Choose the right Executive Search firm to Minimise Risk and Maximise Opportunity

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Andy Raymond.



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In the past, we have published a number of articles exploring the true cost of a poor hire in senior management and executive roles, such CTO or Engineering Director jobs. With all factors (including the less tangible of shareholder confidence, organisational effectiveness, and employee engagement) taken into account, the true cost is astounding. Getting it right the first time – every time is essential and daunting when commencing any executive or senior management search. 

We are constantly polling clients on the choices they make and the outcomes they have experienced as a consequence of those choices. We’re always interested to learn:

Why that selection of search partner?
Why that process? 
Why that person(s) involved / leading / deciding? 
Why that candidate? 

Obviously, it is good to hear about when things have all gone smoothly and an effective (and of course we need to define what ‘effective’ is in this instance) outcome has been achieved, but we learn most from when things run less than perfectly. 

A recent report by the AESC on the very topic of choosing an Executive Search Firm places Industry Knowledge and Specialisation right at the top of the selection criteria. Obviously, many search firms are wise to this fact and their marketing will state ‘We specialise in………’ followed by a list of 20-30 or more sectors. How is that a specialisation? There may be some experience of your sector within the knowledge base of that search firm, but where’s your guarantee that you will have access to it, or indeed if it is even current and not a hackneyed rehash of past successes? 

You should expect a potential executive search firm to be ready and willing to give a detailed account of themselves. Ask the questions beyond the question: 

‘Who actually ran that search?’
‘Will they be working on this one?’
‘Can I get a reference?’ 
‘Is the candidate still in position?’ 
‘What is your completion rate?’
‘What are your methods for interviewing and referencing potential candidates (not all firms are the same)?’

The CEO of a £200M turnover electronics business openly stated to me when I met him last year – ‘If I need to be seen to be doing something, I’ll appoint (insert name of any SHREK search firm here). However, if I need to get something done – I’ll go boutique, everytime’.

Our 9-stage executive search process is not the consequence of what we conceived in a darkened room, closed off from real-world experiences. We have refined our offering purely to provide the most effective outcome from the most robust and detailed process. After 36 years in the Engineering and Technology sector (yes, just the two specialisations) we feel we have the right process in place, combined with a knowledge base that in our senior team alone spans close to 150 combined years. 

Visit our website and take the opportunity to download our brochure detailing our 9 stage process

Give me a call anytime on 01582 878907 to discuss your executive search requirements and to learn more about Redline Executive. Alternatively, drop me an email to ARaymond@RedlienExecutive.com 

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