February 1, 2017 – Boutique search firms continue their push into offering accessory services, from talent mapping and coaching to assessment and high performance team building. Now comes outplacement. The Pi Group, a fast growing consumer goods talent advisory group based in Darien, CT, is expanding its services to help candidates transition to new chapters in their lives.
By delivering services through Perpetual Insights, Pi Executive, and Perpetual Ambition, The Pi Group is positioning itself, quite methodically, to help client organizations manage their entire talent spectrum. It is a strategy that a number of small and mid-sized boutiques are pursuing to better compete with their large, global search rivals and to stay relevant in a sector undergoing profound change.
Demand Growing for ‘Complete Talent Solutions’
“Our increased investment in the diverse range of organizations’ talent advisory requirements is integral to our long-term growth,” said Steve Morrissey, managing partner The Pi Group. “The demand for a complete talent solution is high. Our mission has always been to meet our clients’ requirements, or die trying. We are consistently seeking to improve our service excellence so that we can help our clients achieve their business objectives.”
For the past four years, Perpetual Insights has helped organizations meet their recruitment needs by offering middle to senior level management professional recruitment, talent mapping, talent assessment, and interim management services. With last year’s spring launch of Pi Executive, the firm added C-level executive search, talent strategy & assessment, executive coaching, and on-boarding to its portfolio of services.
It has now further extended its reach in the talent management space with Perpetual Ambition, a unique outplacement service that helps candidates at all levels in the consumer goods industry – from executives through junior staff – transition to new chapters of their professional lives.
Reinforcing The Pi Group’s commitment to delivering service excellence and getting its message out, the firm has also undertaken a rebranding effort, which includes the launch of a new, state of the art website which offers a more comprehensive explanation of The Pi Group’s full range of capabilities and provides easier access to functional expertise, client expertise, and open searches.
“We are thrilled to present our new corporate website and the robust information it provides clients and candidates,” said Pierre Trippitelli, partner and Pi Executive lead. “We believe that this new site aligns well with our company vision for continued growth, innovation, and client focus.”
Complementing to The Pi Group website is the rebrand and redesign of the Perpetual Insights website, outlining the firm’s expanded functional capabilities across sales, marketing, finance & accounting, supply chain, and human resources.
Perpetual Insights is a boutique search and talent advisory business serving the consumer goods sector and has recently formalized its service offerings under the ‘Pi Group’ umbrella. The Pi Group is made up of three distinct, but wholly integrated, client service firms: Perpetual Insights (recruiting/search and talent advisory into mid-management); Pi Executive (recruiting/search and talent advisory into senior and C-suite roles); and Perpetual Ambition (specialist outplacement and career transition services for senior level, client-funded, CPG professionals).
We caught up with The Pi Group’s founder, Mr. Morrissey, to discuss his firm’s growth and his rationale for developing a more integrated service offerings approach.
Steve, why the move into integrated services?
To answer that question, it should be noted that, since our inception in 2013, our focus and paramount fixation has been – and always will be – on consumer goods clients. Since we started, we have always been focused on providing a range of intelligent solutions for our clients. With our privileged vantage point of having served over 50 leading brands in this sector, we have increasingly immersed ourselves into the culture, values, and structures of our clients.
“No one client situation is the same and, therefore, it made sense to develop an integrated set of internal capabilities that address highly-related client challenges. In that vein, we have become a ‘strategic partner’ as opposed to a ‘transactional agent.”
In so doing, we have developed an understanding of their real-world, talent-development challenges in the broadest sense. Always poised to respond flexibly to such client briefs, it was an organic process that led us to expand our services to the breadth you see now. No one client situation is the same and, therefore, it made sense to develop an integrated set of internal capabilities that address highly-related client challenges. In that vein, we have become a ‘strategic partner’ as opposed to a ‘transactional agent.’
How have you done that?
For example, we now regularly conduct talent mapping exercises and advise our clients on talent assessment tools to ensure a search exercise is conducted in a highly bespoke manner. A talent mapping engagement, for example, provides a client with a deep understanding of where the best individuals are in the market. It is worth emphasizing, however, that while our service offerings are broadening, our focus on serving the consumer goods sector – and leading brands within it – is resolute.
Is this client driven?
Yes, absolutely. By delivering exceptional levels of service and successful results across sales and marketing recruitment, our CPG clients have asked if – and when – we can help in other corporate functions – specifically supply chain, finance & accounting, and HR. They like our agility, honesty, deep knowledge of the sector, and unique approach. Similarly, we now also offer clients expert consulting resources for short-term, outcome-focused, project-based assignments. In addition, as we have placed several individuals within certain groups or teams at a client, we have seen an opportunity to provide leadership development and offer high performing team programs.
How has that helped clients?
Placing senior executives and teams within companies has given us a privileged insight into leadership team dynamics. In turn, this has given us the opportunity to facilitate high-performing team workshops and to support our clients in initiating transformation programs in this specialist area. We call it our ‘Team-to-Tribe’ methodology. Finally, as we place senior level professionals, executive coaching opportunities have resulted – hence all Pi Group partners now go through executive coaching courses at Columbia Business School to hone our skills in the art of coaching professional leaders.
Why, now, outplacement services?
We see this offering as a truly niche, prestige, and client-funded delivery to CPG professionals only. This is not a program to win mass market numbers and compete with the Right Managements of the world. It is certainly not a major part of our commercial growth strategy; rather, it is a client-responsive, specifically-designed program we offer to senior level candidates – relevant when the company wants to help transition that employee back to future employment in the brand world.
How will offering a fuller range of talent management solutions impact your focus?
Our core focus is an intimate understanding of talent search and advisory services as they pertain to the consumer goods sector. It should be noted that as we build out these capabilities, we are hiring very specialist skills; we are not diluting anyone’s focus internally or externally, but building a suite of highly-integrated but separate business practices. In summary, this has been a very natural development for our firm. In dialogue with our clients, our fundamental purpose has evolved. We have moved beyond simply helping an organization fill critical talent gaps; we are now equipped to provide critical support of all aspects of clients’ talent management remit, so they are well positioned to achieve their ambitious growth objectives.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media