Hydrogen Startup

The Situation

A five-month-old business providing supply chain integration into the hydrogen sector with headquarters in North America wanted to recruit a Vice President of Supply Chain.  The hydrogen startup organisation has ambitious growth plans, financed by private equity, and established with launch customers already secured. The company needed to recruit an individual who understood the hydrogen ecosystem and the way relationships are formed and projects secured. The successful candidate will be tasked with building a team and creating a strategy that combines both commercial and product

The Challenge

There were several challenges to overcome, but the main one was the requirement from our client to specifically attract and recruit a female leader. The incoming individual was going to assume the final position on the Executive Board, which would then have a 50/50 split between male and female.

Whilst the hydrogen sector is not a new one, it has in recent months exploded (pardon the pun) with newly established organisations all with similar requirements for talent. The issue this creates is an already small pool of people, frequently being contacted by recruiters and headhunters, each needing to move quicker than the other. However, by working with our client communicating these challenges upfront based on our already established knowledge of the marketplace we were able to navigate through these waters and produce a 100% female only project.

The solution

With our experience of recruiting female Executives, combined with our knowledge of the hydrogen industry, Gibson Watts recommended that we identify and target candidates outside of the existing hydrogen sector looking towards industries with similar skills and experiences. It was crucial to find a candidate who would bring strong relationship building skills and be the right cultural fit to ensure immediate impact.

Our client had a very ambitious plan and wanted to move quickly. However, it required that a European-wide search was conducted due to the necessity to travel to Germany where some of the team was based. Due to our knowledge of the market and understanding of the requirement, we were able to provide deep insight into candidate profiles and where the ideal candidate would come from.


As a start-up organisation our client was keen for us to support throughout the interview, offer management, referencing and onboarding process. They were grateful for the thoroughness of our approach as it helped them tailor the onboarding plan for the incoming individual in the hope, they would contribute to the business more rapidly. The placed candidate brought a significant amount of experience with them able to catalyse the team into action and made an immediate impact due to the strategic plan they implemented.

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