About Commvault Inc.:
Founded in 1996, Commvault is the recognised leader in data backup and recovery. Commvault’s converged data management solution redefines what backup means for the progressive enterprise through solutions that protect, manage and use their most critical asset — their data. Commvault employs more than 2,600 highly-skilled individuals across markets worldwide, is publicly traded on NASDAQ (CVLT), and is headquartered in Tinton Falls, New Jersey in the United States.
We promoted our Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific to a new global role as part of Commvault Advance initiative, a multi-pronged transformation initiative designed to drive sustained business performance and accelerate the company’s growth. This prompted a need to backfill the position quickly for a region that is fast growing.
Commvault Advance began implementation over the course of the past 18 months. With this plan in place and priorities defined, I knew we needed a progressive leader, someone non-traditional and open-minded, who could take us through our transformation into the new growth era.
It is critical that we have a new hiring process that will attract the right Talent that fit into our transformation plan. The challenge lay in convincing key stakeholders that we need a new hiring process that will attract, engage and entice these candidates to want to join us.
I decided to revamp the way we did our job descriptions and made them a little different from what we normally do. Instead of outlining the responsibilities for the role, candidates were given candid insights (for e.g. mindset, values, business direction, challenges) into the company instead.
The aim was to present Commvault as an open and forward-thinking organisation that is receptive to innovation and new ideas.
Given that we were using an external search consultancy, there were a number of key stakeholders that needed to be bought in. They included our Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales and our Global Head of HR.
The key to getting the leadership team across the line was to position the hiring campaign in the same business terms as our transformation. Using language in the pitch that resonated with them and aligned to the briefs they themselves had given to their own teams made it easy for them to see what I was trying to do and convinced them to jump on board.
We reviewed the job descriptions we had been using and agreed that they were stale, dated, and did not articulate the essence and priorities of our transformative initiative, Commvault Advance.
So, I rewrote the job description into a brief and reiterated that if we were going to stay true to who we were, the candidates needed a candid, open and honest account from the person who would be their manager.
These were some of the questions I asked our Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales:
- What’s the history of Commvault, what do they need to know that they can’t find out on Google?
- What’s the Commvault journey so far – the good, the bad and the ugly?
- Where are we going in terms of our business direction?
- What does growth mean to our leaders and our company?
- What are the challenges facing us and what can the successful candidate expect in his/her first three, six & twelve months?
- How does this role get measured, not in metrics but in value?
- What are the key behaviours they will demonstrate for us to assess success
- What are you like to work with, honestly, at your most stressed and your most energised?
With this crucial information in hand, our consultancy was then able to brief the shortlisted candidates.
The campaign closed within 11 weeks – from briefing to offer acceptance – showing a record time taken for an executive hire. That’s five weeks less than an average executive search campaign according to our consultancy.
There was full engagement from candidates, most said the unconventional language and format of the brief was eye catching and they appreciated that it came from the hiring manager who was a senior executive and in his own words.
Candidates also described the brief as well written, refreshing and one that provided them with a clear view of both the current and future state of the business globally and in Asia Pacific. The direct language also gave them good insights into the company culture, as well as the expectations from the hiring manager.
Candidates liked the relaxed tone and the honesty shown. They could come in to the interview with a clear mindset of what we were looking for and where they could add value. It gave them insight into their potential new boss that they wouldn’t otherwise had until later in the process.
It is worth noting that many of the candidates hadn’t heard about us before and said we would definitely be a company that they are keeping an eye on in future.
OUR %$#@ UP
As this was my project, I learnt that I had to accept other people’s insights and commentaries in to my writing and let go, to let it evolve to be the piece it was.
I also had to really work my influencing skills. Commvault is a fantastic company that has never said “no” to me but this was new and very different, so it took quite a bit of convincing that this was the way to go to get the right candidate.
Go with your gut and stick to your guns.
It would have been easy for me to be an order taker and stick to conventional job descriptions without rocking the boat. To be pushing the boundaries and getting the executives to think differently and the positive feedback from the candidates was the best satisfaction.
I love to get creative in the go-to-market phase and if you’d like to see the full brief, brainstorm some ideas or get some coaching on your influencing skills to change the way your company does it, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a Talent story to share? Drop us a note at email@example.com with a brief summary and we’ll get back to you!
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