The hidden market
I’ve been largely working in a hidden market for a while now and very few of the projects that I’ve been involved with have made it onto the website or have been blogged about.
I hope that you would agree that a high percentage of roles I work on will be with PE houses where they are looking to replace their management teams within portfolio companies. This could come as a result of breached covenants, wholesale turnaround or just a change in their direction and strategy. The net effect of the way the mandates come to us usually means that a high level of confidentiality surrounds the brief with the PE house; they want to know who in our close and immediate network they could drop into such a scenario. This typically means that a high percentage of the roles never see the light of day and rely on conversations with people I’ve known for years or those referred to me by people whom I trust completely. Of the CEO and CFO positions I’ve placed this year into portfolio companies, not a single brief saw a job board or even had a mention on LinkedIn or a tweet.
So why am I telling you this? Certainly not to infuriate you by telling you about a secret market that some of you may not be part of, but to highlight that we’re really very busy in this space and that it’s more important than ever to build relationships. Staying in touch is a two-way street, and relationships and trust take a long time to build from both sides. I suggest to everyone I meet in person that a monthly call and update is completely normal and expected to ensure that you’re at the front of my mind and prepared to invest in building a stronger tie with Interim Partners. I’d like to think that I’m pretty accessible and good at returning calls. I wouldn’t make the suggestions if I didn’t want to stay in contact – it’s much easier to say that an individual isn’t right for a situation or market, and manage expectations.
In summary, there is a hidden market. It certainly exists and is not just reserved for the world of executive search. Whilst I hope I will be advertising more roles soon, I also hope that you understand my dilemma and will work with me to improve my own network as well as your experience of working with us.