The Morgan Samuels Perspective

Three Critical Attributes of Great Private Equity CFOs

Posted by Todd Wyles on Wed, Sep 27, 2017

For private equity investors, ensuring they have the right CFO is widely thought to be the most critical decision they will make from a talent standpoint, second only to installing a top CEO.  

iStock-640189368.jpgOver the past three years, nearly forty percent of all the PE-backed executive searches Morgan Samuels has conducted have been CFO searches.  Why is this search such a common one throughout the investment cycle?  Is there a common profile for the best CFOs?  And if there is, what are the specific attributes that are most often observed?

In an attempt to answer these questions, Morgan Samuels has captured and analyzed extensive quantitative and qualitative data from CFO searches we have conducted for PE-backed businesses ranging in size from $8M - $75M EBITDA, across multiple industries.  By culling the data collected from assessing hundreds of chief financial officers for these searches, we have identified three critical attributes of great CFOs for PE-backed companies:

  1. They all have the desire and ability to be a true partner to the CEO, both internally and externally.
  2. They have command of the levers and metrics that drive value in the business, and they play a major role in executing the strategy.
  3. They are hands on, decisive, and they have a very high sense of urgency.

Let’s look at each of these characteristics in more detail:

True Partner to the CEO

This may appear to be a relatively soft attribute and difficult to measure, but based on our experience a CFO must not only fit the culture of the portfolio company, but also the style and vision of the CEO.  And they must simultaneously focus on both the internal and external aspects of their position.

One of the reasons the CFO role is so critical to get right at a PE-backed company is that they must have the skills and ability to advance the vision and strategy of the CEO, across multiple functions. They need to be able to translate the financial impact / projected outcomes of the strategy across the organization.  This is the internal aspect of becoming a partner to the CEO. 

Additionally, they must be focused externally.  They need to manage banking relationships and ensure covenants are not broken.  They often own multiple professional service provider relationships.  Perhaps most importantly, they have to be comfortable serving two masters – both their CEO and also the Board which will typically include at least one senior member of the GP.  And when it comes time to exit, the CFO plays a major role in interfacing with potential buyers, which requires both strong presentation skills and the ability to influence buyers.

Metrics Driven

Cash is King is a trite anecdote.  But for many middle market private equity-owned companies, it is still a very relevant mindset.  Most control investments are levered such that the management team has to be extraordinarily thoughtful about how they manage cash to ensure growth (whether that be organic, or via acquisition) and liquidity.  The CFO is at the tip of the spear regarding cash management.

One CFO we recently placed at a $150M business services company recognized within about 30 days on the job that the company was going to run out of cash 60 days later!  The CEO and the Board were not as aware of this, and so the very first order of business for this CFO was to create a set of metrics/KPIs that provided visibility for cash management on a daily basis.  That is how critical managing cash can be for a midsized business, and CFOs who install systems to ensure this happens are the most successful.

Hands on and Decisive

One of the most striking differences we have observed in successful CFOs for middle market companies with private equity owners is that they truly appreciate (and accept) that resources are at a premium, and that time is of the essence. Very few CFOs in private equity enjoy the resources (both from a staff and budget perspective) that their counterparts in the marketplace have.  Similarly, they do not have nearly as much time to create value for the PE-backed business, with an exit often only a few years away.  Being willing to get their hands dirty—and do it quickly by making great decisions (often without as much information as they would like) are hallmarks of the most effective private equity CFOs.

Private Equity Practice Leader Todd WylesA private equity firm’s greatest asset lies in its people and their capabilities to deliver across a myriad of stakeholders’ expectations. Top talent that is a great fit for private equity is extraordinarily scarce across the board, and finding the right CFO is especially critical to success. We have conducted dozens ofnumerous successful CFO searches for PE-backed companies, and we have found that candidates who possess the criteria described above thrive within the unique demands of private equity.

Click here to find out more about Morgan Samuels’ Private Equity Practice.

