Well-engineered systems are the key to finding the right person for a company’s open executive positions. Great fits between an organization and talent aren’t found by happenstance. It’s a science that looks carefully at the client seeking to fill the position and the candidates who would like to be highly considered.
The irony is that executive positions have a substantial financial impact on a company, yet company leaders often skimp and short change the rigor due to their culture of firefighting and reactive management. They focus on finding interesting candidates and filling the position quickly instead of engineering an optimal process.
Company leaders are wise to realize the more rigor placed in the executive search process, the better the probability of the desired outcome and quality of the decision. At Human Capital Solutions, Inc., (HCS) we use a proprietary business platform from actual data and real-case scenarios from over a 20-year period.
In addition, HCS, Inc. has recently partnered with EASI·Consult® and Dave Hoff, chief operating officer and executive vice president of leadership development. Through this partnership, we have the capability to leverage EASI Consult’s predictive validity assessments, which measure how well a potential candidate will be able to perform the job as outlined by the hiring team.
Building an Inclusive Strategic Recruitment Infrastructure
I come from a long background in construction and I know it’s important to have a strong foundation. That’s where I first learned to measure thrice and cut once – slow down and get more done. .
In a retained executive search, the business platform is the architecture, the foundation and the critical infrastructure for a well-engineered and robust system that is specifically aligned with the financial goals of the organization.
When performing client discovery, HCS takes the time necessary to understand the position’s strategic and financial impact to the organization. We use a proactive and consultative approach. Often times we see hiring managers and HR staff who are self-admittedly too busy to pause and take the time to engage the stakeholders who will feel the immediate and long-term effects of the new hire.
At HCS, before launching a search, we leverage our proprietary tool we call a Desired Outcomes Questionnaire (DOQ). This tool is extremely thorough and has been lauded by many of our clients as the most robust and valuable instrument they’ve encountered when engaging a third-party search firm. In some instances, they haven’t really codified the key performance measures and the desired outcomes of the position they seek to fill. Instead, they are often focused on sourcing and interviewing around a position description that may not be aligned with the current strategic plan and specific goals of the organization.
HCS assists the HR executive to socialize the results from the DOQ involving the appropriate company leaders (members on the selection team) so when they are interviewing candidates, there will be true consensus on the core criteria. This involvement adds value and reduces the risk of impasse, indecision or a bad hire. But it takes an investment of time.
Maybe the goal is to increase revenues in the new business division by 25 percent over the next 12 months. Maybe it’s implementing process improvements to increase patient outcomes by 18 percent over the next six months. These are measureable goals and desirable outcomes.
There is a mirror process used when performing candidate discovery. We elicit information such as “Tell us why you believe the position for which we are recruiting makes sense for your career?”; “Have you lead a team that increased revenues in the new business division by 25 percent?”; and “What actions did you personally put in place and what were the final results?”
Once we have gathered the pertinent information from the refined candidate pool – including information about soft skills, such as competencies and dimensions, style, personality and culture – we then assess against the company’s desired competencies, values and culture and present a scientifically matched batch of candidates (usually four to six) to the client. When these candidates interview, they are armed with specific information about what is expected of them and how they must share and demonstrate their previous accomplishments toward current and future pain points and opportunities.
HCS created the SAVE process – Succinctly Articulate your Value Proposition with Enthusiasm. To receive an offer, the candidate must succinctly let the hiring team know what he or she personally did to add value and drive favorable financial results for the organization (after all, the bottom line is the bottom line).
As you know, the top executives in your company have a huge impact on its long-term success or lack thereof. Make sure your team has the system, tools, process and discipline they need, and takes pause to think and work strategically, regardless of the mayhem and chaos you may be currently trying to resolve. The process is too important not to do these things.
Bo Burch is the founder and CEO of Human Capital Solutions, Inc. with corporate offices in Wilmington, N.C. Human Capital Solutions is striving to be the preferred global leader in retained executive search and professional recruiting services, with industry veterans and subject matter experts in: life sciences, health care, the industrials and technology. HCS represents companies, and recruits, assesses and places key talent in the U.S., Latin America and South America, Canada and Western Europe.
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