A Structured 4 Phase Approach
We employ a structured, phased approach to search planning and execution, with specific objectives for each phase. Also, we conduct a joint progress review with the client at the end of each phase.
- Phase 1 – Client Briefing – Research – Progress Review
- Phase 2 – Sourcing – Evaluation and Presentation of Candidates – Progress Review
- Phase 3 – Client Interviews – Reference Checking – Progress Review
- Phase 4 – Negotiations – Search Closeout – Follow Up – Review
The true test of a professional search consultant is consistently to maintain a high level of commitment to completing searches undertaken, including those which prove to be unusually difficult or become extended. Our clients deserve, and will receive, our unflagging effort and personal attention until the engagement is completed.
Client Briefing – An in-depth consultation to gain a thorough understanding of the organization and expectations regarding the successful candidate. We pay special attention to the critical issues of organizational culture and personal characteristics the candidate must have to fit in successfully. The briefing will include discussions with as many client executives (as well as other stake holders where appropriate) as practical to gain a thorough understanding.
Research – Our research will include developing a list of target organizations and a well-planned strategy for identifying qualified candidates in the quickest possible manner. We will identify the best possible prospects wherever they may be employed and whether or not they are seeking a job change.
Progress Review – We will meet to discuss a matrix panel of prospective candidates (typically 8 to 10) identified through our research. This discussion will yield the first group of individuals to be interviewed. We will normally be ready for this meeting between the third and fifth week of the search. This is also an excellent opportunity for a preliminary comparison of the merits of internal candidates, compared to external prospects.
Phase 1 Objectives:
Determine and define client requirements. Develop detailed written recruitment profile for the position. Develop research plan. Conduct targeted search. Identify a matrix of high potential prospects.
Sourcing – We will use every means at our disposal to establish contact with prospective candidates. This will include direct contact by telephone, email and by mail with identified prospects and referral sources. High potential prospects and source individuals previously known to McCormack & Warren will be contacted immediately, at the outset of the search. Sourcing continues until the search is completed.
Evaluation and Presentation of Candidates – Face-to-face interviews will be arranged following the Phase 1 Progress Review. After screening numerous prospects by telephone, we will personally interview the most promising, wherever they may be located. If travel is required, interviews will be grouped, to the extent possible, to save time and expense. At client’s request, we will also conduct in-depth assessment of internal candidates relative to the recruitment profile.
Progress Review – This progress review meeting will be scheduled as soon as we have identified a panel of three to five qualified candidates. This discussion is critical to both finishing the search quickly and to fine-tuning our ongoing sourcing effort. This is also an opportunity to discuss in greater depth the relative merits and limitations of internal and external candidates.
Phase 2 Objectives:
Initiate direct contact with highest potential prospects. Conduct telephone and mail campaigns to a broad base of sources, prospects and third party organizations. Conduct initial screening interviews. Schedule and conduct face-to-face meetings with the best prospects. Develop written reports on initial panel of candidates.
Client Interviews – Client interviews will be arranged after submission of written candidate reports detailing the qualifications and background of the individuals we recommend. Depending on the availability of candidates under consideration, these interviews normally begin in the second month of the search. Client interviews will continue to be scheduled with additional candidates, as necessary, until the search is completed.
Reference Checking – We will conduct thorough and exhaustive reference checks with superiors, peers, and subordinates before any offer is extended to the final candidate. Statements made by the candidate regarding credentials, including educational background, will be verified. Focused inquiries will be made into specific points at issue, relative to client needs.
Progress Review – This review will be scheduled when the final candidate(s) have been selected by the client. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and plan the best closing approach to each candidate under consideration.
Phase 3 Objectives:
Thorough evaluate the candidate’s background, qualifications and fit with the client organization. Develop the candidate’s interest in the position. Identify the best candidate.
Negotiations – We will assist with structuring and presenting the offer to the final candidate. We will also assist with such matters as relocation and other individual or domestic problems that may arise. It is essential for the client and consultant to confer and to discuss the candidate’s
expectations and/or any important unresolved issues prior to presentation of an offer.
Search Closeout – At the conclusion of the search we will ensure that all individuals who participated in the search, including candidates, sources and references, are informed of the outcome in a professional, courteous manner. This often neglected step has a strong positive effect on our client’s image and potential for good will.
Follow-Up – We will stay in touch with the client and the successful candidate after the search is completed to assure a smooth and effective transition.
Review – We will meet with the client and the selected candidate to discuss any transition issues which require attention.
Phase 4 Objectives:
Hire the candidate desired by the client Ensure the client’s smooth, effective transition into the client’s organization.
Turn off other candidates considered in a courteous and professional manner.
Partnering To Optimize Results
How to Partner Effectively with your Search Consultant
Review research and source materials with the consultant on a periodic basis.
You are a partner in the process. Be timely in your responses to keep the process on schedule.
- Appoint one staff person to have responsibility as project manager for the search from beginning to end. Lack of continuity equals lack of accountability.
- Set a timetable, target dates and closure strategy for the search at the beginning of the engagement. An open-ended search is a search without an end.
- Recognize that it is our goal to present a diverse panel of candidates, but by limiting your candidates to special requirements, e.g. a person of color, a woman, etc., you also limit the prospect pool significantly. Remember that qualified diverse candidates are in demand by many organizations, and, therefore, more challenging to recruit to yours. The candidates who meet your special requirements and who are willing to talk with you are even fewer in number.
- Be hospitable and courteous to your candidates. Remember that candidates also are interviewing you as a prospective employer, and are seeking the optimal cultural fit within an organization. All candidates should have a positive sense of your organization following their interview, and will take this message into the community.
- Give the consultant direct and detailed feedback on each candidate following your interviews. Specific reactions help fine tune search strategy and speed the process along. Second-hand reports do not allow for dialogue.
- Listen to feedback from the prospects who decline to pursue your position or from candidates who withdraw. If there are issues about your organization, the position, management style, etc., be prepared to address them in a positive way.
- Interview candidates as a panel whenever possible. Avoid interviewing candidates singly over a long period of time, as this makes it more difficult to make a meaningful comparison, and it has a tendency to prolong the search indefinitely and increases the risk of losing candidates to other organizations.
- When time and diligent search efforts fail to identify the ideal candidate, consider being flexible on your requirements. What characteristics are essential to do the job? Which tasks could be delegated, if necessary, to an able subordinate?
- Appoint an internal candidate champion for a good candidate. The longer a search goes on, the more unlikely it is that any candidate will be acceptable to everyone. This has proven to be an effective way to resolve differences of opinion when there are multiple stakeholders involved in the selection.
- Use references throughout the search process to address issues or points of concern about a candidate. First impressions are not always totally accurate, and interviewing skills aren’t necessarily the same as performance ability.
- Act decisively and with dispatch when you have a good candidate. A top performer is a rapidly wasting asset. Either s/he will have other offers if you delay or s/he will lose interest if the selection drags on. Determine at the outset which decision makers need to agree on a candidate and keep this group to a manageable size.
- Talk to the search consultant often and allow him/her to consult with you, especially before you decide to make an offer. Surprises are not helpful during negotiations to bring the search to closure.