Case Study: Director of Technical Operations for a Managed Services Provider

A Confidential Retained Engagement

In this confidential retained engagement case study, we partnered with a Managed Services Company in a strategic search for a Director of Technical Services. Our client, aiming to shape the future of technical operations and engineering projects, required a strategic leader to optimize service desk performance, lead special projects, and contribute to overall organizational growth. The initial title was elevated, and the candidate was offered a flexible 11% increase from the original budget, along with an expanded PTO policy.

Throughout the engagement, our time commitment included a comprehensive pitch (1 hour), a thorough discovery process (1.5 hours), weekly status meetings (1.5 hours), interviews with talent (8 hours), and the offer process with follow-through (1 hour).

The talent pool consisted of 184 target profiles, with engagement focusing on relevant career progression, leadership in service desk operations, and expertise in managed IT services. The asymmetric talent engagement reached 18% of the total qualified candidate pool, leading to 15 formal interviews and eventually resulting in a shortlist of 5 candidates. Final interviews were conducted with 3 candidates, ultimately culminating in the successful placement of one candidate.

Despite challenges, such as 10% of the qualified candidate pool expressing disinterest, we achieved a positive outcome with narrowing Qualified, Interested, and Assessed candidates representing 4% of overall talent pool, showcasing the success of our tailored approach. Email campaign performance demonstrated strong engagement, with open rates for those with either valid personal or work addresses averaging 62.5%, and overall response rates averaging over 8% for this niche skill set.

This case study highlights our dedication to understanding client needs, refining search criteria, and utilizing targeted engagement strategies, resulting in a successful placement that aligns with the client’s strategic objectives.

Client’s time commitment:

  • Our pitch: 1
  • The discovery process: 1.5
  • Weekly status meetings: 1.5
  • Interviews with talent: 8
  • The offer process and follow-through: 1

Search Initiative Overview

Client: Managed Services Company

Title: Director of Technical Services

Purpose: Shape the future of technical operations, engineering projects, and service offerings and fulfill a strategic leadership position in the organization.

The key focus points of this role were:

  1. Optimize service desk performance
  2. Lead special engineering projects
  3. Contribute to strategic vision and growth as the 3rd critical pillar of leadership

Geography Required: Local (mid-market)

Work Requirements: Onsite
Ideally, no relocation necessary and challenging with overall budget

Mandatory Qualifications (Summarized):

  • Relevant career progression from a technical hands-on role in support, administration, and engineering
  • Proven track record leading service desk operations or similar, preferably in a managed services environment
  • Strong understanding of managed IT services, including infrastructure management, cloud solutions, and network security

Primary Data used for Talent Mapping:
Geography, Titles, Certifications, Employer Past/Present, Company Size, Diversity

The Talent Pool: 184 Profiles

  • Valid Personal Info: 85
  • Valid work Info Only: 51
  • No Valid Info: 48

Reach: Asymmetric Talent Engaged with 18% of the total qualified candidate pool


  • Formal Interviews: 15 or 8% of total candidate pool
  • Profiles Considered for Shortlist: 7 candidates or 4% of the qualified candidate pool
  • The Shortlist: 5
  • Final Interviews: 3
  • Offer: 1

Talent Not Interested: 10% of the qualified candidate pool

  • 40% Happy or Content
  • 30% Compensation
  • 15% Work Requirements
  • 15% Industry

Email Campaign Performance:

  • Valid Personal Info: 62% Open, 11% Response
  • Valid work Info Only: 63% Open, 4% Response
  • No Valid Info: 42% Open, 10% Response

*Candidates are containerized based on origin of accessibility for data purity

**We did not include any social media campaign performance for this case study




Psychology of the Resume

Example Technical Resume

Executive Resume Example

Asymmetric Talent’s Modern Approach to Sourcing and Engagement

Having spent 12 years in large corporate agency staffing environments, I felt a strong desire to deliver a superior service. Motivated to address the inefficiencies of outdated talent-sourcing and engagement methods, I embarked on a journey to create a modern and effective platform that redefines the entire hiring experience.

The inefficiencies in traditional/transactional staffing often arise due to a combination of outdated practices, insufficient focus on critical phases, and a lack of adaptability to evolving technologies. Let’s delve into the major inefficiencies mentioned:

The Major Inefficiencies

Talent Sourcing:

Lack of Focus: Traditional methods often fail to concentrate adequately on the sourcing phase, resulting in an inability to identify all qualified talent.