 

Topics: executive recruiters, morgan samuels, lean six sigma, human capital consultants, executive search firms, retained search firms, retained executive search firm, top executive search firms, Private Equity, PE, executive search, executive search consultants, Todd Wyles, CFO, executive search private equity

What Makes a Great Private Equity CFO?

Posted by Todd Wyles on Mon, Nov 16, 2015

For private equity investors, ensuring they have the right CFO is widely thought to be the most critical decision they will make from a talent standpoint, second only to installing a top CEO.  

unsplash_businessman_suit2.jpgOver the past three years, nearly forty percent of all the PE-backed searches Morgan Samuels has conducted have been CFO searches.  Why is this search such a common one throughout the investment cycle?  Is there a common profile for the best CFOs?  And if there is, what are the specific attributes that are most often observed?

In an attempt to answer these questions, Morgan Samuels has captured and analyzed extensive quantitative and qualitative data from CFO searches we have conducted for PE-backed businesses ranging in size from $8M - $75M EBITDA, across multiple industries.  By culling the data collected from assessing hundreds of chief financial officers for these searches, we have identified three critical attributes of great CFOs for PE-backed companies:

  1. They all have the desire and ability to be a true partner to the CEO, both internally and externally.
  2. They have command of the levers and metrics that drive value in the business, and they play a major role in executing the strategy.
  3. They are hands on, decisive, and they have a very high sense of urgency.

Let’s look at each of these characteristics in more detail:

True Partner to the CEO

This may appear to be a relatively soft attribute and difficult to measure, but based on our experience a CFO must not only fit the culture of the portfolio company, but also the style and vision of the CEO.  And they must simultaneously focus on both the internal and external aspects of their position.

One of the reasons the CFO role is so critical to get right at a PE-backed company is that they must have the skills and ability to advance the vision and strategy of the CEO, across multiple functions. They need to be able to translate the financial impact / projected outcomes of the strategy across the organization.  This is the internal aspect of becoming a partner to the CEO. 

Additionally, they must be focused externally.  They need to manage banking relationships and ensure covenants are not broken.  They often own multiple professional service provider relationships.  Perhaps most importantly, they have to be comfortable serving two masters – both their CEO and also the Board which will typically include at least one senior member of the GP.  And when it comes time to exit, the CFO plays a major role in interfacing with potential buyers, which requires both strong presentation skills and the ability to influence buyers.

Metrics Driven

Cash is King is a trite anecdote.  But for many middle market private equity-owned companies, it is still a very relevant mindset.  Most control investments are levered such that the management team has to be extraordinarily thoughtful about how they manage cash to ensure growth (whether that be organic, or via acquisition) and liquidity.  The CFO is at the tip of the spear regarding cash management.

One CFO we recently placed at a $150M business services company recognized within about 30 days on the job that the company was going to run out of cash 60 days later!  The CEO and the Board were not as aware of this, and so the very first order of business for this CFO was to create a set of metrics/KPIs that provided visibility for cash management on a daily basis.  That is how critical managing cash can be for a midsized business, and CFOs who install systems to ensure this happens are the most successful.

Hands on and Decisive

One of the most striking differences we have observed in successful CFOs for middle market companies with private equity owners is that they truly appreciate (and accept) that resources are at a premium, and that time is of the essence. Very few CFOs in private equity enjoy the resources (both from a staff and budget perspective) that their counterparts in the marketplace have.  Similarly, they do not have nearly as much time to create value for the PE-backed business, with an exit often only a few years away.  Being willing to get their hands dirty—and do it quickly by making great decisions (often without as much information as they would like) are hallmarks of the most effective private equity CFOs.

Private Equity Practice Leader Todd WylesA private equity firm’s greatest asset lies in its people and their capabilities to deliver across a myriad of stakeholders’ expectations. Top talent that is a great fit for private equity is extraordinarily scarce across the board, and finding the right CFO is especially critical to success. We have conducted dozens of successful CFO searches for PE-backed companies over the past few years, and we have found that candidates who possess the criteria described above thrive within the unique demands of private equity.

Click here to find out more about Morgan Samuels’ Private Equity Practice.

