Socialbakers Case Study

[Finlay James] really know what I am looking for, how I hire and who I hire. They live and breathe the whole recruitment process with you

– Social Bakers

The Challenge

Significant investment in the business gave Socialbakers the opportunity to expand briskly across several continents in 2012. The company needed to quickly extend its global presence by establishing regional heads of sales in the Middle East and Latin America regions. The recruiting responsibility was given to Cesar Christoforidis, the company’s director for the rest of the world (ROW) territories. Being predominantly based in London, he needed support to identify the best talent in these international markets and bring them on board.

He said: “I knew I could source great sales candidates in the UK but I didn’t know where to find a good calibre of candidates on other continents. I needed an agency with expertise in this area – one which could find the right people, get them excited about the opportunity and do the necessary qualification.”

To ensure the right quality of the regional head was being recruited, Cesar also required that all sourced candidates were senior sales professionals already positioned within successful organisations. They also had to be capable of achieving on target earning between $100k and $150k.

The Solution

Socialbakers leveraged Finlay James expertise in the digital and software as a service (SaaS) sectors to find the best sales professionals operating in these international markets. The agency’s executive search consultants quickly mapped out the talent pool in each region and developed a shortlist of promising sales managers.

The consultancy’s headhunters then approached these candidates to qualify their suitability and generate interest in the positions available with Socialbakers.

By providing a fully managed service, Finlay James’ consultants were able to minimise disruption to Cesar during the recruitment process. With an in depth knowledge of the job requirements, Finlay James was able to take care of all the preliminary requirements, set up interviews with the candidates and book meetings into Cesar’s diary.

The Outcome

Socialbakers successfully recruited three regional heads of sales, based in Turkey, Dubai and Mexico, which are all delivering huge returns on investment. In his first year with the business, the first placement achieved a stunning 12,500% gross revenue return on the placement fee paid. The second and third placements are also on course to produce similar returns.

The initial success of the first three placements has encouraged Socialbakers to work with Finlay James again to place a fourth regional head of sales in Brazil.

“There is no doubt the fee paid to Finlay James is the best fee I have ever paid. We clearly had to pay our sales guys a commission but for the fee paid the return has been amazing. The quality of our first placement was so high he managed to pay for himself within 45 days,” said Cesar.

“Although I had worked with Finlay James in the UK previously - and they had helped me hire some real superstars - I did initially think, on this occasion, I might need to use agencies in the regions where I was recruiting to get some local input – but they proved me wrong. I gave them a chance because I know they do operate across Europe and they found me some real gems.”

By developing a thorough understanding of what was required and how Cesar preferred to operate, Finlay James was able to limit his involvement in the recruitment process to only what he deemed necessary. This allowed him to concentrate on other priorities within his business.

This level of understanding meant that when Socialbakers identified the need to fill two separate vacancies during the recruitment process - for an account executive in London and a territory manager in Amsterdam - Finlay James was able to step in and quickly fill these roles as well.

What They Said

“[Finlay James] really know what I am looking for, how I hire and who I hire. They live and breathe the whole recruitment process with you – it is not something that can be replicated on email. I can understand why people develop such close relationships with them.”

“It is also great having Finlay James there to give candidates a third party perspective. I can sell the role to candidates, tell them they have a chance to be part of something big, but they can still get cold feet. It is reassuring for them when Finlay James is there to help them see the wider picture.”

Cesar Christoforidis, ROW Company Director, Socialbakers