Recruiting a CIO for an insurance company

The employer is a pioneer and leader in direct insurance in Poland.

The period of the described project: 2nd half 2021

Cooperation continues until today.

Challenge

The company initially approached us to find a Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but over time there was a decision to change and look for a person for the position of Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Executive Search recruiting is not an uncomplicated job, especially in such a demanding industry as IT. People in C-level positions are expected to be highly versatile. They should have a technical background (e.g., programming or administration), project/team management experience, operational knowledge, and strong interpersonal skills.

C-level candidates often already work in similar positions and carving out a gap in their calendars is quite a challenge for them. Time matching is even more difficult, especially when you consider that interviews are held with people with similar profiles, such as a director, board member, or CEO.

Solution

We knew that due to the profile of the desired person, the process would be demanding. Before we began the search, we tackled the preparation of an extensive brief. During discussions with the client, we asked many clarifying questions, such as:

  • Who will the CIO report to and who will report to him?

  • Would Senior Managers be suitable candidates for this role?

  • Does the job description mention programming or DevOps experience, or is experienced in any specific programming language preferred?

Since we were looking for a highly competent person, the screening performed by our recruiter was very meticulous. To contact potential candidates, we mainly used the InMails option on LinkedIn to include as many details about the offer as possible in the very first message.

Even at the initial stage, we took care to ask questions from various areas to see if the person had the required technical skills and leadership experience. It was also important to us whether the person was confident enough and able to defend his or her opinion because to be in such a position you need exactly these kinds of qualities. For this reason, the first screening lasted about 1h (usually this time is about 30-40 minutes).

Due to the challenge with synchronizing calendars even more strongly than in other projects, we took care of communication between the client and the candidate. Such a demanding position mandates a high degree of mobilization and efficient action, so the recruiter was in constant contact with both parties and kept them informed of the proceedings of the process. Thus, ensuring that the candidate felt suitable care. In addition, we discussed with both the candidate and the client what meetings could be held at fewer standard hours, such as 7:00 am or after 6:00 pm.

Results

The number of candidates we sent was lower than the processes for other companies because we selected them very carefully. We presented 6 candidates to the client. The recruitment was successful, and the selected candidate's resume was presented to the employer on November 15, and the employer accepted the offer on January 20. The new CIO had a 3-month notice period, so he started work in Q2 2022.