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A Successful Search: Critical Junctures

Our proven comprehensive search process is designed to help you navigate the four critical junctures of a search: Understanding the Challenge, Attracting a Diverse Pool of Exceptional Candidates, Effective Candidate Assessment, and Negotiations/Closing the Search. If the challenges at each juncture are met successfully, the hiring manager and search committee are able to shepherd the search to a successful outcome. Our services are designed to help you succeed at each stage of the search process.

We offer unbundled or partial search services when your institution will be better served by focused assistance at any one of the four stages of a search. We will consult with you to evaluate which services will be most beneficial.

1. Assessment

To hire a successful candidate, institutions must identify the qualities and skills they seek. This is often more difficult than it seems. Leaders and committees often begin a search without having conducted a systematic inventory of what has been required in the past, what is imagined to be required in the future, and the ways in which such skills can be evaluated.

During the assessment phase, we conduct confidential interviews with key stakeholders, asking provocative questions, and creating a position profile that delineates technical, administrative, and interpersonal leadership requirements, with ways of evaluating each. This assessment guides the search and provides a hiring manager or a search committee with an objective "anchor" that can balance individual/subjective impressions and reactions to candidates.

2. Attracting a Diverse Pool of Exceptional Candidates

Because the best candidates are often those who are not actively looking for a new position, a strong pool will include candidates who are invited to apply. We are attentive from the outset to the extra effort necessary to attract candidates from underrepresented groups.

In consultation with our client, we devise strategies for reaching a broad network of sources and prospects, using existing firm databases and targeted research and outreach. We then actively identify and recruit qualified candidates who will be recommended for client interviews.

To ensure that the search runs smoothly, we will manage the process of evaluation of applications, nominations, and "invited" candidates, in compliance with the organization’s hiring processes.

3. Effective Candidate Evaluation

Hiring managers and search committees typically begin screening and assessing candidates by reviewing and discussing formal qualifications, reputation in a field, and the seniority of the applicant's current and past positions. Yet most candidates who fail in new leadership roles do so because they lack the critical but subtle leadership qualities, administrative skills, or interpersonal competencies that each leadership position calls for. When leaders fail to consider these "informal" qualifications they place the success of the new hire at risk.

We refer only the most qualified candidates to you. Our candidate interviews evaluate the competencies that are the hallmarks of successful leaders, as well as those qualities that will ensure the candidate is a good fit with the institution.

To ensure that our client’s interviews yield the best results, we provide a framework and tools to help them move beyond review of a candidate’s accomplishments in comparable roles. With our client, and using the position profile as a guide, we design an interview format that evaluates skills such as communication; ability to delegate; persistence and motivation; self-awareness; and social skills.

Our reference conversations are comprehensive and are designed to provide a portrait of a candidate, alerting our clients to areas where even the most accomplished professionals may need additional support. With a candidate’s permission, we conduct “off the list” references and speak about candidates with sources known to us.

4. Negotiations and Closing the Search

Closing a search can be complicated and attention must be given to the candidate's questions about the scope of the position, as well as their concerns about leaving their current position, compensation, relocation, and family considerations. We serve as a broker to help resolve issues and to smooth the process of final negotiations, enabling our client to ensure that an offer is accepted and to avoid protracted or difficult negotiations between candidate and client.

We complete the search by corresponding with and acknowledging the help and advice of all sources, references, and candidates in a manner that reflects well upon the organization






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