Our longstanding partner was looking to sustain revenue growth by diversifying their product portfolio and entering a totally new market. They needed an all-round business and people leader, who could develop a brand new sales, marketing and merchandising strategy across brick + mortar and ecommerce while functioning as a general manager. The added layer of complexity here was that the candidate needed to be onsite in New York to help develop and buildout a team.
The only candidate who could be successful here was a leader who built a career within retail and ecommerce. They also needed to be comfortable with a ‘build from scratch’ model. We mapped the US market identifying over 500 candidates from retailers big and small, and discounted any candidate who could not relocate. We set a rigorous interview process to ensure cultural fit as well as commercial excellence and all-round general management skills.
The successful candidate was a highly respected Director from Walmart who relocated from Arkansas to New York. She joined the business in 2019, and we have since helped her build out some of her own leadership team. The business segment she manages has seen double digit growth since her arrival, and she has built a high performing team with strong relationships across all other business units.
This assignment was part of a larger mission to build out a new digital function for a $7B retailer. This 40-year-old, traditionally brick and mortar business had seen astronomical growth through the 2020 pandemic, and an inevitable shift of customers online. Knowing that they needed to improve digital customer experience to sustain and grow this huge revenue stream, they retained us to find a top talent digital merchandiser. The task for the successful candidate was to improve online product assortment and site usability, creating unique digital experiences and delight customers.
The first step was to look within omnichannel businesses with relevantly scaled and complex product lines and revenue. Next, we needed to ensure that the business had sufficiently mature digital operations which blended functionality and storytelling. We leveraged our vast retail and ecommerce network to find and engage top merchandising talent, who would relocate to Arizona and make a quick impact for our client while also fitting in with the company’s unique culture.
We presented a diverse shortlist of five individuals from Fortune100 organizations.We included a mixture of ‘up and coming’ talent, which would match well with the ‘hands on’ requirement for this newly created role. Alongside this, we presented more seasoned professionals who were seen as experts in their field and who had long term managerial experience.Ultimately, the hiring manager ‘would have taken both’ of the top two candidates who were a great match both culturally and from a skillset perspective.
Working with the client’s Chief Digital Officer, we built out a function that would help propel this legacy business to the next phase in their journey.Our partner was a leader in an industry that had been disrupted by small, boutique players who had been investing heavily in the digital experience. Our challenge was to insert innovative thinking into this retail giant and overhaul their site experience to engage customers and return to growth. We needed a candidate with both creative and technical skills who could work at scale, across multiple brands, navigating a traditional business and
Initially, we needed to cast the net wide in terms of market mapping, considering candidates from omnichannel, pureplay ecommerce, hospitality, consumer services and media. From this, we narrowed our focus to large scale organizations, with complex matrixed structures and executives who had led transformational and forward-thinking UX programs and teams. The interview process focused as much on technical aptitude as it did on leadership qualities and examples of challenging existing methods.
The client ultimately interviewed over ten qualified and vetted candidates with everyone up to CEO engaged in the process. They chose a female UX and site design leader who came from a Fortune 100 ecommerce business.This candidate was highly technical but had shifted over to the business side earlier in her career. A strong personality, she had been pushing the envelope for traditional organizations for more than two decades. Since joining the business, she has redeveloped their entire digital experience and been an advocate for women in technology within the organization.