Case study 3:

Refining the search to find the perfect candidate

Private equity fund

We recently partnered with a private equity fund that was spinning out of its parent company. The firm’s investment team had previously relied on the parent company’s large salesforce and investor relations team to raise its funds and service current LPs. As a newly independent firm, the firm needed to hire their own in-house IR/fundraising professional. The goal was to recruit someone from the IR team of an established brand-name industry peer who could both institutionalize and lead the IR/fundraising function while simultaneously being a good cultural fit with the spin-out’s ethos of being a small, close-knit, and entrepreneurial team.  

Our client had never made an IR hire before. They retained us to help them determine a candidate archetype for the role, develop a framework for identifying and targeting relevant candidates, and to explore different options in the marketplace. The process to define exactly what the team needed in a candidate took weeks of regular calls and close communication. We experimented together, first exploring senior candidates with decades of fundraising experience, followed by mid-level candidates who had great experience, but were in more of the “up-and-coming” category when it came to actual fundraising track records.  

This type of iteration and flexibility would not have been possible without the firm basis of trust that we build with our client’s team members. We had weekly calls with our client to review the previous week’s interviews, pinpoint candidate strengths and weaknesses, and further refine the profile of their perfect candidate. This close communication, partnership, and trust was also critical during the later stages of their search. Almost five months into the search, our client was interviewing a senior candidate who had led the IR function at a similar firm. As the conversations with that candidate progressed toward the offer stage, it was becoming apparent that something wasn’t quite right. Whereas other search firms might have pressed for a placement for the sake of making a hire, we decided to pivot. We passed on the senior candidate and began targeting mid-level professionals who hadn’t occupied leadership roles before, but who we were confident would rise to the occasion when given the opportunity.  

Part of the Norgay mentality is going above and beyond for the client. It ended up taking nine months to find the correct candidate, a period when many other search firms would have given up, but through which we adapted and overcame every challenge, and remained steadfast partners with our client. In the end, we helped them recruit an exceptional professional whom they have since referred to ‘the best hire we’ve ever made’.

Norgay difference

Sometimes a firm is not entirely sure what type of candidate they need. In these situations, we help the firm develop a target candidate profile by conducting  existing team analyses to identify skillset gaps, and educating the firm on different candidate archetypes that could help them achieve their business goals. 

In scenarios when a firm doesn’t quite know what they need or if building out a new function for the first time, the scope of the role or target candidate profile may change as  the search progresses. When this happens, Norgay is equipped to adapt quickly to evolving client needs and in fresh ideas for new profiles or candidates. 

Sometimes this means that a search can take longer than usual before a firm finds the right candidate. In these situations, we don’t give up, we continue working to identify the best candidates for our clients’  need until the they are satisfied with the outcome.