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The Client Experience

executives

Whether you have worked with retained executive search firms many times before or you are new to retained search, here are some things you should expect:

I. Help in developing a position specification that effectively:  (a) Defines the criteria for the successful candidate, inlcuding the 3-4 things they must be able to do to succeed in the role and (b) Provides context and selling points concerning the position and company in order to engage the most talented and typically employed leaders.

II. Research into which companies and which executives have the talents that you are after. That means not only networking within an executive search consultants existing network, but importantly getting beyond that network to new leaders who are up and coming and less well known. 

III. A disciplined process where communication about progress and the challenges being encountered in the search are facilitated through timely reporting, candidate summary information and feedback from the market so the client is learning something from the search process at the same time that they are meeting great candidates.

IV. A selection of candidates is essential. This business is about people who have different motivations, personalities, skill sets and situations, among other things. It takes multiple candidates, in most cases, to get to the one candidate that the majority of the client decision makers feel will be successful and who will accept the job if offered to them.

V. A written evaluation of each candidate introduced. This is important because providing such a written account of the candidate's credentials prepares you, the client, for the interview. Regardless of the length of this evaluation, it is an opportunity to point out specific areas that ought to be investigated further in interviewing the candidate and helps make for a more efficent and effective interview.

VI. References are essential to understanding how an executive actually behaved and was experienced by their colleagues and what they truly accomplished. Those references should be conducted both formally with individuals whom the candidate has offered up and more informally with individuals who are not the close confidants of the candidate and whose comments are uncoached as a result.

VII. Assistance in the final negotiation of an employment offer. This can take many forms. Some clients prefer the search consultant to deliver the offer to the candidate and negotiate any details that need negotiating.  In other cases the client chooses to use the search consultant as a sounding board to ensure the offer is fair and attractive enough to successfuly hire the candidate.

Not all firms take these steps and some take short cuts that generate suboptimal solutions for clients, whether in lost time or in the introduction of lower caliber candidates. It is Reed & Associates' highest priority to execute on these essential elements of a retained search in order to deliver extraordinary value and service to its clients.