Insight

How To Work With A Search Firm: Maintaining Momentum Of A Search

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In our executive search education series, we have covered how to know if you are ready to engage a search firm, how to find executive search firms and consultants, the differences between retained and contingency firms, the questions to ask before engaging a consultant, and how to commence a search effectively.

As we have said, an executive search is an investment of your time and your organization's money so you want to be sure to commit to your role in process. Maintaining the momentum of an executive search is extremely important. If you do not maintain momentum, you risk losing the interest of high-caliber candidates as well as the attention of the search consultant. Following are our tips for maintaining a search's momentum to ensure a successful completion:

  • Commit to your role in the search process, continually collaborating with the search consultant.

  • Regard the search consultant as a trusted advisor, not simply as a vendor. Respect their insight and knowledge of your industry, your competitors, and prospective candidates.

  • View the search as a priority and respect the sense of urgency.

  • Keep your internal team apprised of search progress.

  • Support the continuous flow of information and respond to the consultant’s emails and voice mails in a timely manner.

  • To prepare for candidate interviews, understand how to present your organization and its opportunity to potential candidates. A good search consultant will assist you in developing an interview strategy as well as prepare you for individual interviews (i.e. candidates' motivations, hot buttons, current employment situation, family issues).

  • Provide timely, substantive feedback on candidates and their suitability as you want to keep the search refined and the process moving.

  • Trust the consultant’s suggestions during compensation negotiations and allow them to make the offer to the selected candidate.

  • Have a plan for onboarding the successful candidate.

Remember that, after hiring the professional, your role continues in onboarding that individual into your organization and team. The first six months are crucial in a new hire’s employment so you will want to make sure the executive is assimilating well and is flourishing within the role. Your search consultant should also continue to stay in touch with both you and the professional throughout these first six months. Any issues should be addressed promptly and appropriately to ensure the long-term success of the individual within your organization.