Inspera is a leading provider of cloud-based assessment solutions that has revolutionised the way organisations plan, design, deliver, and evaluate assessments. With its innovative and reliable platform, Inspera has rapidly grown to become one of Europe’s leading digital assessment solution providers. Their platform empowers universities, governments, and awarding organisations to conduct secure and standardised tests, including open and closed book exams as well as formative and diagnostic assessments.
Driven by a mission to make a global impact on education, Inspera has assembled a dedicated global team of over 180 professionals. Recognising the company’s potential, CGE Partners, a private equity firm specialising in growth equity investments, acquired Inspera to accelerate its growth and expand its influence globally across higher education.
The Hiring Requirements
Bjørn Rustberggaard, the founder and existing CEO, played a pivotal role in spearheading the appointment of a new CEO to lead the company’s next phase of development. With Inspera’s Chairman, Michael Ioakimides, and Chloe Holding from CGE Partners, they embarked on the search for a leader with a focused skill set, international experience and commercial acumen to propel Inspera to new heights.
Inspera required a proven CEO with a track record of successfully scaling and exiting technology/SaaS businesses. The CEO was expected to drive rapid scale-up and corporatisation, establishing Inspera as a dominant market player in the fast-developing assessment market. Michael emphasised the need for a CEO who not only met the targets but also exceeded them. It needed a leader who could hit the ground running, possessing a clear understanding of what “good looks like” at scale. Additionally, the CEO needed to be tech-savvy yet commercially astute, capable of driving growth while embracing the challenge of building a category-leading company. The role encompassed international operational and strategic complexities, which required the right mindset.
Working With Spencer Group
To secure the executive leadership required for this mission-critical appointment, Inspera chose Spencer Group as their executive search partner.
Michael said, “We knew we needed someone with a proven track record of hiring at an executive level. I’ve worked with Spencer Group previously; they take the time to truly understand both the company and the opportunity, and work with a nimbleness and care that’s difficult to find in larger, less specialised companies.”
For Chloe, working with Spencer Group was a new experience.
“Michael’s previous experience with Spencer Group meant we already had a strong feeling they would be the right people for the job,” Chloe said. “I also think smaller boutique firms tend to care more because it’s on a more personal level.”
How Spencer Group Navigated the Hiring Process for Inspera
The process of working with Spencer Group was highly structured and comprehensive. The initial challenge was to develop a candidate specification that effectively communicated Inspera’s vision while attracting top talent. Spencer Group delivered a strong document that became the foundation for building the shortlist. The search initially focused on EdTech and step-up candidates, but as the talent pool was limited, Spencer Group advised a rebrief. The full new search process at no extra cost led to a significantly improved second list of candidates.
“Spencer Group started from scratch for the second shortlist to create a new list of candidates from a broader market,” Michael said. “In hindsight, they absolutely made the right decision to do this; we had clear discussions, approached different candidates with a different brief, and the second list was far better.”
Chloe agreed, adding that, “Through their detailed and thorough process, Spencer Group delivered an outcome that met our very high expectations.”
Spencer Group’s expertise extended beyond identifying high-quality candidates. They expertly guided both the company and the candidates through the negotiation process, ensuring a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved. Michael praised Spencer Group’s professionalism and commitment to representing both the candidate and the company fairly and equitably. Their involvement was instrumental in achieving a successful outcome.
“Spencer Group showed in-depth understanding of the position and the company, so they were able to approach candidates who were then primed and excited to find out more,” said Michael.
“We were extremely impressed,” Chloe added. “Julian (Spencer Group’s CEO) led the process, but you could tell the whole company operates as one. A strong CEO was identified, and we are very excited to have them on board.”
Placing An Exceptional Candidate
After a rigorous search process and comprehensive evaluations, Andrew Cons emerged as the chosen candidate for the global CEO position at Inspera. With a remarkable career spanning over two decades in global executive leadership, Andrew brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. Andrew has led several global tech companies through high growth phases; notably, he served as the CEO of Europe for the insuretech unicorn, Bolttech, where he demonstrated exceptional skills in company development and transformation.
Andrew’s combination of both rapid scale up, commercialisation and technology make him an invaluable asset to Inspera as the company corporatises and expands its international footprint. His unwavering commitment to operational excellence and customer success further enhances his suitability as the leader who can unlock the remarkable global potential of Inspera.
In selecting Andrew Cons as the global CEO, Inspera has secured a candidate who embodies the ideal blend of expertise and vision necessary to drive the company’s growth and success. His deep understanding of the market dynamics and emerging trends positions Inspera for continued innovation and expansion.
“Andrew is a truly exceptional candidate,” said Chloe. “We’ve managed to hire someone with an incredibly unique skillset.”
Meeting High Expectations: The Successful Outcome of the Partnership with Spencer Group
“I would absolutely recommend Spencer Group,” Michael says. “They possess a unique blend of experience, track record, pace, and strong collaborative skills with clients that I believe really sets them apart. I’ve now worked with Spencer Group on 6 searches and would gladly work with them on the next one. It’s difficult to find specialists in this sector with enough experience; Spencer Group have a strong record for success, which I have now experienced myself multiple times. When I discuss roles with them, they bring me insight on what I need to do better, as well as provide weekly catchups that mean we are always in the loop. They respect and stick to booked dates and are very honest with how they assess candidates. It’s hugely collaborative; the time, dedication and passion really set them apart.”
Chloe similarly praises Spencer Group. “They truly understand the sector and are head and shoulders above all other recruiters, in my experience. As Michael said, they are extremely collaborative, which I think is key; the process and partnership works well for us. They seem genuinely passionate and excited about what they do.”
The partnership between Inspera and Spencer Group has been a great success story. Through their meticulous approach, global reach, and deep understanding of the industry, Spencer Group proved to be the perfect partner for Inspera’s CEO search. Their unwavering commitment to excellence and their ability to identify and secure exceptional talent have positioned Inspera for continued growth and success in the dynamic field of digital assessment solutions.