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Jennifer Gaston Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
2618 1438 Words (6 Pages) Jim Ellis, Bethany Coates Stanford Graduate School of Business : E279
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Jennifer Gaston, founder, and CEO of Aquamarine started this business in 1995. The business of luxury jewellery grew tremendously, expanding over some time. The expansionary transition and complex business environment caused a need to search and hire a COO for the company that can look after the operational activities of the company, leaving strategy and design to Jennifer. To hire a COO, Jennifer went on to select a candidate based on references given by her professor. This selection was influenced and biased by the professor, which continued to the final decision which was taken under time constraints. Moving on, there was a need to hire CFO for the company. However, having a prior experience with hiring, Jennifer decided to hire an external consultant for the recruitment of the CFO. After multiple stages, two candidates were shortlisted, Chang and Phillips. However, it was very confusing and tricky to shortlist the final candidate.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. How is Gaston's Strategic Staffing model changing? Why is this change occurring?

  2. What are your observations on Gaston's process to hiring DeCarlo? Do you think her selection approach/assessment methods were effective? What would you have recommended?

  3. Do you agree with her approach to hire an outside firm to run the assessment and recruiting of a CFO? Why or why not? Who would you choose to be a CFO, Change or Phillips? Please explain your rationale.

Case Analysis for Jennifer Gaston Case Solution

1. How is Gaston's Strategic Staffing model changing? Why is this change occurring?

Jennifer Gaston, founder, and CEO of Aquamarine which is a mid-sized luxury jewellery company witnessed growth over the period. She wanted to hire personnel for executive positions to tackle operations of the company, which has proven to get more complex and widespread. In a matter of time, the CEO, Jennifer Gaston felt a need to hire a COO and president for the company. This executive would be responsible for managing supplier and retailer partnerships while looking after quality control processes to ensure quality standards for the products to strengthen and retain the brand loyalty of customers. hence, the COO would be looking after the overall operational and backend functional aspects of the company. 

To hire for this position, Jennifer Gaston pondered over multiple factors. She wanted a person for this position to be the culturally best fit for her company. The executive should gel in with the current management team to function smoothly while she does not face any resistance from the current management team. While going through the dilemma of hiring or not hiring, who to hire and who not to, she met her professor, Bob Hall. Her professor suggested a candidate which would be the best fit as per its description and requirement of Jennifer. He pressed on the skill set and ability of Oivia DeCarlo, the suggested candidate by the professor. Jennifer was so influenced by the professor during the lunch she was further pressured though focus on the urgency of time. This created biasedness in Jennifer during the hiring process and she saw Olivia as the best fit for the company. This was further validated by Marcy Redding, Aquamarineís lead designer, that Olivia is competitive and her profile outstands. However, she showed concerns over the ability to be an effective team player. Although this was in the back of her mind of Jennifer, she made a quick decision and overlooked some of these aspects during the offer.

Furthermore, during the requirement and search for CFO, Jennifer doubted her ability to shortlist and hire candidates based on referrals. So, she shifted her strategy from referral to an HR consultancy firm to hiring executive team members for her team. Earlier she also felt that there were gaps in the hierarchy of the current management team and therefore, she neglected internal hiring or promotions during this requirement. The process was a rigorous one with multiple stages of the recruitment process. In addition to this, she also shifted her strategy by involving other board members and directors in the decision-making of the candidate unlike the initial hiring process, where Jennifer used to decide on her own.

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