Our Work

images-11Representative Searches   




Case Studies

1. A Smooth Transition in Troubled Circumstances
2. Wrong People, Wrong Assumptions
3. Selling the Client Opportunity
4. Selling the Confidential Search
5. An Aggressive Timeframe
6. Detailed Client Reports Make the Difference
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”   - Abraham Lincoln

Marketing Searches

VP Marketing:  $400M component supplier to oil & gas, power
VP Marketing:  $300M fluid handling supplier to Chem/Pharma
Director, New Markets:   500 diversified industrial, $450M industrial tool unit
VP Marketing:   500 industrial – $1B flow control equipment manufacturer
VP Strategy & Business Development:   F500 industrial – $200M aerospace unit
Category Director:   $340M engineered adhesives manufacturer
EVP Marketing:   F500 diversified industrial – $550M energy services unit
VP Marketing:   $50M material handling equipment manufacturer
Director, Internet Marketing:   $8M private equity early stage outsourced services
VP Sales & Marketing:   $800M Industrial supply internet merchant
VP Marketing:   $80M consumer products components manufacturer
VP Marketing:   $15M private equity running sports manufacturer
VP Global Marketing:   F500 diversified industrial – Industrial process controls

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P&L Searches

General Manager:   F500 diversified industrial – $250M oil and gas field equipment unit
General Manager:   F500 internal startup – oil and gas
President:   $70M Consumer products contract injection molder
Group President:   F500 Fluid Handling,  $300M and 3 business units
VP Innovation (R&D) – Oil and Gas:   $500 million industrial diamond group
Chief Operating Officer:   $10M environmental private equity – PV solar technology
General Manager:   F500 internal startup – industrial valve services

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Sales Searches

EVP Sales:   $15M private equity early stage support services
VP Sales:   $30M contract injection molder
National Sales Manager (2):   $500 million industrial diamond group
VP Sales:   F500 diversified industrial, $290M construction equipment unit
National Sales Manager:   F500 diversified industrial – $120M fluid handling
Director International Sales:   $180M air water quality environmental systems
Sales Manager:   $100M industrial metalworking coolants manufacturer
National Sales Manager:   F500 industrial – $230M industrial work holding equipment unit
Director National Accounts:   $70M contract injection molder
VP Sales:   $80M consumer products components manufacturer

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Case Studies

Below are examples of several recent searches where we have worked closely with our clients to help them meet unusually difficult recruitment challenges.
A Smooth Transition in Troubled Circumstances

The Challenge:
A private equity client needed a general manager for a recently purchased technology company. The company was dominant in the market, with a 50% share, superior product design and customer service – but marketing and operations were rudimentary. The client wanted talent from one of the large industrials known for both operational and commercial excellence, with strong credentials in both areas. This would be the #2 executive – capable of stepping into the CEO position at any time. 
Unfortunately, the founder/CEO lacked people skills, key managers were unhappy and morale was low. In addition, the founder had already identified a candidate for this position and saw no reason for the search. The private equity partner disagreed, making for a sensitive situation. 
Time was of the essence: Retention of key managers and the health and prospects of the enterprise were at stake, and filling the position well and quickly was critical.

Our Approach:
We focused the search on prospects from numerous GE, Honeywell, Emerson and similar units in a several state region, and delivered a slate of five strong candidates. 
When there is a favorite candidate in play, it often helps to plot position requirements against each candidate in a table format, using A, B, C designations instead of candidate names. Doing so demonstrated to the CEO the inadequacies of his favorite, and removed his objection to the search.

The Result:
The strongest of the candidates – with impressive experience in both marketing and operations at GE and Honeywell – got the nod. The CEO was fully on board – and when he left a year later, the new hire took over seamlessly. Today, all key managers remain, morale is high, marketing and lean manufacturing practices are in place and substantial growth continues.

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Wrong People, Wrong Assumptions

The Challenge:
This start-up had a fine product and the right value proposition, yet regional CEOs in the field (the business development executives) were failing and needed to be replaced. But as we began our work, we discovered that the company was hiring people without a sales background and was drawing out the sales cycle for as long as 15 months for a product where the decision could be made quickly. In some cases, the sales force was also over-compensated when compared to similar positions in similar companies.

Our Approach:
We helped management identify a strong sales consultant who worked with them to redefine the sales process; we then structured and recruited a commercial team of proven field executives and VPs of marketing and sales.

The Result:
The sales process was turned around, once the client had the right information and the right people. Today, Kinkead Partners functions as the client’s Chief Talent Officer, acting as final authority on all executive hiring and development issues.

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Selling the Client Opportunity

The Challenge:
This Fortune 500 industrial had developed a potentially game-changing technology at a small division, but a part-time focus was not getting the desired market penetration. The company needed to recruit a strong marketing director to function as general manager and to spearhead commercialization and marketing efforts. The challenge? This was a start-up with small P&L – and the company wanted candidates already running major businesses as the marketing lead, in a narrow industry segment.

Our Approach:
We knew this market and had substantial research and history on the major players. We were able to generate five candidates who were at a crossroads in their careers and willing to run a small P&L for the general management opportunity and career potential.

The Result:
A year later, the winning candidate has aligned the sales force, penetrated the major customers and landed several large orders.

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Selling the Confidential Search

The Challenge:
A $500M industrial equipment division had filled the CEO position badly. Kinkead Partners was asked to find a replacement on a confidential basis to ensure the smoothest possible transition. Target companies were the few large industrial marketing powerhouses, whose people we know well – but we couldn’t mention the name of the company, or even the parent, without violating confidentiality.

Our Approach:
This is the most difficult search scenario – speaking with potential candidates about a company without being able to share specific information. To give prospects the best feel possible for the organization as a whole and the scope of the opportunity, we emphasized company size, industry segment and markets, challenges and opportunities, power of the parent, the future growth track, and the caliber of the executives already in place.

The Result:
We negotiated with the client a “go public” date for announcing the search, roughly 60 days from search launch, so we could promise details to candidates at that time. We identified four candidates, one of whom had worked successfully with the hiring executive earlier when both were at GE. The transition was smooth – and confidentiality maintained until the client was ready to announce.

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An Aggressive Timeframe

The Challenge:
This major industrial needed a division CEO with strong commercial skills quickly, and requested a very ambitious schedule for the search.

Our Approach:
We established detailed milestones and dates for all phases of the search, communicated weekly or more frequently with the client and made sure any date slippages and the reasons for them were immediately identified.

The Result:
The search was completed in 65 days – and the reporting method proved so successful that we incorporated a similar schedule and project plan into all of our search reports.

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Detailed Client Reports Make the Difference

The Challenge:
Our client had asked Kinkead Partners and one of the larger search firms to work on two separate but parallel searches for division CEOs. But a month into the search, the client received feedback from the larger firm that compensation was inadequate to interest qualified candidates.

Our Approach:
Our clients saw from the Kinkead Partners weekly reports that we weren’t having the same problem in identifying high-quality candidates. In fact, our reports – which include briefs on all candidates considered to date, including their experience and education, accomplishments, receptivity to the opportunity and status – indicated strong interest from prospects at the compensation proposed, and showed an ever-growing list of potential talent.

The Result:
With proof that the opportunity could be sold effectively at the compensation specified, the client could better manage the parallel search.

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