Case study

Market Insights Manager – global tobacco company


The organisation is one of the top three tobacco companies in the world. Due to the highly regulated nature of the tobacco trade in South Africa, companies in this industry must find innovative ways to sell their products and stay ahead of the competition.
The required candidate had to:
  • Have solid experience in sales, marketing and research
  • Be highly innovative
  • Be able to lead a team of dynamic, creative individuals
  • Have a good understanding of the tobacco industry
In recruiting this role, the challenge was that the position did not exist in any other organisation (except in other tobacco companies) and the client would not accept CVs from candidates who came from their competitors.
After a year of sourcing for the required skills, the client decided to talk to us.


Several methods were used to attract candidates for the role. An advertisement was posted on the Michael Page website for prospective candidates not already on our database. Also, the Michael Page database and the networking site LinkedIn were both thoroughly researched for appropriate contenders.
A long list of 10 candidates was carefully screened and interviewed to assess whether they had the required skills and experience. We also considered whether those lacking certain skills might be able to learn them if they had the right exposure, and whether they had the potential to acquire these skills in a short space of time.


We were notified of the job on 1st September, CVs were sent a week later and first interviews took place by 17th November. This was followed by three more interviews and psychometric assessments. A suitable candidate was placed on December 3rd and started the job several weeks after that. Due to our success with the placement of the markets insights manager, we were then asked to place another member of the team in a new job, which we did successfully.