Our client is a leading construction management firm. It created the position of Executive Vice President, Project Management/Construction Management (EVP, PM/CM) because its leadership team wanted to further establish and grow the company’s project and program management capabilities within the U.S. general building market, complementing its existing lump-sum general contracting and design/build expertise. Our client’s construction services arm did not have significant PM/CM experience, which promptd them to seek a national leader and authority who could help them to organize and expand their PM business.
Through initial discussions with our client, we understood that the role would be largely responsible for developing new business. With PM/CM services being highly consultative in nature, it would be essential for the EVP to establish, nurture, and grow strong relationships with existing, past, and potential clients to build a successful business. Operationally, the professional would also be responsible for managing internal PM/CM resources and several team members nationally who support the growth of specific vertical markets.
This search was a highly collaborative effort between Helbling and our client’s Chief Operating Officer (whom the EVP would report to), Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Human Resources. Our recruiting efforts were focused on organizations with PM/CM service components that operate across a variety of vertical and horizontal construction markets. We also selectively targeted construction management firms, seeking non-traditional candidates who could add unique value due to experience in roles outside of a pure construction environment.
By consulting with our client and understanding their needs, we were able to design an interview process that allowed them to meet a variety of candidates (who could add value in different ways), which helped our client to define their strategy and determine the most critical traits and experiences for the role.
While the location for this position was flexible, we focused on major markets where our client already had a presence or was interested in growing their presence. Due to the very limited pool of talent capable of performing in the EVP position, a national search was necessary, and the location flexibility enabled us to find an ideal candidate who did not require relocation.
Working closely with our client, Helbling attracted and secured a senior executive with more than 30 years of experience. During his career, the professional has held positions of increasing responsibility in contracting, project/program management, and consulting. In his positions, he had closed projects up to $600M, possessing both the rare soft skills and keen business acumen to win projects. His personality, team-first management style, diverse experience in multiple layers of the engineering/construction business, and ability to successfully cultivate new and existing client relationships were major factors that drove our client’s interest. He is described by colleagues as a talented team-builder who “truly understands the art of closing a deal”.
In his role with our client, the EVP has been described as aggressive in his approach, and his positive energy and results-driven mentality have led to several project wins and an increasingly positive culture within the organization. His first year successes include developing new client relationships nationally and leading major project pursuits often exceeding $100M in scope for the PM/CM arm of the Construction Services Division. He has also assisted in growing his team by attracting several senior-level strategic hires in various geographic regions to support the expanding PM business.
The EVP’s team and responsibilities has continued to expand after two major multi-billion dollar acquisitions finalize in 2014, and as he leads select international pursuits that will further the reach of his division.
This search was a highly collaborative effort between our team and our client. We focused recruitment on organizations with PM/CM service components that operate across a variety of vertical and horizontal construction markets and on targeted construction management firms. We sought non-traditional candidates who could add unique value due to experience in roles outside of a pure construction environment. By consulting with our client and understanding their needs, we were able to design an interview process that allowed them to meet a variety of candidates, which helped them to refine their strategy and determine the most critical traits and experiences for the role.Tom Dunn, Managing Director - Mid-Atlantic