Sample searches

Read more about our sample searches below:

Leadership Assessment

The role

Managing Director, Wholesale Business Unit. Global responsibility for one of the fastest-growing and most profitable areas of the company. Reporting to the CEO and a member of the global Executive Team.


Having built a highly successful team and a new business stream that accounted for a significant portion of the total profits for the Group, the incumbent MD Wholesale was due to return to his native country for personal reasons. As part of a Group-wide talent management initiative, a number of potential successors had been identified.

The company was keen to ensure that none of the potential internal candidates for the role should leave the business. Hence the need to deliver an assessment process that was not only seen to be fair and transparent, but also one which would help to identify future development priorities for those internal candidates that were not appointed to the role.


Archer Mann met several times with the Group Head of Human Resources and the CEO in order to prepare a brief and to formalise the key assessment criteria. We also spoke to the incumbent in the role to understand more about the dynamics of this particular area of the business and what factors had contributed to it’s recent success. Having analysed the personal characteristics of the individual and the current market conditions, it became apparent that the successor would have to consolidate the current team, stabilise the position of the business, and identify new areas for future growth.

The profile, therefore, would be more focussed on finding someone who could lay the foundations for long-term sustainability without losing any of the entrepreneurial spirit that had helped to build the business in recent years. Based on our understanding, we then prepared a formal job specification and a set of key assessment criteria which were signed-off by the Group CEO and Group Head of HR.

Over a period of two weeks Archer Mann conducted interviews with six internal candidates. Each candidate was assessed separately in two two-hour meeting with two Senior Partners from Archer Mann. The candidates were assessed against six pre-defined criteria, with specific observations on their recent achievements, leadership style, and ability to articulate a vision of the business both internally and externally.

The final report (prepared within a few days of the final assessment interview) assessed the Performance and Potential of each of the candidates, in order to help the company plan future career development priorities, as well as benchmarking the candidates against the general population of executives doing similar roles elsewhere, and identifying specific Strengths and Weaknesses.


The successful candidate stood out for his strength in all of the key assessment criteria. He was also a relative newcomer to the business, someone who understood the external factors and could provide an alternative perspective to challenge some of the existing assumptions. In a series of face-to-face meetings the unsuccessful candidates also received some specific career guidance and mentoring from Archer Mann as part of the final de-brief.

Vice President — Strategy and Business Transformation

The role

Vice President – Strategy and Business Transformation for a global leader in the speciality chemicals sector. Reporting to the CEO and to be based in Geneva or New Jersey.


The company had completed a major strategic review to review growth opportunities, product development, internal processes, culture, and market competitiveness with the objective to create a five year plan to become market leader across a range of key measures. It set this out in a transformation agenda, approved at board level and led by the executive team.

The organisation decided to appoint a senior , experienced executive to lead the program and to co-ordinate the various initiatives required for successful implementation. The individual would require experience implementing a major global transformation of the same scale plus the strategic and interpersonal skills necessary to bring the organisation together around the need for change and transformation.


Archer Mann met with the CEO and other members of the Exec. Team to understand the transformation agenda and the requirements for the person to lead it. This included background to the requirements for change, the key initiatives and expected outcomes.  We also reviewed the specific experiences and skills that would be required to successfully undertake such a role.

As it was a new role there was some uncertainty regarding the background and industry experience required, so this meeting was very important to determine the search scope and process. Archer Mann then produced the initial job description which was signed off by the CEO and his team, and then produced a target list of sectors, organisations and the position we would approach regarding the role. The initial list was quite broad to reflect the wish to look across a number of sectors and organisations where such a transformation had been successfully undertaken.

The search team was agreed and then began the process of identifying experienced individuals to enter into discussion with, based on the assignment brief produced by Archer Mann. The discussion were informative additionally as we were able to speak with people who had done such a role and learn from the critical requirements for success in such a transformation, which we could share directly with our client. The client was updated with a weekly report, providing candidate background and other relevant feedback.

A long list of 12 candidates was finalised reflecting the diversity required as well as the global scope. The long list included 7 different nationalities, based in Europe, the Far East and US. As the client wanted to meet several different candidates for the role, 6 were selected for interview by the CEO and key executives.

The overall quality of the short list was strong, resulting in a broad consensus that these were the candidates the company was hoping for. After a lot of discussion it was narrowed down to 2, and after further meetings the final candidate identified. Archer Mann facilitated discussions with the candidate, took up direct, high level references and the appointment was made within three months of starting the search process.


A very experienced, female candidate was appointed based in the company’s New Jersey location. She successfully led the Transformation and strategic initiatives for the organisation over a number of years with excellent feedback regarding contribution and cultural fit with the company.