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Providing advisory services to the co-founders of a rapid growth start-up

8th November 2023

By Beth Wingad

What was the brief?

Since its foundation in 2019, IMP Software has experienced rapid growth of employees, customers, revenue, and market valuation. To give them the foundations for further expansion, the co-founders – Will and Dave – decided they needed some additional operational leadership expertise. This person would complement the commercial and technical skills of the co-founders, as well as constructively challenging the existing thinking in the business.
IMP required a leader who had experience of creating and implementing best in class operational strategies whilst staying true to the original culture and values of the organisation. 

This level of recruitment was new territory for IMP, so they looked to FMC to inform and advise them on their next steps. We provided a comprehensive advisory service to help them navigate such a critical appointment, and to make sure they ended up with exactly the person they needed in their team. This included insight into the design of the candidate profile, the most suitable talent pools, methods to ensure diversity, and compensation levels to attract the kind of person they were after. We gave them a full picture of what was out there!

So what did FMC do?

The first action was to have a thorough look at the competencies of the existing leadership team to help IMP define the key competencies they needed for the new appointment. Operational leadership is an extremely broad discipline (especially in a business with less than 50 employees!) so this was a critical part of defining the scope of the role. Essentially, we helped IMP define the priorities vs the 'nice to haves'.

Once we’d gathered this info, FMC supported the creation of the formal job description and candidate profile alongside presenting recommended target markets. We were able to use previous experience and successful projects to help benchmark talent and recommend how IMP could attract and access these profiles.  This included how to access experience and personality traits that would best align with the company culture and mission. 

'There was a lot of focus on really understanding what we wanted and during the back and forth on this during fact finding part of the engagement, it really helped to shape our thoughts on what this hire was and more importantly, the type of role and person that we were not looking for.' Dave Hall, Co-Founder, IMP Software

What was the outcome?

Within 3 weeks we had delivered a shortlist of candidates, and the successfully appointed Chief Operating Officer walked through the door within 2 months of the project commencing. 

Key to success was delivering a diverse shortlist through a highly targeted headhunting methodology. This meant that we gave IMP a range of candidates to choose from, including people that would bring a different perspective and approach. In our experience, the preferred profile is often still being informed and defined through the interview process and our headhunting services are designed to embrace this. This search with IMP was no exception!

As the headhunting project progressed FMC presented latest salary benchmarking data to help ensure the right decision could be made in terms of the blend and makeup of the compensation.  

"Once we arrived at the preferred candidate, FMC acted as a fantastic mediator during the negotiation process to understand the rationales and thoughts processes behind each of the moves and more importantly, providing market insight as to what we should be offering as a business and what a candidate should be expecting for a role of this type and seniority. This helped all parties align at a mutually acceptable position and secure us a fantastic candidate who has hit the ground running. Not only was the candidate a great fit for the prior experience and skillset that we were looking for, we have a unique culture at IMP and it was crucial that any candidate would firstly understand this and secondly, contribute to this moving forwards and we’re fortunate to have found somebody who has done both things!" Will Jordan, Co-Founder, IMP Software