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Search Case Study: Business Development Director - Construction

Search Case Study: Business Development Director - Construction

Partnering with our repeat client, a prominent construction management firm with a national presence, Helbling consultants secured a Business Development Director to penetrate a specific Southeast metropolitan market. The selected candidate excels with owners because he has the ability to understand what they want when they cannot articulate it themselves. He is sincere and honest in his approach, and has an excellent reputation in the market. Most importantly, he has a hunger to win. Read on to learn about our client's challenges and objectives, our search strategies, and the accomplishments of the secured professional.  

Our Client's Objectives:

Our client is a prominent construction management firm with a national presence whose markets include: K-12, commercial, healthcare, higher education, government, multifamily residential, and mission critical.

Their objective was to grow their market share within a specific Southeast metropolitan market. They were seeking a business development professional who knew and understood the market, and who could open doors and create opportunities to win work. The Business Development Director role collaborates closely with other business unit leaders, division and regional presidents, and it is responsible for helping to broaden and further develop the company’s market strategy, connectivity, and community presence.

For this assignment, we worked closely with our client’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, and division and regional executive leadership. Together, we understood that ideal candidates would have extensive, relevant experience and relationships within the metropolitan area, and strong knowledge of the key players. They would also have demonstrated capabilities in: strategic planning, business development, and implementing progressive sales, marketing and business strategies.

From working with this client on other search assignments, we understood their strong corporate culture and that the attitudinal fit of candidates was critical for the success of the search. Along with assessing candidates’ technical qualification, we had to closely analyze their personality characteristics to make sure we secured a highly motivated and energetic individual who has strong ethical values.  

Helbling's Search Strategy:

We knew we would have a small pool of candidates from which to draw considering the skills and traits we were looking for, and the fact that we wanted to secure someone who was already successful in the marketplace and yet interested in becoming involved in somewhat of a ‘start up’ office. The metropolitan market is very tight in that it only had a few key players within our client’s realm of expertise.

We researched and identified business development professionals, project executives, project directors, and vice presidents within the major general and specialty contractors, construction managers, and architecture and engineering firms in the area. Specifically, we were interested in business development individuals who had high energy, strategic mindsets, knowledge of the market, and abilities to help lead and manage a group or office.

To streamline the interview process for our client, we conducted the initial face-to-face interviews with candidates. Following those meetings, we sat down with our client’s hiring executives, and discussed at length each candidate’s strengths and abilities, and the value we felt they could offer the company.  

Search Results:

Our client selected an individual who came highly referred for his professional expertise and highly regarded for his character. He is well rounded with experience in operations, preconstruction, business development, strategic planning, business process development, and construction management. He has demonstrated abilities in successfully analyzing critical business requirements, leading diverse teams, developing innovative solutions for enhancing competitiveness, and increasing revenues in highly competitive markets. The individual had been trained from the ground up in construction, which our client found to be attractive as that trait is difficult to find.

In follow-up calls with our client, they describe him as an energetic team player and strong leader with a passion for the business and who fits in well with their mindset and culture. He is hands-on and works as hard if not harder than anyone on his team, leading by example. The individual excels with owners because he has the ability to understand what they want when they cannot articulate it themselves. He is sincere and honest in his approach, and has an excellent reputation in the market. Most importantly, he has a hunger to win.

During his first year with our client, the placed candidate has raised their visibility, improved the quality of the internal team, and given the company more opportunities to win with being invited to bid or submit a proposal. He leverages his construction management knowledge and experience to construct strategic project proposals and presentations, and identifies revenue opportunities by utilizing unique market research and documentation strategies that provide customization for each individual opportunity. He is also part of a small ‘senior’ leadership team of the office, and is expected to build a team and the office around him.