Phil Got The Job

Filed in HIRING ARTICLES by on July 1, 2015

The City gave us the assignment to locate and recruit a General Manager for their 6000 seat Multiplex Arena. The proposed salary was $100K+. Personnel included 8 full-time, 8 part-time and 10 seasonal staff.

The multiplex had to be a money-maker. So it was necessary to find someone who not only understood arenas from a technical point of view but one who could also attract first class entertainers and performances. Other needed skills included writing contracts and managing entertainment for everything from ice shows to rock singers. Above everything else, the GM had to have a good business sense. Another important revenue stream for the City was the income potential from concessions. Crucial to the success of the arena was the need to find a person with the ability to develop and maintain a good working relationship with the popular junior hockey team.


Using the ‘A.S.K. ToolKit™’, our proprietary recruiting and selection tool, we gained a clear understanding of all the crucial issues. This defined our ‘ideal candidate’ and ultimately the ‘right person’.

The Search Process began by head-hunting arena and venue managers across Canada. We did this using our unique tools and networking contacts.

Beginning in BC and working our way east, we identified approximately 100 arena / facility managers including approximately 40 local potential candidates. We immediately shortened this list to 50 and began the task of contacting people.

Fairly quickly, it became evident that there were few arenas in Canada exactly like the one in The City.

“This is where our ability to persuade became a real added value!”

We eliminated the majority of the initial candidates because of a lack of pertinent or direct experience. In some cases also, candidates had expressed an unwillingness to relocate to The City. This is where our ability to persuade became a real added value!


At this point in the search, we implemented the first of our unique, trademarked A.S.K™ processes that facilitates the rapid discovery of only ‘ideal candidates’. It’s a tool we use in every assignment to help us and our client understand the essential attributes of the ‘right candidate’.

We presented a long list of ‘ideal candidates’ to the client in descending order according to our preferences and the City’s criteria then met with staff to discuss the search results to date.

At that meeting we narrowed the search to 5 candidates. These candidates included a Recreation Director from AB, a Director of Community Services from ON, an Arena & Parks Coordinator from BC, a Director of Leisure Services from SK and, finally, an Assistant Arena GM from MB.

The attitudes, skills and knowledge of each short-list candidate were evaluated utilizing various tools from the ‘A.S.K. ToolKit™’.

The City is not easy to get to so travel for face to face first interviews was out of the question. The first 5 ‘ideal’ candidates were interviewed by Skype.

At approximately six weeks into the search, the client chose two candidates to fly into The City for interviews.

The number one choice, after the first round of interviews, was Phil, the Assistant GM of a 5000 seat arena. His arena had many similarities to The City’s ‘Multiplex’.


Phil’s boss the GM was also a young man. We helped Phil understand that, if he was going to advance his career, he would need to leave a job where he was, as he put it, ‘happy’ and take up the challenge of running his own arena.

With both the candidate and the client initially satisfied, we completed our ‘A.S.K. 360 Referencing™’ to further confirm to everyone that Phil was definitely the ‘right person’ for the job. Only then was an offer extended with Ravenhill Group assisting The City and Phil with their negotiations.

It was our ability to head hunt that made the difference.

From beginning to end took we took just under eight weeks to find the ‘right person’ to fill a complex, and distinctive position. Phil was ‘the right person’ for the job and everyone knew it!

It was our ability to head hunt (and not spend our client’s money on expensive advertising) that made the real difference … and it could make the difference for you. Are you getting what you’re paying for?

Do you think you need a second opinion?

Bruce Malcolm

About the Author ()

Bruce's background includes 30+ years of human resource management experience covering all aspects of HR administration with a clear specialty in team building and recruiting. He created and developed the concept of “Ethical Head-Hunting™”. Bruce began his recruiting career in 1971 with Prudential Assurance.

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