Our client, a global technology giant, asked us to help them build a global investigations team during a period of intense change and scrutiny due to a corporate monitorship imposed by the US Department of Justice.

Our client had a skeletal team of investigators scattered across the world. We needed to build an independent Global corporate and Government Investigations team across four geographical hubs. Headcount would increase by 80%, and we needed to find a diverse group of corporate investigators with various skills and backgrounds, from qualified white collar litigation attorneys to audit, risk and compliance professionals with exceptional track records in running corporate investigations.

We set up a task force of an experienced Senior Director, our Global Head of Research and an Associate to manage this client and workflow. We simultaneously ran multiple global searches to find the best investigations talent for each continent.

The Challenges

  • Supply vs Demand: Due to increased enforcement action from the US government, many companies brought what was traditionally reserved for external counsel in-house. Multiple clients were looking for the same type of profile, and due to the fine imposed by US authorities, budgets for hiring were significantly reduced. We were under pressure to find and secure the best candidates for budgets, which were not always hugely competitive.
  • Speed: We had to quickly identify, approach, and engage the best talent. This meant that we had to interview a large number of candidates in a short window to ensure that regardless of the number of searches, we were still presenting the best and brightest.
  • Unique Experience: We prioritised candidates who had previous experience working under the demands of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement. We looked for language skills and international experience where possible, which gave us a smaller candidate pool. We also had to manage concerns around the sustainability and scope of the role and function post-monitorship.
  • Expectation management: Our client was under intense scrutiny and had a particular idea of the type of profile required for each search. However, the flat team structure meant there were few leadership opportunities, and the limited budgets meant that we had to run data-driven searches to manage and guide our client from the start of the search on what could be achieved, given the restrictions. Where a role was business critical in this newly created function, we also helped the hiring manager to build a business case to regrade a few select roles to be able to attract and retain the right talent at a critical time.
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The Outcome

During this global functional team build, we identified between 80-100 candidates for each hub. We approached between 30-40 candidates for each search, and after a 2-stage interview process with our Global Research Head and, subsequently, Senior Director, we shortlisted between 4-5 of the best candidates for each search. One candidate from every shortlist was then offered.

Our client was so delighted with our expertise and results that they expanded our collaboration to include senior-level legal hires and specialist compliance buildout, including Third Party Risk, Enterprise Risk Management, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption and Compliance Culture & Engagement. This resulted in placements from the US to LATAM to the Far East.