 

Topics: executive recruiters, morgan samuels, lean six sigma, human capital consultants, executive search firms, retained search firms, retained executive search firm, top executive search firms, Private Equity, PE, executive search, executive search consultants, Todd Wyles, CFO, executive search private equity

A New Front in the War for Talent?

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Thu, May 23, 2013

Todd Wyles Morgan SamuelsThe May issue of PE Manager includes a piece by our firm's own Todd Wyles on how private equity firms approach talent management across their portfolios. Increasingly, PE firms are adopting an Operating Partner in charge of Talent or Human Capital to help facilitate executive hiring at their portfolio companies. Todd interviewed several Heads of Talent, including leaders at Genstar Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe to learn how they create value.

Todd is the Private Equity Practice Leader at Morgan Samuels. As a human capital consulting firm, we are always enthusiastic about putting a focus on talent issues. We think the emergence of the Head of Talent role at PE firms is a positive development in the private equity space for reasons outlined in Todd’s commentary.

Click here to Download

Topics: executive recruiters, top executive search firm, morgan samuels, lean six sigma, human capital consultants, executive search firms, retained search firms, retained executive search firm, top executive search firms, Private Equity, PE, executive search, executive search consultants, executive employment agency, Private Equity International, Magazine, Head of Talent, CHRO, Todd Wyles

Executive Leadership - CEO Pay & What It Means for Your Company

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Thu, May 2, 2013

Executive compensation has been a hot-button political issue since the 2008 economic collapse, the resulting bailouts, and following that, the Occupy Wall Street movement. You can find varied and conflicting viewpoints on income inequality and its impact on political and economic systems. But as a human capital consulting firm, the question for us is whether the methods for establishing CEO pay are effective for companies.

A new study from the University of Delaware's Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance offers some interesting insights and caused a bit of a stir. (It's been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review.)

The authors argue that CEO compensation models are flawed. The basic system is that companies want to pay their chief executive above the average in their market -- both to draw the best talent in the market and to signal to their investors and competition that their talent is better than the rest. The effect is that the average compensation keeps increasing, faster than inflation, profits and worker's wages.

The supporters of ever-escalating pay argue that handsome compensation packages are necessary to keep CEOs from straying to greener pastures at other companies. But new research by a University of Delaware professor and student suggests fears of CEOs jumping ship are fiction.... [Researchers] compiled data on the CEOs of 1,500 companies over the last 30 years. What they found was surprising: Top executives almost never leave for other companies. Among the thousands of CEOs included in the study, only 27 left for another position, and most failed in their new positions.

You can read the whole study here.

There are some tidbits in there that we at Morgan Samuels have known for a while, both intuitively and from experience. You can't plug and play different executives and hope their profits come along with them to their new office. Fit and culture matter significantly. (It's something we place a big emphasis on with our executive search practice.) So why offer big compensation packages? This might seem obvious, but just because your competition shouldn't steal your rockstar executive doesn't mean they won't. You can't blame the executive for taking the better deal. And even if they aren't likely to leave, morale is important, even among high-powered executives. You don't just want your leadership in place, you want them happy.

But on the flip side, part of delivering maximum value to shareholders is ensuring they aren't overpaying for any commodity, and that includes human capital. So what's the solution?

Morgan Samuels is of the view that almost any problem can be eliminated or ameliorated with better information. Which is why one of the human capital consulting services we focus on is market intelligence. We like to know who in our target market is earning what compensation, how they're performing, who is happy in their jobs, and who is looking to move. Knowing all this gives our clients a leg up. It gets them closer to finding that perfect dollar amount where executives are excited to come to work and shareholders are happy with the balance sheet.

Topics: executive recruiters, leadership, human capital consultants, retained executive search firm, compensation, executive search, ceo pay

The Benefits of Leveraging an Executive Search Partner

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Tue, Nov 13, 2012

Jerry FongJerry K. Fong, an Executive Recruiter in the Los Angeles office of Morgan Samuels, discusses his perspective on the benefits of leveraging an executive search partner.  Jerry drives value for his Fortune 500 clients by helping them build high performing teams one key executive at a time.

