Head of Cyber Security for International Insurance Group


This international insurance group had undertaken a long internal search, which did not deliver an appointable Head of Cyber Security candidate, and then worked with multiple agencies for over 6 months, again without achieving a successful hire. The CISO, reaching out beyond their PSL suppliers, asked us to take over this mandate as we had worked with them before at a previous company. While we were delighted to be given the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities to a client that had not previously used our services, we knew that we were taking on a challenge as so much work had been done on the position over the previous year.


The starting point was to agree with the client a methodology to “unpick” what had been done over the previous 6 months, identifying what had gone wrong previously, so that we could reapproach the market with a clean mandate, properly control the presentation of the opportunity and the management of the recruitment process, with a clearly defined person specification and commitment to a timescale and process that ensure clear purpose and momentum towards a successful conclusion. We worked closely with the CISO to understand the commercial objectives that they were seeking to achieve through this appointment and the development of the function more generally. Once clarity was achieved on these aspects, we were able to work on the person specification to identify the correct balance of technical, strategic and leadership skills and experience to make sure that the candidates were properly aligned with the opportunity, ensuring a compelling narrative could be presented to the candidates and a clear rationale for selection to the client.


Armed with a clear brief and convincing recruitment story enabled us to address the market identifying people who had not been previously approached for the role and reapproaching some who had been badly briefed on the Head of Cyber Security opportunity and who had incorrectly discounted it as unsuitable. We took the time to allay any concerns in the market and to ensure that the candidates had all the information they needed to make the decision to fully commit to and engage with the recruitment process. We delivered a long list of ten candidates which was filtered down to a shortlist of 5. All the candidates were kept closely engaged with the process through timely communication and by sticking to the agreed stages and timescales of the recruitment process. The successful candidate was offered within 4 weeks of the submission of the shortlist with acceptance and start agreed 2 weeks later. We have since been retained by the client as the lead recruitment partner for senior cyber security roles.