International Retailer – IS Business Partner

May 24, 2015 Leave your thoughts

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

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