In today’s competitive landscape, top-performing companies understand when to tap into the robust capabilities of talent acquisition firms.  When you have an important position to fill in your company, it’s natural that your first instinct may be to turn to your internal Human Resources department.  In many cases, however, an executive search firm is better equipped to successfully identify and recruit the best possible candidate for the job.

What are the benefits of leveraging an executive search partner?
Clients value our services because they need to hire transformation talent in a very short period of time.  Additionally, clients need to optimize the valuable time of their own key leadership team by only having them meet with candidates who meet and exceed their very specific requirements.  Let’s examine these value drivers in greater detail.

Access to the Best Talent: Executive search firms like Morgan Samuels increase your probability of identifying and attracting the very best talent in the marketplace.  The quality of the placement is the ultimate litmus test to the success or failure of an executive search.  As most Hiring Managers understand, the most qualified person is likely to be treated well by their current employer, and correspondingly is reluctant to pursue a change.  High potential candidates often stay “off the radar” simply because they are more focused on driving value for their companies.  Executive search firms utilize sophisticated tools to canvas the entire marketplace to uncover these prospects which increases the size and more importantly the potential quality of the talent pool.

Oftentimes, clients seek our assistance to identify talent outside of their industry.  As an example, a manufacturer may want to find a phenomenal Customer Relationship Manager or a Chief Information Security Officer from the realm of internet retailers.  That is where highly diversified executive search firms can also drive value - we have reach and visibility into industries, companies, and individuals where your Human Resources team might have limited access.

Speed to Hire: Executive search firms are built to quickly execute complex assignments to identify and recruit top talent in less time.  We understand that your desire is to bring the senior leader onboard as quickly as possible to start driving value right away.  An executive search firm has the ability to provide instant scale to an overloaded Human Resources organization.

As an industry leader, Morgan Samuels demonstrates an average cycle time of just 76 calendar days!  This is critical because the earlier you bring on board this missing piece of your leadership team, the faster you can begin to realize value - whether it is through top line growth, driving down costs or mitigating risks through the implementation of best practices and methodologies.

Efficient Use of Time from Your Leadership Team: Yes, that’s right.  Executive search firms can actually save you time as well!  At Morgan Samuels, we partner with our clients to invest more time upfront to clearly identify the critical requirements and the expected outcomes the placement will spearhead once onboard.  That allows us to scour the marketplace accordingly and only present the four to five best candidates who exceed your expectations.  This enables our clients to concentrate on the core competencies of running the business rather than interviewing a parade of mediocre candidates that may or may not meet your needs.  When interviewing for a C-level position, clients typically spend a full day with each candidate.  If you are interviewing 12 candidates for the position, that is 12 full days allotted for interviews!  That is a tremendous allotment of time from the “difference makers” in your organization.

Attentively, executive search firms like Morgan Samuels focus on efficiency, narrowing down the candidate pool to only present the top four to five candidates.  We scour the marketplace and examine an average of 250 individuals who could be potential candidates for the position.  After substantially vetting the candidates, we present you the top four to five.  Additionally, we compile and provide such an extensive profile that when you actually meet these candidates, you feel that you know them more completely than you probably know your next door neighbors.

Most executive search firms present their clients with 10 to 12 candidates.  That is not an efficient use of your time.  At Morgan Samuels, we only present the absolute best of the best.  In fact, our slate of candidates is typically so strong that clients attempt to hire more than one of the candidates in 1 out of 5 assignments!

Jerry Fong's Quote

Strategic Thought Partnership: This is a strong differentiator for Morgan Samuels.  We truly partner with our clients to understand your strategic priorities and then collaborate with you to identify the human capital strategy to achieve your goals.  Whether this involves reshaping your organization, executive coaching and succession planning, or simply reframing a role that you already have in mind, we harness 43 years of human capital consulting experience to coauthor the go-forward strategy with you.  You cannot provide thought leadership without having the best talent, and our team is second to none.

