Introduction

In 2021 Peeq was appointed to hire global consulting business, Equal Experts’ (EE), first Chief People Officer.

As an award winning firm, full of inspiring and passionate people, EE provided a very compelling opportunity for us to take to market.

From the outset we realised that this definitely was not about putting a ‘bum on a seat’. It was about being patient, reflecting, questioning and demonstrating an absolute commitment to finding the best talent.

Through a shared sense of calmness, a true working partnership and faith in the knowledge that it was always going to be an iterative process (!), Akiko Mumford was hired as EE’s first Chief People Officer in December 2021. Read on to hear more about EE’s journey and the approach that was taken to get to success.

Project Overview

Company Profile
Industry: Consulting
Company Size: 1,001-5,000 employees
Region: Global
About Equal Experts

Equal Experts is a global consultancy of senior practitioners. Experts in the design, delivery and scaling of customer software products and data. They work with customers to bring the change they need to sustain a culture of digital innovation.

Client Contact:
Thomas De Cad'oro Granier
Chief Executive Officer
Position being Hired:

Chief People Officer | London | £200,000

Solution Provided:
Permanent HR Recruitment

Challenge

Having grown to over 1,000 people globally, EE were ready to hire a People Leader who would bring coherence to the network; their employees, contractors and alumni.

EE’s CEO, Thomas de Cad’oro Granier, was looking for a business partner to help him articulate his vision and coach him towards the right outcomes.

Thomas, and the rest of his Leadership team, are infinitely passionate about their people. However, day to day distractions and the business’s growth called for a more dedicated focus on their people objectives.

They were seeking an individual who would improve the culture every day; a person who would help them as a guide, a coach and a torch bearer. Someone who would gain the network’s trust and help move towards concrete achievements; measuring and improving psychological safety so that teams can have challenging but safe conversations to reach happy outcomes.

EE were definitely NOT looking for someone who would tell people what to do. They needed a focus on self motivation and autonomy. An individual with an alternative approach to the traditional ‘larger company’ mentality.

Thomas shares his thoughts on why 2021 was the right time to make this hire, what he hoped the individual would achieve and what the barriers would be for their CPO.

Mark Barnicoat Peeq Headshot

“My biggest learning from this project was to never be afraid to stop, reflect and reconsider what it is you are all collectively looking for. ‘Iterative’ was a much used phrase - and for a reason..!”

Mark Barnicoat
Managing Partner @ Peeq

Solution

EE wasn’t a difficult opportunity to ‘sell’ to candidates. As an employer they offer autonomy, freedom and responsibility. They enable all their teams to bring the best version of themselves to work. Their ethos shines brightly and is a key differentiating factor to many larger, more corporate, organisations that are stymied by a more blinkered / traditional leadership style. Getting people to want to work for Thomas was the easy part.

What made this search challenging was uncovering and assessing against the intangible qualities that EE needed to see in their first CPO (in addition to the basic competencies you’d expect this level of HR hire to have).

They had a very clear picture of the ‘right person’ which we translated into numerous highly descriptive phrases, sentences, feelings and sentiments that everybody involved agreed upon.

We needed to demonstrate an absolute commitment to find the right person; to be there for the whole journey (irrespective of how long it took!). From the outset, our approach is always to ask searching questions to get beyond the obvious and to ensure we’re assessing against so much more than a ‘job spec’.

Alongside continuous coaching throughout the process, we also supplied deeper insight into candidates with psychometric assessment (a complimentary part of our service offering), high touch candidate care for ALL applicants, a dedicated landing page, video interviews and regular updates with key milestones.

Above all, what made this work was the closeness of partnership and ‘equalness’ in working towards a solution.

Thomas Grainer Peeq Headshot - Peeq

“I have been very impressed in all my dealings with Peeq - it has been the most amount of value add I have ever seen from a recruiter / head hunter agency - and Mark was a pleasure to work with to boot. Thank you for getting us there!”

Thomas De Cad'oro Granier
CEO @ Equal Experts

Results

8,520

Opportunity Views

1,039

Candidate Applications

1

Hired CPO

For this project, success took the form of a CPO hire (Akiko Mumford) who will positively impact the future of Equal Experts and help shape their narrative for many years to come.

Introducing Equal Experts’ First CPO

Akiko’s career has spanned over 25 years as a Global HR Leader, in addition to providing independent consultancy and coaching for Execs and their teams. Akiko combines an inquisitive and thoughtful approach with a genuine drive to shape a business and community that will inspire not only the current team, but future generations of EE people as well.

L

Akiko Mumford | Chief People Officer


"A month into my role I am still excited to wake up every morning and roll up my sleeves and dive in. Equal Experts has proven to be true to their values of transparency and the place that they and Peeq told me about throughout the interview process has proven to be accurate. I wasn’t sold a story that was untrue and there haven’t been surprises about things they were hiding under the carpet that you only find out about after you join. Equal Experts is a place that doesn’t just aim for its employees to be able to bring their whole self to work, they encourage and protect everyone’s ability to do so. I know I am lucky to get to be a part of their amazing culture and even luckier to be in the role that stewards and develops it!"

For further insights from Thomas on their first CPO hire read his welcome post on the Equal Experts website.

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