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6 February 2012
When Amy Coupal found out she was pregnant with twins, she told her Board of Directors that they needed to start looking for a replacement – and fast. Executive Director at Curriculum Services Canada (CSC), Amy planned to take a year-long leave and wanted to ensure the organization was left in good hands. And when no one from her internal management team stepped forward, the Board of Directors turned to Odgers Berndtson to help them find an interim Executive Director.
“I trusted Odgers from the outset,” says Amy who solicited several proposals before the Board of Directors decided to hire Odgers Interim. “The way they outlined the process gave me a lot of confidence that they really knew what they were doing. They understood that finding the right person was about both skill set and maintaining the culture. We got a candidate who is a great fit and who is really invested in our success.”
A rigorous process
Having never recruited an interim executive before, Amy says working with Jane Matthews, President of Odgers Interim, was a great experience for her. “I really have to give credit to Jane. We were very particular about what we were looking for and we had a finite timeline. I felt like Jane genuinely wanted all of us to feel good about the outcome. She really went the distance.”
Amy also credits a rigorous process with landing them the right candidate. “The Board and I really liked having Odgers involved throughout, including during the candidate interviews. The team was very thorough with candidate selection and reference checks. I also liked that the process was very adaptive – it changed along the way to adapt to what we were learning about the candidates and who could meet our needs.”
A fresh perspective
What many organizations don’t realize is that hiring an Interim executive has many benefits beyond just replacing someone on leave or filling a gap when a leader leaves suddenly. It can also be a great way to bring a specialized skill set on board without the commitment of hiring a full time employee. Interim candidates also bring new ideas and perspectives to an organization.
“A fresh set of eyes is always a good thing,” says Amy. “In this case we are getting the benefit of a new person but with continuity. I know that Michael, our new Interim Executive Director, will not do things the same way as me and he will ask questions that I wouldn’t even think of asking. This will facilitate evolution and innovation in our organization. Thanks to Odgers, I can honestly say that I can now go on maternity leave with confidence, knowing that there is someone in place that I trust.”