Director, Facilities Management for a dental services organization

Through an online search, a dental services organization learned of Helbling's credentials in recruiting and securing facilities leaders.
An organization that provides dental services at its more than 250 locations across the Eastern and Central United States needed a Director of Facilities Management. The group found Helbling & Associates through an internet search, and they liked what they read regarding our credentials in recruiting and securing facilities leaders. After the Director of Talent Acquisition spoke with Helbling’s Regional Manager Marc Datz, he was even more convinced of our capabilities.

What made this assignment special is the client’s large, national portfolio of retail locations that provide healthcare. Each location has unique challenges and needs. The right candidate for the role would have experience managing a comparable portfolio, general space management experience, and the ability to manage specialized equipment. Because the organization is owned by a private equity firm, the company has revenue goals to meet. The new leader would also have to be mindful of the bottom line.

With the position already vacant, time was of the essence to find a capable and dedicated new director to align efforts across multiple sites.
Rather than networking to find referrals in this new market sector, Helbling took a research-oriented approach to the assignment. Our search consultants identified the top 30 dental service organizations in the country and created a flow chart of their facilities leadership teams; however, the preparation did not stop there. The team also looked at medical service groups that served multiple states as well as retail organizations with a pharmacy or the presence of a medical advisor. With the support of the client, the team also included in the candidate pool facilities leaders at major hospital and healthcare organizations.

Because the director could be based anywhere in the United States—as long as he or she was willing to travel—the search expanded to a national scope. Preferred candidates were those who could manage a team and had demonstrated experience doing so and those who could manage up to executive leadership and other stakeholders. The hiring team, led by the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO), also wanted to find a candidate who would interact well with office staff and managers and recognize the various cultural needs of dental service centers in various geographies.

What added another unique element to the hiring process is that the CIO, who acts in a COO capacity, was instrumental throughout the engagement and conducted virtual pre-interviews with candidates before finalists were invited to meet in person with the CIO and other executive leadership.
Of the 13 candidates our firm presented who had interesting work backgrounds in healthcare, retail, and corporate environments, two finalists were selected to meet the executive team at the organization’s corporate offices. One stood out for his outgoing, energetic personality, willingness to travel, and demonstrated experience in managing a complicated portfolio. He had led facilities management efforts for a multinational retail corporation. There, he lowered operating expenses across 138 locations by 24% in a three-year period. Within 88 days of the start of the search, the candidate accepted an offer of employment.

Since joining the dental services provider, the new Director, Facilities Management has utilized his experience making detailed evaluations and recommendations of process improvements. He has been able to the lower average life cycle of a workorder from 17 days to nine days and reduce the average invoice amount by $6. With more than 20,000 workorders annually that equates to a projected savings of $120K.

The director has also proven to be a great strategic addition to the team. He has collaborated with the leader of corporate real estate to conduct a critical analysis of where and when to invest. He is also proposing a refresh of the physical brand and expansion of the facilities management team. Most importantly, the CIO is pleased with the results of the search, stating that he is thankful he and the other members of the leadership team made the decision to hire him.


Learn about Helbling’s search process