Continental Selects IMSA Poland as Partner in Search of Drive Solutions CVT Manager IMSA Poland is represented by Carpenter Consulting. 
The challenge
Continental, a leading global automotive manufacturing company specialising in tyres, brake systems, interior electronics, chassis and fuel usage optimisation, approached Carpenter Consulting (member of IMSA International Executive Search network) for help in search of a Drive Solutions CVT (Commercial Vehicle Tyres) Manager. The search project was conducted due to planned roll-out into new markets (including Poland) of an innovative Continental’s solution called Integrated Fleet Management (IFM). The IFM is a value added service helping companies managing truck fleets with emergency situations related to tire breakdowns. IFM is an end-to-end service including telematics for tracking and data collection, back-office support, data analytics and coordinated network of technicians that are able to help on-site in case of emergency.

CASE STUDY – main facts

Customer details
Customer: Continental – leading automotive manufacturing company
Location: Germany / Poland
Industry: Automotive / Industrial
Key Points
  • Customer search for a perfect candidate for innovative service started within the organisation
  • IMSA Poland recommended additional three persons
  • Customer hired one of the candidates provided by IMSA Poland
  • The whole project took 3 months to complete
Due to the aforementioned characteristics of the of the rolled out IFM service the candidate should exhibit broad skill set and deep knowledge in the areas:
  • General management & project management background
  • Operational experience in the functional position in marketing/sales/R&D or customer service in automotive or IT industry
  • Past experience in multicultural environment
  • Knowledge of software systems supporting key processes with fleet customer relevance
  • Understanding of relevant client segments
The greatest challenge was finding the sweet spot between the right amount of technical expertise, knowledge of complex IT systems, experience in sales and all of this preferably in the automotive industry. Additionally the job required moving instantly between 2 countries during 12 months of time, which appeared to be a major setback for many qualified candidates. What also needs to be noted is that automotive industry in Europe during the years 2008-2014 experienced a major crisis related to the global financial downturn (2014 was the first year since 2008 when the number of newly registered cars increased year-to-year). This recession caused an outflow of competent staff from the automotive in favour of other industries which furtherly increased the complexity of the search project.
Why IMSA Poland
Members of the IMSA International Executive Search partner network are all boutique retained search firms. We provide our customers with an international level of executive search services with access to a broad network of potential candidates. Our search processes are structured and qualified - typical for largescale executive search firms. Thanks to lean approach to management and elastic organisational structure IMSA partners offer much better responsiveness than large corporates. IMSA Poland is a top Polish executive search firm recognised by its customers and in yearly rankings of executive search companies. IMSA Poland has broad experience in finding candidates in various areas including sales, marketing, logistics, administration, IT, law, procurement.

What we did

Continental’s search for a perfect candidate started within the organisation. There were two persons identified internally. Our customer wanted also to verify the options available on the market. Using our extensive network we have identified a pool of suitable candidates. The whole process consisted of following steps:
  1. Phone screening during which we have verified the basics: general communication skills and fluent, working proficiency in English.
  2. After the phone screening selected candidates where invited to a one-on-one meeting with IMSA Poland consultant. During this meeting we have conducted a thorough interview to verify if the person fits into required competence and skills matrix. The candidate leading change, stakeholder and customer focus, problem solving and driving execution, constant learning attitude and teamwork fostering.
  3. The first two steps of the process resulted in additional three candidates added to the pool. The next step that followed was an individual assessment of each of the candidates (both internal and those found by IMSA Poland). The assessment furtherly verified competences using the role-playing techniques involving arranged employee talks and customer negotiations. This time around the assessment involved several assessors from both IMSA Poland and Continental: Monika Ciesielska-Rutkowska Managing Partner IMSA Poland, Marija Mrdjan Executive Search Consultant IMSA Poland and a Anna Podrazka HR Manager Continental Poland, a Sales Manager CVT – Stanislaw Rosol Continental Poland and HR Programme Manager CVT Solutions Continental Germany – Christina Budde.
  4. After the final round of assessments Continental accepted one of the candidates provided by IMSA Poland.
  5. The project started in March 2017 and was finalised in June 2017.

Words from our customer

Anna Podrazka, HR manager of Continental Poland shared her insights on the programme in Continental and involvement and impact of IMSA Poland: This International Qualification Program "Drive Solutions CVT!" is our investment into Continental’s most important asset: the people in our organization who will drive our change from Tire Manufacturer to Solutions Provider. The program is the first of its kind, bringing together eight people from different countries to be ambassadors for digital solutions. The twelve months of training focused on building up broad-based knowledge in digital solutions for transportation companies through workshops, training courses and collaborating on projects. Within their market organizations, the candidates assume their role as change ambassadors and share their enthusiasm for the new strategic route; understanding the opportunities and challenges of the specific customer situation, building a network with the local colleagues and supporting them and preparing the market entry for ContiConnect. The ‘Drive Solutions CVT!’ pool is an outstanding representation of diversity for reasons more than just gender and nationality. The team has a wide range of expertise, including Six Sigma methodology, experiential marketing, tire and technical product sales, research and development, software and application development and requirements engineering. We are proud that Poland is a part of this endeavour! Thanks to IMSA Poland, we have a worthy and valuable representative.

The impact / results

The candidate that our customer finally engaged was one suggested and selected by IMSA Poland. The chosen person will take part in a 12-month long, multicultural professional programme in Continental’s headquarters in Hannover, Germany. The programme involves personnel from the following countries: the US, Brazil, Poland and Baltics, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and the Nordics. After completion of the programme, where the candidate will acquire knowledge on innovative IFM solutions, tools and systems, the person will come back to Poland to play a role of ambassador and innovator in the Polish branch of the company and will be responsible for delivery of appointed sales quotas.

If you are looking for executives in the automotive business, check  the Global Offices section at our website, in order to find necessary contact details to one of our Executive Partners. We will help you finding the perfect candidate.