Industry Client - Investigation prior to C-level executive offer

(Case is made anonymous to protect real client and for us to comply with non-disclosure agreement.)

The situation

Filling C-level or specialists' vacancies is a hard job for every board. This is why headhunting companies are a must for every challenging placing task at hand and this is why their researchers always work to their limits.

And when industry becomes fiercly competitive, the job is critical, and managers may continue to receive their paycheck from their former employer or may not even have the qualification for the critical task at hand, then it is time to call for professional investigators with backgrounds in secret service and law enforcement prior to making a decision.

The following case description (made anonymous and abbreviated) is an example we worked on (in the year 2005). A critical vacancy needed to be filled in a highly competitive industry, where industrial espionage and all other kinds of economical crime were on the edge to prevail. The board of management decided to ask a well-known headhunting company to suggest candidates. These candidates were introduced to us for in-depth background check.


The project

Starting point for our investigation were the executive summaries and profiles (usually) prepared by headhunters as well as the CVs as obtained from the candidates. Complete background checks in different countries on all five candidates were conducted starting with cross-checking all information as given in the CV and continuing with information on position, salaries, and others as obtained by the headhunter. Furthermore, psychologic profiles were prepared based on the way the candidates handled different challenges in different stages of their career as well as how they were perceived by a larger number of people, with whom they stood in different relationships over a period of about 15 years.


The results

Out of five candidates, the findings of two indicated serious concerns regarding integrity. Our findings indicated that our client would do best to abandon these candidates from further consideration. One candidate made wrong statements on his - at that time - current position and income. Psychologic profiles based on the way they reacted to different problems throughout their carreer were part of the package our client received.


The consequences

Top-management accepted our findings in full. The remaining two candidates were invited to undergo several interview rounds, after which one candidate got an offer and accepted. This successful candidate is still in his position after three years...