we spoke with was started and as importantly finished with courtesy and honesty
  • We progressed candidates through shortlist to achieve a class A star candidate hire with the absolute right blend of skills and as importantly, personality and potential

Education FTSE 50 Company – HRD Enabling Functions, Growth Markets India

The Situation:

Our Client is a FTSE 50, global education provider. They have recently been through a re-organisation of their business units and global functions. As a consequence they were looking to hire key talent to drive and embed the new business model.

The Challenge:

India had been identified as a key location to house a number of the organisation enabling functions. Whilst a lot of senior resource resided in mature markets, the organisations was wanting to map out the talent pool across a number of cities in India to identify which location would be ideal for building outsourced service centres.

We were tasked to identify an international HR Director who could move the functions to India, but also support all enabling functions employees in growth markets. Including APAC, Latam and Africa.

The SyBlue Solution

  • Map out key talent in India, Mumbai and Bangalore
  • Provide insight as to best location to hire and build future capability
  • Mapped and approached International HR Directors in these locations, with particular emphasis upon Bangalore
  • Presented a shortlist of 5 candidates, from IBM, Honeywell, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell and ANZ Bank. One candidate moved to offer, however client chose to change location. We have since filled the position in a different geography.