Getting to know the organization, the challenges and opportunities it faces and determining the background, skills and capabilities of the person we will seek and find.
We have found that it is critical to meet with management, board members, key staff and others to understand the organization; its history, mission, goals, strategies, structure, priorities and its culture. As we are learning about the organization we begin to identify the characteristics of the ideal candidate-background, experiences, skills, competencies-and the key results you expect him/her to deliver short and long term.
With this information in hand we begin to create a position specification. This document is meant to provide prospective candidates with a clear understanding of the organization, the responsibilities of the position and the challenges s/he will face. It also presents the background, professional experience and personal characteristics required to satisfy your requirements.
We encourage clients to carefully review the position description and to recommend any and all changes they believe would help make it a better document. This process helps participants reach consensus on critical elements of the position and person we shall seek and sets the stage for the steps to follow.
STEP TWO: Candidate Research & Identification
Conduct comprehensive original research generating a list of candidates who are interested, screened and evaluated.
Working closely with our client we develop a target universe; the organizations and roles most likely to yield the best candidates. Our experienced researchers then begin to identify specific candidates in the target universe. In order to accomplish this they utilize our proprietary database comprised of individuals who may be contacts, candidates or both. In addition we make extensive use of the World Wide Web and the Internet to obtain data from public as well as proprietary databases.
As names are generated we begin calling potential candidates, screening for capability and interest. For those candidates who show the greatest amount of promise we focus on reviewing their resumes and holding subsequent phone conversations in order to further qualify them and narrow the field.
In some searches there are strong internal candidates. In those instances we add those candidates to the pool and subject them to the same screening and evaluation process used for outside candidates.
STEP THREE: Candidate Qualification
Jim Lubawski personally interviews those candidates who have the highest likelihood of success. Complete, written reports are submitted along with our recommendation for further development.
There are no shortcuts taken at this stage. We do not do video interviews or allow juniors to conduct these interviews; this step is too critical. The interview follows a chronological format. Each step in the candidate's life and career is discussed. It is our firm belief that the best indication of future performance is past performance. Consequently we have the candidates tell us about themselves and their careers. We learn about each successive position, their accomplishments and shortcomings.
Our goal is to identify the candidate's strengths, weaknesses and how well they would fit our client's requirements and culture. The reports go into great detail; clients routinely say that they feel they "know the candidates" before they meet them in person because of the depth and completeness of our reports. This approach insures that only the best candidates are presented for client interviews and that subsequent interviews can be as productive as possible.
We also begin the reference checking and verification process at this step. Since the vast majority of candidates we meet are employed, great care is taken to be sure that we do not violate candidate's confidentiality at this stage of the process.
STEP FOUR: Client/Candidate Interviews
At this point in the process our involvement can vary a great deal. In some instances, where there are only one or two decision makers and they are accustomed to identifying and selecting a finalist, our role is supportive in nature. We are available to schedule meetings between the client and candidates, help handle logistical arrangements and act as an intermediary for de-briefing sessions after the interviews.
In other instances, when there is a large group making the selection and/or they have not worked together before (eg. A board selecting a new CEO or a selection committee working together for the first time at a University or other not-for-profit organization) we can take a very active role. Our involvement can include work with the interviewing team in order to help them create questions and a process that insures all key areas and competencies are discussed and can be assessed. Further, we are available to help facilitate the decision-making process in order to assure that the best possible candidate is selected.
STEP FIVE: Recruitment, Negotiation & Transition
Once you select a finalist we contact previous supervisors, subordinates and peers of the candidate in confidence in order to conduct a complete reference check. The collective comments are presented to you orally and in writing.
Presuming there are no surprises during the final reference checking process we are happy to work with you to structure an offer. The candidate's current compensation package, you organization's compensation structure and competitive market information can all be taken into consideration.
We are often asked to play a role in the final negotiations between you and the candidate. As an intermediary we can deal with sensitive issues and deal with them in a forthright manner.
Making sure that both you and the successful candidate are happy is something we take very seriously. We check back with both parties frequently during the first few months of employment and then quarterly for the first year to make sure that expectations on both sides are being met and that the placement is a success.