Our client is a leading international manufacturer of energy-efficient HVAC products and systems. With a presence in over 100 countries, their work focuses on the design, manufacture and distribution of air conditioning, heating, and ventilation solutions for commercial, industrial and residential use.

We were enlisted by the client as they were looking to launch their first expansion into France. Whilst the firm had numerous teams in other countries across Europe, there were no personnel based in the Hexagon and – considering substantial growth in demand for heat pumps in the region – they were keen to get some feet on the ground to effectively capture this demand. Heat pumps are a core product range for our client, so it was a key strategic objective to increase their share of the market there. This expansion was to be spearheaded by a General Manager who could then help to lead and grow a more substantial subsidiary over subsequent months.



Finding someone with the skills and experience to pioneer a new regional subsidiary from scratch was no mean feat. The successful candidate would need substantial knowledge and experience in navigating the local HVAC market, with an existing network and market presence to set the new team up for success. They would need the ability to lead and grow a diverse team comprising numerous functions, and the client was also keen that they be junior enough to grow and develop with the business.

When we first entered the scene, the hiring team had been struggling to fill the position for several months. Despite having interviewed tens of candidates, none offered the right set of skills and experience within budget. Numerous senior leaders were involved in the interviews and this prolonged process was consuming excessive time and capacity. With growing pressure from shareholders as the expansion was becoming overdue, the team were understandably frustrated and keen to successfully fill the role.



We met with the key hiring managers to ensure we had a thorough understanding of both the role itself and the firm’s broader ambitions and objectives that the position would contribute to. We conducted a thorough search of the relevant talent market; reaching out to previously untouched but active candidates, as well as those who were not actively seeking a new position. We also conducted a thorough review of the interview process and supported the hiring team to strip back interviewing to a three-stage process and clarify who needed to be involved at each stage. This ensured senior leaders were only engaged where necessary without time being unnecessarily expended.

Our market search and candidate screening yielded a shortlist of four highly relevant candidates in just three weeks. They were in fact, so suitable that all four went on to second-stage interviews and shortly afterwards, one was offered the position. We coached all candidates through the interview processes to maximise outcomes, alleviating any concerns to reduce the risk of dropouts.



The selected candidate was successfully onboarded and has now been in post for almost six months. In this short amount of time, he has already built out a team of eight, tapping into his own network to operationalise this new subsidiary with sales, after-sales, marketing and tech support professionals. It’s clear that selecting someone who was already well-established and respected in the French HVAC market meant that our client has benefitted from not just their skills, but also their network and connections in the region.

We were so pleased to put forward such an exceptional candidate who met all the team’s requirements. The successful individual had not been actively searching out a new role and so would never have applied without our intervention. Our work to gain candidate buy-in – explaining the opportunity and advocating for both our client and the position – was key to getting this hire across the line.

The success of this project also meant that the client has now enlisted our help to fill a further eight positions in subsidiaries across Europe, as they continue to grow their sales and technical teams across the continent. For example, we have since helped them to hire several UK-based account managers, dispelling preconceptions and identifying red flags to get the best people on board.



Looking for hvac and energy talent and executive search services? Why not book a consultation with one of our specialist recruitment consultants to discover how you too, can secure world-class talent at speed.

In the meantime, feel free to download our specialist talent acquisition case study to share with your internal talent team.