Relationship Building Opportunities: Executive search firms like Morgan Samuels can absolutely help you build your business network.  It’s quite common for our clients to provide us with feedback that we unlocked the door to a new customer, shepherded the start of a new alliance partnership, or helped them understand a key supplier better.  We can foster potential business development relationships which can ultimately provide greater insight into the competitive landscape, increase sales, and impact the bottom-line for your company.

Specialization: Our clients are Fortune 500 companies that lead their respective industries by specializing in their core competencies and driving sustainability differentiation.  Along those same lines, we specialize in attracting the best and brightest talent in the world with speed!  Bringing top talent to the table is what executive search firms do best.  And we’re great at what we do here at Morgan Samuels.  It is our passion.

Sources for Market Intelligence: Executive search partners can also act as incredible sources for market intelligence.  During the course of a search, we amass substantial non-proprietary information regarding market trends, compensation and organizational structure.  A recruiter at Morgan Samuels is making dozens of calls a day to top executives in your industry.  We arm our clients with invaluable data points regarding the market’s perception of your brand positioning, your key differentiators and your reputation as an employer.

As Human Capital Consultants, Morgan Samuels can help you understand how the leading companies in your industry incentivize their top talent, how they have organized their leadership teams and laid out succession plans to enable sustainable growth.

Topics: morgan samuels, human capital consultants, executive search firms, retained executive search firm

The Difference Between Leadership and Management

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Wed, Oct 3, 2012

Kelly West, a Consultant in the Los Angeles office of Morgan Samuels, a leading human capital consulting and retained executive search firm, shares her views on the difference between leadership and management. Kelly joined Morgan Samuels in 2007, and has since successfully executed a number of retained search assignments across a wide variety of industries with a focus on healthcare, entertainment and new media, and information technology.

Kelly West's Quote

The differences between leadership and management has long been discussed – both in academic and casual settings. Yet, people continue to use the two terms as synonyms, and many individuals and corporations remain confused as to how to differentiate between the two concepts. Executive Consultants, like those at Morgan Samuels, must be familiar with the distinctions between these terms and be able to distinguish between them when speaking with executives. Here are a few key points to remember:

  1. The Difference Between Leaders and Managers:  People use the terms leaders and managers to generally describe individuals who are responsible for directing others. Though the two terms seem similar on the surface, in reality they are quite different. Leaders share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. Managers, on the other hand, establish the infrastructure, processes and boundaries that allow the team to reach that vision.

    • Leaders: Leaders are focused on bringing about innovation and change for the company. Their primary role is to inspire people and to motivate employees. They are focused on change. They create a sense of vision, hope, and alignment among employees.
    • Managers: Managers supervise employees. They make plans, delegate responsibilities, and coordinate activities. Their goal is to create something that is definable and repeatable.
  2. Distinguishing Between the Different Roles: Leaders ask what and why, while managers ask how and when.  A leader relies on trust, while a manager relies on control.  A manager is behind the scenes, while a leader’s role is front and center.  A manager handles the day-to-day tasks of the organization, while a leader’s role is more long-term and visionary.
  3. Both Roles are Important: While a leader often receives more accolades than a manager, both roles are important and necessary for an organization to succeed.  An organization cannot thrive without a manager, and it cannot thrive without a leader.  Leadership and management must go hand in hand to be successful - both in corporate and casual settings.  They are linked, and complimentary to one another.
  4. Executive Search Firms Help Companies Identify Which Profile Is Best Suited to Meet Their Business Objectives: Sometimes a company needs a brilliant leader.  Other times, a job is best suited for an incredible manager.  Occasionally, an executive needs to be skilled at both.  An executive search firm like Morgan Samuels can assist a company in identifying and selecting executives with the appropriate skill set - leadership or management - that will be most successful in realizing their specific business goals.

Topics: morgan samuels, leadership, executive search firms, retained executive search firm

The 10 Commandments for Successfully Hiring Portfolio Company Executives

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Thu, May 31, 2012

Struan Scott

Morgan Samuels Senior Client Partner Struan Scott, who leads our Private Equity practice, is featured in PE Manager’s May issue.

