Multiple construction executives
for a heavy civil joint venture and public-private partnership

Helbling worked in collaboration with our long-term client, a heavy civil contractor, to secure multiple construction executives for a joint venture partnership that is leading one of the Southeast's largest infrastructure projects, which is also the largest greenfield P3 in the U.S. to date.

Our client was awarded a $2.5B design build infrastructure project in the Southeast as the lead player in a joint venture and public-private partnership (P3). The project, which is the largest transportation project in the history of the region and the largest greenfield P3 in the U.S. market, serves as a demonstration of how P3s are viable solutions to U.S. critical infrastructure needs. Most importantly for our client, it provides an opportunity to illustrate the firm’s capabilities and expertise in the P3 infrastructure market. Therefore, the project’s eventual success will have a tremendous impact on our client’s organization and its future involvement with P3s nationwide.

Helbling was selected as the only executive search firm to secure talent for this project. Because our client was part of a joint venture and P3, we also worked with their partners to secure key executives.

Roles filled with the concessionaire included Commercial Legal Director/General Counsel, Senior Construction Manager, and Senior Project Engineer.

Roles with the heavy civil contractor included Senior Project Managers, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Managers, Project Engineers, and other operations professionals.

Helbling’s search strategy entailed targeting architectural, engineering, and construction firms as well as general contractors and construction managers. Due to the project’s significance, size, and complexities, upon initiating recruitment, Helbling focused on professionals with design build experience on large infrastructure projects valued at more than $100M and who had experience working with the Department of Transportation. Candidates who had previous exposure to P3s were considered highly valuable.

The search process was a highly collaborative joint effort between Helbling, our client’s Human Resources Manager, and other executives within the joint venture. It was required that all joint venture partners interview candidates and agree on all hires. Therefore, to expedite the interview process, Helbling orchestrated multiple mass interview sessions in which we would have five or six key executives from the various organizations travel to the project’s metropolitan area to interview ten to fifteen candidates at a time.

Over the course of five months, Helbling was successful in securing multiple professionals for diverse roles with both our client’s joint venture and the concessionaire. Nearly all professionals were residents of the state with only one requiring a relocation.

Concessionaire placements:

  • Commercial Legal Director/General Counsel. The selected candidate provides leadership in ensuring compliance as required by project documents and is directly involved in complex business transactions and negotiating critical contracts. She is a Professional Engineer who held the position of Chief Construction Engineer with one of the state's major cities, while also acting as legal counsel.  
  • Senior Construction Manager. This executive's primary responsibility is to manage and administer the design build contract on behalf of the joint venture. He was attracted from one of the country’s largest planning, engineering, and program and construction management firms. As Deputy Project Manager, his experience included joint ventures as well as P3 projects. He also worked for the state’s Department of Transportation on significant projects valued at approximately $1B. 
  • Senior Project/Technical Oversight Engineer. The secured professional provides onsite reporting for the design-build component of the project, monitors progress, and verifies compliance with established Quality Assurance / Quality Control plans. The only secured professional who was not based in the project’s state, he relocated from New York, having been brought on by the aforementioned Senior Construction Manager with whom he had worked on several significant design-build projects.


Joint Venture placements:

  • Senior Project Managers. Helbling placed professionals who manage and administer the design build contract for the joint venture. They ensure appropriate payments for work packages, and track and evaluate the joint venture’s performance according to requirements. All professionals have extensive experience in many areas of heavy and underground utility construction, and they understand a variety of delivery methods, with particular strengths in design build.   
  • Quality Assurance / Quality Control Managers. These professionals perform quality assurance inspections, sampling and testing, and play instrumental roles in resolving non-conformance issues. They have extensive understanding of the testing requirements and construction processes.
  • Project Engineers. Helbling secured multiple professionals who have the responsibility of monitoring and reporting on the design-build portion of the project, and overseeing the delivery of environmental, health, and safety standards. 
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As the only executive search firm to secure talent for this signficant project, our recruitment was organized, strategic, and comprehensive. Over the course of five months, we were successful in securing multiple professionals for diverse roles with both our client’s joint venture and the concessionaire. Nearly all professionals were residents of the state with only one requiring a relocation.
Matt Lesher, Senior Managing Consultant

Learn about Helbling’s search process