Difficulty in Distinguishing Talent: There’s a challenge in distinguishing accessible talent from the vast overall talent pool and a lack of effective strategies to reach them.

Candidate Engagement:

Neglecting Email Science: Failure to understand the nuances of email engagement, such as optimal timing and content, hinders effective communication.

Lack of Genuine Context: Engaging candidates without a genuine and tailored context can lead to disinterest and reduced response rates.

Insufficient Campaign Strategies: Absence of multi-stage, multi-angle campaigns limit the ability to maintain ongoing candidate interest and participation.

Client Consultation:

Inadequate Reporting: Traditional approaches often fall short in delivering unique and valuable data at scale and in real-time during client consultations, governing the enablement of educated and confident decisions.

In summary, these inefficiencies stem from a failure to adapt to modern tools and practices, neglect of critical phases in the staffing process, and a lack of data-driven, client-centric approaches. Addressing these issues requires a shift towards more dynamic and technology-driven solutions, along with a commitment to understanding and meeting the evolving needs of both clients and candidates.

Navigating Talent Acquisition: Unraveling the Nuances of Headhunting versus Recruiting

In the intricate landscape of talent acquisition, the terms “headhunting” and “recruiting” hold distinct connotations and methodologies. These methodologies play a pivotal role in shaping an organization’s approach to acquiring top-tier talent. Let’s delve into the intricacies of headhunting and recruiting to understand their implications and the contexts in which they thrive.

Headhunting stands out as a specialized facet of recruiting, dedicated to actively seeking and recruiting highly qualified individuals for senior-level or executive positions. This approach involves proactive identification and pursuit of candidates with specific skills, experiences, or qualifications, often at the upper echelons of their respective fields.

Recruiting, on the other hand, is a broader term encapsulating the entire process of identifying, attracting, and hiring individuals for diverse positions within an organization. It employs various methods, including job postings, resume reviews, interviews, and overall management of the hiring process, spanning from entry-level to senior roles.

In summary Headhunting emerges as a specialized and targeted form of recruiting, typically reserved for challenging positions like strategic, executive, senior, niche, business-critical, newly created, or unprecedented roles. It involves actively pursuing individuals who may not be actively seeking a change. Recruiting, conversely, adopts a more general approach to filling vacancies at different organizational levels.

The Asymmetric Talent Approach

At Asymmetric Talent, we view headhunting as a meticulous “contact sport,” emphasizing the importance of attracting top talent and effectively closing the hiring process. Regardless of the position, the competitiveness in the relevant space and the ability to engage talent aligned with an organization’s purpose, mission, and values contribute to a unique employee value proposition.

As an elevated form of recruiting, headhunting poses unique challenges for professionals in the industry, including:

  • Identifying the complete talent pool.
  • Engaging with qualified talent in a genuine and unique manner.
  • Overcoming challenges related to email deliverability and social tools.
  • Distinguishing talent based on accessibility.

Elevating the Consultative Approach

True talent consultants incorporate advanced strategies into their work, going beyond traditional recruiting efforts. This includes elements such as email warming, contact information validation, tracking email performance, and capturing valuable feedback from engaged talent.

When is Headhunting Superior?

The end-users who are likely to favor headhunting services over traditional recruiting services are those seeking to fill executive or highly specialized positions. Characteristics of such buyers include:

  • Executive Search: For C-suite and top-level executive positions
  • Specialized Expertise: When unique skills or knowledge are required
  • Confidential Searches: In situations demanding a discreet hiring process
  • Niche Industries: Particularly in sectors where talent is scarce
  • Strategic Hiring: Organizations with a focus on industry-leading talent
  • Challenging Locations: Where there is a limited pool, remote or inaccessible, and even a high cost of living
  • Global Searches: For international or global searches

In contrast, traditional recruiting services and staffing agencies are suitable for a broader range of positions, spanning entry to mid-level roles and employing more general recruitment methods.


Understanding the nuanced differences between headhunting and recruiting is crucial for organizations aiming to strategically acquire top talent. Each approach has its distinct strengths, catering to specific hiring needs and organizational goals. Whether adopting the precision of headhunting or the inclusivity of recruiting, organizations can shape their talent acquisition strategies to align with their unique objectives and thrive in today’s competitive landscape.