The 10 Commandments for Successfully Hiring Portfolio Company Executives

PE Manager | MAY 2012 | Issue 93

“I don’t know if the CEO is going to make it. I am going to give her a few more months to turn it around.”

“For one of my portfolio companies, I have had to change the CEO three times in five years; company performance is significantly lagging expectations.”

“The CEO was a disastrous hire. He was a terrible culture fit; we didn’t do a good job of assessing him.”

I hear similar horror stories from private equity professionals on a weekly basis. Fortunately the solution to these issues is easy. Private equity firms need to view hiring as a deliberate, strategic, and rigorous process. This will enable firms to hire “rock stars” who will drive phenomenal portfolio company performance.

Consider the following 10 commandments to achieve human capital success:

1.  Hire a senior resource dedicated to human capital issues. GPs embrace creating centres of excellence for IT and Procurement. The same should apply for HR

Human Resources isn’t as easy as it sounds. Often portfolio companies do not have the resources to hire and develop world class HR talent. Some private equity firms have hired former Fortune 500 chief human resources officers. Others have hired former senior retained search professionals. And some firms have a COO skilled in HR who works closely with portfolio companies. Best in class firms leverage this HR expert to lift the performance of the executives and HR leads within the portfolio companies. Best practices will often be shared across companies informally or through regularly scheduled events. They also drive improved performance through better organisational design, compensation, executive coaching, hiring, etc.

2.  Before you launch a search for an executive, develop a clear understanding of the critical drivers of success

Determine which sort of leader is appropriate for this stage of your business. For example, for a turnaround a command and control style might be more appropriate than an empowerment leadership style.

What is unique about your culture? What sort of executive will be effective? What sort of person will be motivated to tough out the hard times?

Develop key metric driven objectives that the hired candidate will need to achieve in the next 24 months. Understand that just because a candidate has delivered similar objectives in the past does not mean they will be successful at your company – leadership acumen and cultural fit are crucial.

When you have hired your candidate, use the key drivers of success to accelerate a quick start and monitor progress.

3.  Ensure all key stakeholders agree on the key drivers of success

Sponsors as well as key levels of management should agree what a great candidate will look like before you start your search. This is particularly important for club deals.

4.  Develop a system to track the performance of each senior level search conducted at every portfolio company and adjust your hiring strategies accordingly

I recently spoke with two of the largest private equity firms about their approach. One tracks the type of search and the fee charged and they are noticing they have been awarding searches to a recruiting firm that charges the lowest price even though the performance of the executives placed has been terrible. Another has been tracking the number of searches each recruiting firm has done and they have been awarding searches based on the number of searches previously awarded even though the performance of the executives hired has been woeful.

5.  Avoid getting burned by retained search firms. Key questions to consider:

  • Does the firm show you their most senior partners and “bait and switch” with junior resources?
  • Does the search firm view this search as importantly as you do?
  • What is the firm’s closure rate? Some of the best known search firms only successfully close around 80 percent of their searches.
  • How quickly do they close searches?
  • What other private equity firms have they worked for? Reach out directly to these other firms for validation of value provided by the search firm.
  • Does the firm offer flexible pricing based on their and/or the executive’s performance?
  • Do they listen? What is their process for understanding your portfolio company’s strategic business objectives and culture? Many search firms will take your position description, tell you they know what you need, disappear for months, return with some candidates, and tell you to pick one.
  • Do they truly conduct original research? Some will tout their large database and research capabilities only to end up just recycling resumes.
  • How do they attract candidates? Don’t just go off the perceived status of the firm’s brand.
  • Can they demonstrate a combination of science, art, and resources in their approach to assessment? What are their assessment strategies? Don’t rely on people who say “Trust me – I have been interviewing for 30 years.”

