California Closets

Finance Executive Recruitment Case Study

Buttoning Up a Great Recruiting Partnership

California Closets is a premium, luxury brand with a big vision – to transform people’s lives by making their homes a source of comfort, refuge, and celebration. The company’s executive leaders had an ambitious plan for expanding its reach and product lines. But there was one missing piece: a crackerjack CFO who embraced the company’s vision and could guide its overall growth strategy.

What they were doing:

Historically, California Closets handled hiring internally, relying heavily on employee referrals. This time, the leaders knew they would need to take a different approach to find a high-caliber candidate with the right skills and who was a cultural fit for the company. CEO Bill Barton and Chief Human Resources Officer Carol Summersgill considered traditional recruiting options but selected Duffy Group for its out-of-the-box thinking and efficient, effective and economical methods of matching top talent with the companies that need them. This would require finance recruiters who could understand not only the job but the culture and ultimate goals of their enterprise.

Duffy Group Strategy:

Using an executive search model called Recruitment Research, the Duffy team went to work to identify finance-focused leaders who could partner with the executive team to drive the financial growth and strategic direction of the company. The team conducted an in-depth situation assessment to learn about the company’s business: its culture, personality, projects and strategic plan. This included a visit to the company’s manufacturing facility to glean valuable insights into the company’s operations. The team also clarified the CFO job requirements, responsibilities and skill set. Then the Duffy finance recruiters began identifying candidates whose background, education and experience dovetailed with the company’s needs.


Duffy Group submitted ten qualified candidates and eight were interviewed. They were able to narrow the talent pool to two top contenders. The Executive team was torn between them, but with our Practice Leader’s trusted partnership, they made the decision to hire a CPA who had worked for retailers in the CFO role. It was a true partnership, resulting in a terrific hire: a happy client and new member of the company’s executive leadership team.

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Our partnership with Sharon and Duffy Group was efficient, fluid and highly effective. From the very beginning Sharon worked to understand our business, our needs and our culture. The entire process was collaborative and comprehensive. She did a lot of research in the market and was very helpful in suggesting different ideas for our search. Sharon was responsive and we were kept informed at every step of the way. I also appreciated that we were able to tailor the search process to meet our business needs. It was nice to have that flexibility. The Duffy Group’s model is progressive and adaptable. And, in the end we got a fabulous CFO too!

Carol Summersgill, CHRO