These Four Questions Determine If Your Organization Needs a Search Firm

Search firms do more than screen and interview candidates: they manage change. Search firms provide expertise at critical junctures in an organization’s history. If you answer ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ to these four questions, you want to call in a search firm.

Question 1: Is our organization looking in the right place for candidates? Far beyond presenting only individuals who have applied, a high-quality search firm will seek out potential candidates who are not actively looking for a job. Through a targeted research process, the firm will identify potential candidates who are likely to possess the qualifications sought by the organization and proactively contact them to present the opportunity.

Question 2: Do we have the time, tools or bandwidth to truly assess candidates’ qualifications? Search firms will assess candidates’ qualifications based on the criteria and competencies defined during the firm’s due diligence interviews with Search Committee members and staff. Some search firms will utilize validated assessment tools (similar to a behavioral personality test) to aid in their evaluation of candidates.

Question 3: Do we know how to conduct a thorough background check?  Formal background and reference checks include speaking with individuals that candidates have worked with directly, such as former supervisors, peers, and direct reports. Also, searches of public social media posts and profiles are critical.

Question 4: Do you know the best practices for interviews and candidate communications? The search firm will act as the communications conduit between the organization and the candidates, an important coaching role before, during, and after interviews. The search firm can give behind-the-scenes briefing and tips, in addition to handling the interviews. Often, candidates have questions about the organization but are unsure of how to address those with the committee. Similarly, committee members may have questions about candidates that would be sensitive to ask during an interview. The search firm should be able to fill in any gaps in interviewing expertise and guide your team to success.

Is your company or organization planning a search? Our experienced recruiters can tell you exactly what to expect when your organization needs new leadership.  Email [email protected] to speak with one of our recruiters.