Structuring business around the customer
“We’ve discovered that access to data is the single thing that moves a search rapidly forward to placement. In Invenias, we conduct research, produce client reports, and generate search statistics at the touch of a button, helping our customers make efficient hiring decisions based upon hard facts and data” says Robin Toft.
Toft Group Executive Search, headquartered in San Diego, California, has built its business from the outside in. CEO and founder Robin Toft explains: “Our background is largely in-industry, rather than search itself, and I value the industry acumen that has shaped our business. It has given us a deep-rooted understanding of our clients’ operating environment and that’s our starting point for each search assignment. We’ve structured our business around our customers’ needs.”
Those customers are exclusively in the life sciences and healthcare industries. Toft Group finds and places executives working in the biotech, pharmaceutical, diagnostics and medical device fields. In line with its customer-focused model, it has recently launched a digital health practice reflecting the changing face of an industry seeking improved, higher value patient care and healthcare outcomes through better access to data.
Similarly, it is access to data, with information at its consultants’ fingertips that Toft Group sees as a key benefit of moving to the Invenias cloud-based executive search platform. “Like us, Invenias is highly attuned to its customers and has designed the Invenias platform around customer needs,” says Robin. “One of those needs is the ability to provide our own customers with reports containing up-to-date and relevant information on their searches. Until we started using Invenias, reporting was a highly manual process. I was spending too much time on this and not enough on other, more strategic tasks. That’s all changed with Invenias. We can produce reports for our clients at the touch of a button. This is in comparison with the multiple manual process steps it used to take to run a report using our old system.”
“The time saving alone – both at the executive and administrative level – is extraordinary. It enables us to live up to our differentiating promise of committed timelines within our structured search process.”
“But that’s not all – we’ve also been able to develop a statistical report, summarizing the work done to date at any given point in a search, for our clients within Invenias. For the data-driven, scientific sectors we specialize in, this level of detail is hugely valued.”
When an employee recommended Invenias as a replacement for Toft Group’s existing search database, a number of factors, including the speed at which reports could be generated, sealed the decision. “We took another look at our existing system, as well as others on the market, but none of them matched the functionality within Invenias,” says Robin. “In addition, nobody could claim the direct experience of working in retained search that we needed, except Invenias.”
“The integration with Outlook was the single, biggest decision driver for us and gives the less ‘software friendly’ consultants an immediate familiarity with their new tool, which promotes user adoption. Where previously our people had to jump from screen to screen to find information in multiple places, Invenias brings everything together in one place. This makes it easy to get results, and that encourages further buy-in.”
Like any transition to a new system, however, people need to have confidence in the new functionality in order to get the most out of it. Invenias left nothing to chance in instilling this confidence. “Invenias has remarkable online training tools, which we used before the system went live to help ramp-up,” says Robin. “We also received face-to-face training in both our San Francisco and San Diego offices and have had continuous support when we’ve needed it since roll-out.”
This support also embraced the migration of The Toft Group’s data from its existing database. “We had 15+ years of valuable historical information in our database and naturally, there was some concern at the prospect of migrating it to a new system, but the transition was seamless.
“We’re getting even more value from the data because it is so easy to access and manipulate. Invenias is the first place we go to see the history of a candidate, where they’ve worked, what type of assignments they’ve undertaken, etc. The speed at which we can bring up information means we can do so in real time when we’re talking to a candidate on the phone.”
“The beauty of Invenias is that we can broaden a candidate profile at the touch of a button and make the data really talk to us. This ensures we get the results our clients want: a fast successful search.”
• Founded in 2010 by Robin Toft
• Offices in San Francisco, San Diego & Boston
• Member firm of the IESF global network
• Clients operate in biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and digital health fields
• Retained executive search for Director, Vice President, CEO and Board-level positions
Robin Toft, President & CEO
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