6.  Be thoughtful and strategic about how you interview candidates. “Gut feel” doesn’t usually work
Craft behavioral interview questions to understand:

  • How the candidate will meet key objectives for the role
  • Cultural fit
  • Track record and how it was achieved (e.g. have they always had a strong brand name and resources to help them)
  • Motivation
  • Potential derailers (e.g. pressure from family and friends not to relocate)

Create a feedback process – once the candidate has been hired, look over your notes to see trends in how good and bad hires answer questions.

7.  Ask your finalist to present their plan for how they will meet the key objectives for the role. If you don’t like the plan, don’t hire them

8.  Be thoughtful about references

Combine references provided by the candidate with “blind” references. Ensure the people providing the references understand the key objectives for the role and the company culture. Talk to supervisors, peers, reports, clients, etc.

9.  Continue to assess your finalist.

Be wary if your finalist demonstrates high ego needs. Pay attention to how they negotiate their offer. If they are selfish and overly demanding, you should walk away.

10.  Don’t underestimate the importance of executive coaching.

A private equity human capital-focused operating partner recently shared that the COO at one of his portfolio companies performed very poorly for the first year. The COO overanalyzed everything and couldn’t make a decision. The operating partner started coaching the COO. He also guided the CEO on the best way to manage the COO and in a few months the COO became an exceptional performer.

If you use the same level of rigour in hiring as you do when purchasing companies, your hiring success can only improve. The right human capital strategy can be the difference between a fair return on investment and an exceptional one.

Struan Scott leads the private equity practice at Morgan Samuels, a human capital consulting firm focused on retained executive search.  Struan can be reached at [email protected]

Topics: human capital consultants, retained executive search firm, Private Equity

The Benefits of Lean Sigma at Morgan Samuels

Posted by Morgan Samuels on Mon, Aug 15, 2011

Mike Budd, Chief Operating Officer at Morgan Samuels
While many people don't actually know the logistics of company management and organization, every company has their own processes to ensure the company is following proper methods and processes. Mike Budd, Chief Operating Officer at Morgan Samuels, relies on the Lean Sigma Methodology.  
"Lean Sigma is more of a methodology or an approach to business," said Budd, "The easiest way to define Lean Sigma at Morgan Samuels is that we find the fastest path to a solution."
Lean Sigma focuses on the process flow of an operation to make sure that anything that does not add value is eliminated as waste. Lean Sigma strives to thin out processes to the bare bone essentials. Another related methodology is called Six Sigma. 
"From a Six Sigma standpoint, we control as many of the variables as possible," said Budd. "Another way to present that would be we optimize our processes—our steps that we take to complete a search—and then we use metrics to capture information regarding variables. Then we decide, based on the interpretation of that data, where we can complete tools, other sub-processes or training to minimize the impact of those variables."
While Lean Sigma and Six Sigma generally go hand-in-hand within a company to ensure proper methods are followed and the best possible outcomes are achieved, many feel that one process functions better within a company than the other. For Morgan Samuels Company, a retained executive search firm, Lean Sigma works to eliminate aspects of business that do not add value to the final outcome or processes along the way, providing a benefit to clients. 
"At the end of the day, the benefit of Lean Sigma for an executive search firm, like Morgan Samuels, is better service to our clients through a faster search," said Budd, "The sooner the client has a person in the position, the sooner they can reap the benefits of that person being in that position."
For executive recruiters, it is important to find the best possible applicant for available positions as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
"The other benefit a client sees is a knowledge that they are getting the best available candidate from the marketplace for their opening," said Budd. 
With the use of Lean Sigma by Morgan Samuels' executive recruiters, clients interview a smaller set of well-qualified people, which saves the client a considerable amount of money in terms of cost of candidate travel for interviews and the cost of executive's time to conduct the interviews. 
"The Lean Sigma Methodology is very visible inside Morgan Samuels, any client or candidate who would want to audit the company for its use of Lean Sigma could quickly see, touch and feel those things that have come out of that approach," said Budd.
For more information on Morgan Samuels' executive recruiters, and the benefits of choosing Morgan Samuels, contact us.

Topics: executive recruiters, morgan samuels, retained executive search firm