Interim Search’s International Desk solves competence needs globally

Interim Search’s International Desk solves competence needs globally

international desk | 2023-05-24

In 2022 Interim Search launched the business area International Desk, led by AnnaCarin Stolpe. The idea is to offer Swedish interim consultants abroad as well as to foreign companies with operations in Sweden. The international business area has received requests word wide, primarily from Swedish companies that operates globally.

AnnaCarin herself comes from an international background within GE Capital, Heller and CHG Merdian. She is used to establishing foreign offices in Scandinavia and has been involved in both European and Nordic management teams.

We spoke to AnnaCarin about the expansion of International Desk and the difference in operating recruitment processes in other cultures.

Which requests have you received from abroad since last year?
Literally from all over the world; France, Belgium, Schweiz, Laos, India, Finland. The competence needs has varied. One very successful placement was for a Swedish company with headquarters in Sweden and operations in over 20 countries. They had recently acquired an American company that was going to integrate in the Swedish parent company. We placed a Swedish interim consultant in the States to manage the process and culturally integrate the acquired company into the group. It wasn’t a simple assignment however the Swedish consultant knew the language and culture of the Swedish group which made the process a lot easier. That aspect is very important for a lot of Swedish companies. The customer in Switzerland had a similar vacancy, they were in need of a Sales Manager in Finland who spoke Finnish but with an understanding of Swedish culture since the headquarters was located in Sweden.

Why do the clients want a Swedish interim consultant if they’re going to work abroad?
If the headquarters, or other key functions within the organization, are in Sweden I think a Swedish interim consultant becomes an important cultural figure in the foreign subsidiaries. They almost become an extended arm to the parent company and can easily adjust to the company culture and values. The introduction will most likely be more efficient if the person can understand processes and guidelines fast since they share the same language as the parent company.

Is there a difference in how you evaluate candidates that will be stationed abroad?
The first and most important aspect that we look for is an international background and experience in working towards different cultures. Part of the competence lies in how you lead teams of multicultural co-workers against the same goal. In some foreign companies you have a different hierarchy than in Sweden so it’s beneficial if the candidate is used to that. 

Are there differences in how you conduct the process if the client is stationed abroad?
There are differences in working towards all different cultures. The international clients are very business oriented and when we present candidates they are more careful giving feedback about which consultants they want to move forward with. At Interim Search me and many of my colleagues have international experience and are used to other cultures, which makes most collaborations easier for us. 

What is currently happening within International Desk? 
We have a collaboration with a Swedish company where the group’s HR Director is stationed in Norway. They have an interim Sustainability Manager with global responsibility that is going to manage sustainability processes in over 20 countries.


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