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Group Commercial Controller - Case Study

Group Commercial Controller - Case Study


Morgan Philips Executive Search were retained by a market leading international professional services consultancy to assist the CFO in appointing a Group Commercial Controller. 

This was a business critical role that not only required a financially astute chartered accountant with extensive post qualified experience, but also an individual who could assume day to day responsibility for a large and internationally dispersed team.

The Challenge

Having supported this client with a number of senior appointments previously (including having placed the CFO), we were acutely aware of how high they set the bar when hiring executive talent. This search was further complicated by the uncertainty created as a result of a major organisational restructure that directly impacted the incoming individual’s remit and team. In addition to this, the successful candidate would need to act as a business partner to the board whilst being groomed as the CFO’s successor.

In working towards finding suitable candidates for this exacting brief, we clearly needed to identify a candidate with a certain approach to their work and the ability to deliver against the backdrop of significant ambiguity. It was imperative that the insight we gained on each candidate went beyond the traditional realms.


During the briefing with the client, we advised that all shortlisted candidates undertake psychometric and personality profiling assessments in order to gain the required level of insight. Once the shortlist had been identified, the chosen candidates completed the Pulse assessments which incorporate behavioral preferences, motivational drivers and cognitive assessments.

Prior to the first interview, the CFO and HR Director were furnished with a selection report for each candidate which incorporated their data a long with tailored suggested questions probing potential de-railers.

The insight provided by the assessments in tandem with our comprehensive screening reports enabled the client to appoint the successful candidate who matched the challenging brief.

To facilitate the candidate’s onboarding and integration in to this new challenging role, the client also received a coaching report on the candidate, based on the assessments they completed.


“I have worked with the recruiter for a number of years now and I always find his support and ability to find the right candidates invaluable. He has invested time in understanding our company and my requirements and understands that candidate fit is vital for the future success of the person in the role.

He assisted me in defining the role title (to appeal to good candidates in the market) and then in writing the job specification requirements to bring out the real traits I needed for a Group Commercial Controller role, focusing on what success would look like. I received an excellent candidate pack with the shortlist of candidates containing their CV’s and a summary of why they would be suitable for the role.

The assessments gave insight over and above the CV’s and this was brought to life by the recruiter during a follow up call ahead of the interviews. As in many assessments it required human interpretation to really understand the results and the resulting potential questions for the candidates meant the interview could be focused on any areas to explore further. My advice to other hiring managers like me is to read the report carefully as it is very accurate. It is very easy to overlook some traits assuming you can change them easily and that may not be the case!

I have been working with my chosen candidate for two months and I can confirm that the coaching report and analysis is very helpful in supporting my approach to his development.”

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