You and your company have decided to hire an executive recruiting agency for your leadership search. Now you need to assess which firm and project lead will be the best fit for your needs. The natural questions to ask (and get answered!) in the vetting process are: “what’s your secret sauce for success, and why should we choose you?”
As a Client Partner at SPMB, one of the world’s largest retained executive search firms focused on technology and innovation, my secret sauce was formulated from my career upbringing, my experiences as a project lead, my current work environment and professional support system, and most importantly, my personal drive to serve my clients and candidates to the very best of my ability.
My secret sauce ingredients for success in executive search:
A dedicated team leveraging 44+ years of search experience:
- I lead a dedicated, tailored tiger team on every search within a collaborative firm environment in which we can leverage 44+ years of search work and experience in our research and candidate acquisition strategy.
- SPMB was founded in the late 70’s and invested in technology for data collection and research early on. The organization has maintained that critical investment today. As a result, my team is powered by best-in-class technology and tools for research and candidate development enabling us to get to market methodically and quickly.
A strong company brand and trusted candidate relationships:
- I like to get to know my candidates on a personal level and build long-term genuine relationships with them. I run a transparent recruiting process, sharing prompt candid feedback and advice. If a candidate is active in the market, I make sure to share their search requirements with the rest of the firm to ensure they are being considered for every relevant search active in the company. I treat my candidates how I would want to be treated and, hopefully, that builds a level of trust so when I call them in the future about a new opportunity, I’ll get a call back.
- My relationships in the talent market are only strengthened by SPMB’s search model and positive brand recognition in the candidate community. This further empowers me and my team to cut through market noise and focus on converting top-tier executives into candidates.
A pure love of the work:
- You can ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you that no one loves their job as much as I do and that shows in the output!
- I have a passion for executive search and helping companies and people make major business and life changes for the better. Executive search is my chosen, long-term career and I am 100% committed to the industry, my clients, and the candidates we serve.
A limited workload and transparency on the fit:
- If I can’t execute at 100% due to my search load capacity, I don’t take on more projects. SPMB takes on a third of the number of projects that other executive search firms commit to so we can maintain a high caliber of search support and execution.
- I will also turn down searches that aren’t in my wheelhouse. I am very clear on what I can and cannot do. If there’s not a fit, I ensure that the client gets introduced to a qualified Project Leader with relevant search experience and open capacity.
A sense of urgency and availability:
- When a client has an important board meeting coming up or a candidate has timing pressure, there is no time to waste.
- I understand that executive search is not a 9 to 5 job so I’m available for my clients outside of work hours and on the weekends. I share my mobile number and unless I say otherwise, I’m always available.
A hands-on approach with over-communication:
- I have weekly search status meetings with my clients but share feedback and updates in real-time so we can move fast. In the people business, it’s important to look around corners and prepare for different outcomes. We continue the recruiting process until the very end to make sure that we’re never flat-footed and always have backup options.
A focus on diversity:
- As a female Executive Search Partner, I believe in the countless benefits of hiring diverse talent in leadership and am committed to presenting a diverse slate of candidates for 100% of my searches.
- I will work with my clients on their diversity talent acquisition strategy and inclusive interview process. This is my promise.
A combination of best practices from contingency and retained search experience:
- My approach to search combines data-driven, research and analysis with the need to hustle and win. I grew up in a competitive and metrics-driven environment within contingency search in which recruiters have strict call time and volume metrics to hit. Cold calling massive amounts of people each day allowed me to develop a thick skin and grit and also taught me how to turn a no into a yes.
- From my many years in retained search, I’ve learned that research is the hub of search and without a strong hub, everything else falls apart with pressure.
- Mixing these two skills allows for quick closes with long-lasting hires to solve true business problems.
There’s a lot of upfront investment and commitment when choosing a partner for your search, so don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions including: “what makes you and your approach to search unique and effective? My secret sauce to search isn’t so secret anymore so if you’re looking to add to your leadership team or seeking general advice on hiring, please contact me directly or visit SPMB.com.