Q&A with Andrew Watson
Introduction to Goodfellow
Goodfellow’s mission is to partner with the world’s innovators to deliver scientific breakthroughs. Their specialist product range consists of over 150,000 items available to purchase online right now, backed by their guarantee of great service and high quality.
Over the years, they’ve built one of the most extensive collections of advanced scientific materials on the market. Their specialist products come in various forms:
With free global delivery and 48-hour despatch, their customers never have to wait long for the materials they need.
What was your recruitment challenge?
Goodfellow are a growing private equity backed business, with challenging growth targets. We’ve recently invested in building out our senior leadership team including a Chief Technology Officer and Sales Director, but we also identified the need to become more customer centric as a business. This led us to look for a strong Chief Marketing Officer to join our growing team.
The recruitment for this role was a real challenge. We started our search in the Summer of 2022, but 9 months later we were still unable to make an appointment. This is when we realised that we needed to use a specialist marketing recruitment agency, rather than the generalist recruitment agency that we had been using to-date.
Another challenge was homing in on the profile of the candidate that was going to be successful in this role. This Chief Marketing Officer position required a well-rounded candidate – someone with expertise across 3 distinct areas: branding, eCommerce, sales / lead generation.
The candidate also needed to be a senior leader to help define the marketing strategy, but also someone who was willing to be hands-on and get stuff done within a small but growing team. As we had just hired for other C-level positions, we wanted a candidate who would gel with the current executive team too.
What made you approach / work with Intelligent People?
Having found it difficult to recruit, we wanted to turn to a specialist marketing recruitment agency. I ran a Google search and found Intelligent People on the first page. I’d also had a couple of recommendations for Intelligent People too from a few different sources.
As part of my research, I did reach out to several recruitment agencies, comparing their pitch, capabilities, and skill sets. On speaking to Chris at Intelligent People, I was impressed by his knowledge of the industry, the candidate pool, and the recruitment landscape. Chris was very engaging and professional, acting in an advisory role. He wasn’t just looking to make a sale and get someone into the business quickly. Instead, he was genuinely interested in the brief and what was required to make the business a success, advising us on how to get there.
What services did Intelligent People provide?
Chris invested time to understand our needs: the kind of person we were after, the specific skills required, the role’s importance to our business, and any special considerations or limitations. We were also able to share with Chris what had worked in the previous recruitment efforts, and what hadn’t.
From there, we worked on honing the job description, skills mapping, competitor mapping, candidate profiling, skills mapping, and salary benchmarking.
We hired Intelligent People on a retained basis, meaning that we paid upfront for some services including marketing mapping and identifying potential candidate targets. We really liked that Intelligent People had a defined recruitment process: preparation, sourcing, approaching and engagement, selection and screening, shortlist, interview, and offer. The process was thorough and gave us a good feeling from the outset that Chris and his team knew what they were doing. The team were flexible too though, and able to go outside of the set process when we needed to at the last minute.
Would you recommend working with Intelligent People?
Yes. We’re happy with the outcome of the retained search for our Chief Marketing Officer position. The recruitment experience as a whole has helped us to learn the value of using a specialist marketing recruitment agency, rather than engaging a generalist.
We’ve hired an excellent CMO, who has settled in nicely to the role, getting to grips with the business, our products, and our learning more about our customers. I’d recommend Intelligent People to anyone hiring within this space and would be happy to use again if the opportunity arose.
We really liked that Intelligent People had a defined recruitment process: preparation, sourcing, approaching and engagement, selection and screening, shortlist, interview, and offer. The process was thorough and gave us a good feeling from the outset that Chris and his team knew what they were doing.