We constantly challenge ourselves and our clients to rethink the obvious, to look for unexpected sources of new talent, and to assume a position of leadership throughout the decision-making process. While we are flexible enough to adopt our search process to meet the milestone and resource requirements of our individual clients, a typical retained executive search assignment would follow the steps as outlined below:
We seek to gain a solid understanding of our client's business through three areas of research:
(1) Direct dialogue with the key-management team(s) and/or board members, via face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and/or e-mails.
(2) Distill information derived from dialogue and meetings, discerning each firm's own unique chemistry and make-up.
(3) Review of company literature, such as business plans, press releases and web-sites. Our goal is to derive a broad perspective of our client's business and revenue model, as well as its culture.
*Deliverable - Engagement letter
From initial conversations and our client review, we outline our understanding of the key responsibilities and requirements for one or more executive positions.
*Deliverable - Position specification(s)
To expedite the search process, we identify the most efficient methods of locating top talent. Though on occasion we might be looking for a "best athlete" type of candidate; in most cases we narrow our search to specific Financial Services industry sectors, well-regarded companies, most admired competitor firms, or geographic locales known for developing high-impact leadership talent.
*Deliverable - Target List
In this "seller's market," the most highly sought after talent often has multiple opportunities, so speed is imperative, due to what we call a "short shelf life". Our intent is to present, early in the process, a number of qualified candidates who have indicated an initial interest in a specific opportunity with our client's organization. We may recommend processing the candidates "serially" (as opposed to concurrently) to land the ideal candidate.
*Deliverable - Candidate bios/resumes, provided to us by each candidate
Through in-person, video or detailed phone interviews, we provide a detailed assessment of each candidate's potential fit, both against the requirements of the specific position as well as within our client's organization as a whole.
*Deliverable - Evaluation summaries
We plan and schedule meetings between our client's key decision-makers and leading candidates. Also, we typically conduct a debriefing with both the client and candidate after each discussion.
*Deliverable - Candidate interview scheduling
We rely on information provided to us by individuals who are or have been in positions to evaluate the potential successful candidate's qualifications and performance. In addition, upon the client's request, we attempt to conduct degree checks to verify the candidate's academic credentials.
*Deliverable - Formal references
On our client's behalf, we often times function as a sounding board to both our client as well as the potential successful candidate. Though the ultimate decision to pursue and/or hire a specific individual rests with our client - our intent is to facilitate the compensation discussions our client would initiate with the candidate, serving purely as an intermediary.
*Deliverable - Accepted offer with an initial start-date
“When hiring key employees, there are only two qualities to look for: judgement and taste. Almost everything else can be bought by the yard.”
- John W. Gardner