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New search & interim firm sees technology as a key differentiator

New search & interim firm sees technology as a key differentiator

Executive Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

As part of the Boyden international network, Boyden UK was one of the group’s most successful offices.

Founded as Ellis Holley Maxwell in 2002, the Executive Search and Interim Practice grew from placing senior IT roles to providing executive recruitment services for more than 600 of the world’s leading brands.

Despite clear success – 85% of Boyden UK’s revenue came from repeat business - the firm, set up by John Ellis, Cathy Holley, Vicky Maxwell Davies and Lisa Gerhardt, recently announced that its 50+ employees are leaving the Boyden network and rebranding as Savannah Group.

The team is re-establishing as a firm that focuses on offering a bespoke end-to-end client experience, leveraging technology to deliver an integrated Search and Interim service that is personal and efficient, wherever in the world the client is based.

As John Ellis, Managing Partner at Savannah Group, explained: “Fundamentally, the Executive Search process hasn’t changed for decades. While candidates and clients have evolved in their use of technology, the industry hasn’t always kept up. The prevalence of LinkedIn and the rise of in-house recruitment teams has led to the belief that organisations can access talent more readily.

“Unlike the direction that much of the search industry is heading, where they compete with in-house teams, we are offering a bespoke service which allows businesses to choose which parts of our service they want to use and in what order. As an independent and agile firm, Savannah believes it is well-placed to deliver that tailored experience.”

“We did a considerable amount of research with our clients to understand what they were looking for in a modern Search and Interim provider,” Ellis continued. “The feedback we got was that they wanted global coverage, access to the best talent for short-term and long-term transformation, a firm they can build a strong personal relationship with and increasing levels of agility and flexibility.”

For this to be achieved, Ellis explained that Savannah needed to re-think their use of technology and partner with a platform provider that had evolved to meet the multi-faceted, globalised challenges of the modern business landscape.

After a careful review period, Invenias emerged as the platform of choice to allow them to deliver on their vision.

“The selection of technology for an executive search and interim firm is a crucial decision. To be able to deliver a seamless, yet tailored, service on searches around the world, we knew we needed a state of the art system that was intuitive, robust and secure. The Invenias platform has been designed, very much, with today’s executive search market in mind,” he explains, “it offers a range of significant benefits, particularly from a CRM and management information perspective.”

“Clients, understandably, want regular updates on progress and we have always prided ourselves on the quality, thoroughness and regularity of the reports we send. This level of reporting does, however, require a large amount of internal resource, so we were looking for a way to maintain that level of quality while making the process more efficient. The Invenias platform greatly improves the reporting process, which frees up a significant amount of my team’s time.”

And, as Savannah Group moves away from the Boyden network, Ellis is keen that the firm not only meets its client’s needs but becomes a market-leader in usability, adaptability and agility.

Alex Martin, Head of Marketing at Savannah Group, explains: “Consumer expectations have matured, with clients and candidates valuing greater transparency and immediacy. Savannah will be a modern, market-leader in this aspect.”

One way in which the firm plans to do this is by allowing its clients to access reports and data from a variety of devices, across multiple time-zones – meeting the needs of today’s on-the-go executives and allowing easier collaboration on international assignments.

Martin highlighted that up to 80% of website traffic over the next three to four years will come from smartphone and tablet devices. An essential part of the Savannah launch, and it's positioning as a modern Search and Interim brand, was to optimise and streamline the mobile experience. Invenias’ cross-media presentation made it an obvious choice when choosing which platform to use.

However, before Savannah could start using the Invenias platform, it had to migrate over 50 current users, as well as the entirety of the firm’s data, onto the system. It’s a process Ellis described as “straightforward, even though the firm only gave Invenias two months to complete the task”.  

Ellis said: “We’ve been impressed by the way the migration project was carried out. The smooth running was critical when trying to minimise business impact, in such a short space of time.

“We offer our clients global reach and deep expertise in their specialist areas, integrated search and interim practices, and access to the top ten per cent of global talent. I am convinced that in a rapidly changing and competitive market Invenias will give us an edge, allowing us to work efficiently and transparently with clients to help them source business critical talent.”

David Grundy, CEO at Invenias, believes that there is an affinity and understanding between the two firms that the executive search marketplace can embrace to “bring about meaningful change”.

Grundy concluded: “There is a real desire from clients and candidates to do things differently. Like Savannah Group, we wanted to bring change and show people that there is an alternative way of working that delivers real value.”

For more information, visit: www.savannah-group.com or www.invenias.com.