Driving strategic change
At the beginning of 2005, French Thornton, a management consultancy specialising in strategic programme management and enterprise architecture services, decided to increase its capability in enterprise architecture to meet rising demand from clients. It had previously relied on a network of associates to provide these services.
It turned to Harvey Nash to help find six new recruits. Harvey Nash provided a standard search and selection service, along with advice on the role profiles and the levels of salaries that would attract the required calibre of candidate. It also persuaded French Thornton to consider candidates from a corporate as well as a consultancy background.
There were a number of challenges to the assignment. For example, suitable candidates were in short supply and, though French
Thornton had been established for ten years, many potential candidates regarded it as too small to offer strong career opportunities. Initially, therefore, Harvey Nash consultant Sam Gordon had to sell French Thornton on the strength of its vision and potential rather than the existing structure. However, fate stepped in in the form of an acquisition of French Thornton’s parent company Serco Consulting.
“We had to manage the uncertainty of that acquisition and the subsequent integration of French Thornton with Serco Consulting, which came half way through the assignment,” says Gordon. “We were very open about it and sold it as a positive advantage, and fortunately the candidates saw it that way too. As a result, no one was put off – not even the two candidates who were at ‘at offer’ stage as the deal came to light.”
French Thornton director Simon Jewell says that Harvey Nash’s strong understanding of the role profiles, combined with the high calibre of candidates it fielded for interview, have allowed the consultancy to build a highly capable team that will allow it to take the Enterprise Architecture business forward.