“We’re a medium-sized company. We handle the physical and digital distribution of 70 million books a year. We’re state-of-the-art in terms of technology. Consequently, for the CFO vacancy we were looking for someone who would not only perform the management tasks, but who would also delve into our processes and try to hone them. A large part of our sales is generated from stocks of publishers that we hold on consignment. The sales revenue derived from these stocks is complicated by the debtor risk. That means you have to go after debtors all the time.
M&L rightly challenged us on the job profile, prompting us to define it more precisely. Then they went to work. M&L does not simply pick candidates from a list, but comes up with candidates with real added value. What does the company need? Does the candidate fit in with the company and vice versa?
Based on these discussions, the longlist was reduced to a shortlist of four names.
To prepare for the interviews, you receive a short biography and a CV. The candidate’s personality is discussed. Are they a good fit for the vacancy? What are this person’s strengths and weaknesses? Mattijs Kropholler of M&L discusses that with you in detail. Then you hold the interviews and feed back your observations to M&L, who then request a response from the candidates. In our case, there were two left then. Both with strong subject-matter expertise and well capable of doing this job technology-wise. Any difference in expertise? One had just a little more relevant work experience. So that meant we had a really difficult choice to make. The final review together with Kropholler was very valuable. He’s persistent and persuasive. If he has a different opinion, he expresses it. In terms of content and process, it was an excellent search by M&L.”
We are convinced that true leadership makes the difference between succes and failure.