March 9, 2017 – Executive search firm ZRG Partners has named Mark Cusick to head up a new division at the firm called Orca Talent. As president, he will lead this growing sales optimization business, which is addressing the global problem of sales force hiring and productivity.
Mr. Cusick brings a unique skill set to the role, having worked with global companies, as well as entrepreneurial start up organizations in both the public and private markets. He has over 25 years of sector experience working with thousands of leading business executives with over 150 global companies. In addition to being one of the founding partners of ZRG Partners in 1999, Mr. Cusick has founded several companies in commercial finance, real estate and the healthcare fields. He has a passion for disrupting technologies and processes that lead to innovative tools for business.
“Clients have been increasingly asking us to assist with the problem of sales force productivity and helping minimize costly hiring mistakes,” said Larry Hartmann, ZRG chief executive officer. “We are thrilled to have Mark lead this effort as we continue to expand our offerings and do further system development in this important area.”
One goal, said Mr. Cusick, is to revolutionize the process of sales hiring and sales productivity. “ZRG’s Qsync technology using a data and analytics approach to sales optimization is a game changer. I am excited to be leading this division during this time of explosive growth for the ZRG organization around the world.”
Mr. Cusick recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss ZRG’s latest offering. Following are excerpts from that conversation.
Mark, tell us about Orca Talent?
Orca Talent turns data into decisions – highly accurate hiring decisions. Orca uses our sales algorithm ‘Salgorithum’ as a powerful hiring process leading to sales optimization and predictive analytics. The ‘gut-feel’ approach to hiring top talent does not work. Typical interview and hiring practices do not distinguish performers from non-performers, often resulting in ineffective and costly hires. The key to building a winning sales organization is to use a proven method that consistently attracts, vets, and hires the all-stars who drive sales. Orca Talent utilizes this method to drastically improve the effectiveness of current sales teams.
Search consultants have told us that sales positions are difficult to fill. Is your new business designed to fill sales roles or increase a company’s sales efforts?
Both. Orca Talent is designed to fill roles with the right talent that will lead to sales optimization and ultimately increase sales.
Why was it launched as a separate brand from ZRG?
ZRG Partners is focused on senior level, retained executive search. We have chosen to differentiate our middle market group as Orca Talent which is focused on sales and business development leaders. Orca Talent has a technology tool box which is specifically designed for these roles.
“The ‘gut-feel’ approach to hiring top talent does not work. Typical interview and hiring practices do not distinguish performers from non-performers, often resulting in ineffective and costly hires.”
How will your background be useful in the new rollout?
I have personally witnessed how sales cure all within global companies. In addition to being one of the founders of ZRG Partners in 1999, I have worked with global companies, as well as entrepreneurial start up organizations in both the public and private markets. I have over 25 years of experience working with 10,000-plus business executives with over 150 global companies. At Orca Talent, we will use our technologies and unique processes to drive sales for our clients.
Orca Talent’s parent company, ZRG Partners, continues to expand and in recent months it has strengthened its industry and functional search specialization offerings.
Last month, ZRG named Allen Brady and Peter Gremillion as managing directors to its industrial practice group as well as Jill Schofield as managing director and head of its global mining practice. Mr. Brady gained executive search and talent acquisition functional experience at Korn Ferry, Bombardier Learjet, Waggener Edstrom, and Sierra Nevada Corporation. Mr. Gremillion, who works out of the firm’s Frankfurt office, has 13 years of executive search experience to ZRG. Previously, he was regional practice leader, industrial and manufacturing, for SpenglerFox. Ms. Schofield, who manages Western Canada, started her search career in 2001. She comes to ZRG from DHR International, where she served as managing partner for the same region.
In January, the firm added David Sheahan as a managing director in its Dallas office. He focuses on supporting clients in the life sciences, technology and energy sectors, where he has extensive experience. Mr. Sheahan has enjoyed a long career in human resource services, having served with Korn Ferry since 2008. He has led complex talent management projects for a number of blue chip companies, C-suite executives and boards of directors.
In November, ZRG named Sharon Stein as a managing director in its financial services, private equity and consumer recruiting practices. She works from the firm’s New York office. Ms. Stein has served clients across a broad range of sectors including, private equity, financial services, technology, consumer packaged goods, hospitality, and retail. For the past 10 years she has supported her clients as the founder and president of Sagamore, NA, a search firm that recruits C-suite executives and leaders in general management, marketing and strategy.
ZRG also recently added Philipp Sturm as a managing director and country head of Germany. He works out of the firm’s office in Frankfurt and will also serve as a member of the its global industrial practice. Mr. Sturm brings a decade plus of solid and relevant executive search experience to ZRG. Prior to joining the firm, he worked at Korn Ferry in its global industrial practice.
In September, the firm named John McLean as a managing director in its global life sciences search practice with the acquisition of certain assets of Illinois-based consulting practice McLean Consulting. Mr. McLean, who works out of ZRG’s Chicago office, has 14 years of executive search experience, served several recruiting firms, including Witt/Kieffer, DHR International and Johnson & Johnson before founding his own practice. ZRG also appointed Samantha Foster as a managing director and member of the firm’s global industrial practice. She leads the firm’s efforts in the aerospace & defense vertical, where she has spent more than 12 years supporting clients globally.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media