The Client Experience

Whether you are a sophisticated user and have worked with retained executive search firms many times before or you are new to retained search, here are some things you should expect:

I. Help in developing a position specification that effectively: (a) Defines the criteria for the successful candidate, including the 3-4 things they must be able to do to succeed in the role and (b) Provides context and selling points concerning the position and company in order to engage the most talented and typically employed leaders.

II. Research into which companies and which executives have the talents that you need and want. This means not only networking within an executive search consultants existing network, but getting beyond that network to identify new leaders who are up and coming and less well known.

III. A disciplined process where communication about progress and the challenges being encountered in the search are facilitated through timely reporting, candidate summary information and feedback from the market so you, the client are learning something from the search process at the same time that you are meeting great candidates.

IV. A broad selection of candidates is essential. The search business is about meeting, assessing and appreciationg people on a specific project who possess unique motivations, personalities, skill sets and situations. Most clients need to meet multiple candidates, in most cases, to be able to select the one candidate that the majority of the client decision makers feel will be successful carrying out the necessary responsibilities in their organization.

V. A written candidate summary for each presented candidate. This is important because providing such a written account of the candidate's credentials prepares you, the client, for the interview. Regardless of the length of this evaluation, it is an opportunity to point out specific areas that should be investigated further in the candidate interviews. This will ensure a more efficienct and effective interview process.

VI. References are essential to understanding how an executive actually behaved within other environments and in perhaps similar circumstances and what was really accomplished. These references should be conducted both formally with individuals whom the candidate has offered up and more informally with individuals who are not the close confidants of the candidate and whose comments are possibly more objective and insightful.

VII. Assistance in the final negotiation of an employment offer. This can take many forms. Some clients prefer the search consultant to deliver the offer to the candidate and negotiate any details that need negotiating. In other cases, the client chooses to use the search consultant as a sounding board to ensure the offer is sufficiently fair and attractive enough to successfully hire the candidate and close the deal.

Not all firms follow these important steps and are sometimes rushed through the recruiting process. Short cuts often result in lost time, money and/or in the introduction of lower caliber candidates. We are dedicated to the successful execution of these essential elements of a retained executive search in order to deliver extraordinary value and service to our clients.