Streamlining Management Recruitment Process for Veolia Japan

April 23, 2024


Veolia, a renowned global utilities company in the utilities industry, has extensive operations all over Japan. Like many organizations, Veolia faced challenges in hiring talent, which had a direct impact on their operations and growth. To address this issue, the company sought the assistance of FocusCore Group. 


Veolia faced an ongoing challenge in hiring a strong Head of Corporate Development to spearhead their M&A activities. Because of changes on the team over a 7-month period, the prolonged vacancy not only impacted the department’s performance, but also had a ripple effect on their Corporate Development team members. Specific challenges involved finding an experienced leader with the M&A skillset and deep understanding of finance, who was also bilingual. In addition, an earlier sourced candidate decided to withdraw from the process having accepted an offer and this enhanced the need for a replacement as soon as possible. The obvious impact of this was that it set back the search an additional 4 months, from the withdrawal of this candidate to the onboarding of the successful candidate. 

Approach and Methodology

FocusCore initiated a comprehensive approach to address Veolia’s challenge. Initially, FocusCore consulted with the CFO and HR Director to understand the company’s specific requirements, culture, and growth objectives, as well as the role of the Corporate Development team in company activities. 

Solution and Implementation

FocusCore collaborated closely with Veolia to implement a tailored solution that would accelerate the recruitment process. Together, they refined the candidate screening and selection process. This involved revamping job descriptions, creating targeted interview questions, and establishing clear evaluation criteria.

FocusCore reviewed over 50 active and passive candidates. By thoroughly mapping the market, these candidates were identified and approached, and a shortlist of 5 candidates was introduced for the Veolia CFO to meet.

Results and Impact

The rigorous, collaborative search process brought a strong candidate who was placed in the key position only 5 weeks after the initial submission of his profile. This helped Veolia to move forward with their strategic goals quickly.

The selected candidate possessed the required skills in corporate finance, with rich experience in the banking sector, and cultural alignment, contributing immediately to the department’s performance and overall company success. The successful recruitment not only filled a critical gap but also rejuvenated employee morale, fostering a positive work environment.

Lessons Learned

Throughout the project, the importance of leveraging external expertise to streamline a recruitment process, map the entire Tokyo (and Japan)  market of passive talent,  and a clear focus to expedite hiring all contributed to the hiring of this key position. In turn, Veolia has since trusted FocusCore to exclusively engage in other specialized positions.  

Strategic Partnership in Executive Search

Our clients partner with us because of our best in practice executive search methodology and deep specialist knowledge of the Japan market