16 Sep 2019
At Carlin Hall, we invest significant time nurturing and developing networks within the executive search space. This helps build our own brand but importantly gives us access to key leaders in the sector. Their recommendations on people and businesses are incredibly valuable as we seek to find the ideal candidates.
Here, Joe Harkness tells us about the course of the retained process, where the successful candidate was identified just through a referral
Joe, tell us about your client…
A client that Carlin Hall serviced for a long time asked me if I would be interested in conducting a critical search to replace a long-serving retiree. I met the Managing Director and Owner, of this boutique Financial Services and Industrials specialist retained Executive Search firm. We discussed their requirement and how I could plug this gap in a timely, effective way with a solution that was tailored to suit their needs.
What was the outcome of the meeting?
The client firm was completely confident in what I could bring to the table in terms of realistic deliverables. We agreed that I will lead this search on a fully project managed basis, working exclusively as a sole supplier on this mandate for a period of 6 months. This gave me enough time to explore the market fully. Due to the nature of the hire, from experience, I knew that the pool of talent was sparse.
Did you need to consult any special requirements of the client?
Transparency was key for my client from the start. Which is why I agreed to his long and short list document to be visible at all times throughout the process, so the client knew I was operating in a timely fashion and where we were up to at any point throughout the project.
How did you approach the process?
My first step was the analysis of Carlin Hall’s extensive database to identify people already known to us who could be appropriate. Individuals who are not actively in the job market, that are pro-actively and directly approached by us, can prove to be the strongest candidates. I identified the successful candidate through a referral and approached them directly via a headhunt call.
How many candidates did you identify?
I was to identify approximately 15-20 individuals who were then further assessed and screened. However, the number of individuals identified was not going to be limited to achieve the objective of finding this Partner-level hire.
What happened next?
I then built upon the foundation data, assessing the individual’s motivations and appetite to move. I prioritised the strongest and most relevant individuals who were then invited to a ‘face to face’ session. These interviews were held at an appropriate venue, one that offers discretion and accessibility for the candidate.
Following this, the candidates were invited too several different sessions with leadership/stakeholders with the firm and then closed over an informal dinner with the client.
How did you support the client and the candidate throughout the process?
I supported both parties with a verbal overview, outlining each candidate’s experience and their resulting level of interest and commitment.
What happened after all these interviews?
Once a preferred candidate was identified, I then managed the ‘offer process,’ which was the most sensitive stage. Through close contact and communication, I supported the chosen candidate as they navigated their way through the challenges of leaving one business and joining another. I was also responsible for obtaining suitable referencing following final interview stage.
Finally, how long did the entire process take?
The project was concluded after just 6 weeks – rather than the 10-week timeline that was initially agreed – which the client was delighted with. The client was so happy with the outcome they also briefed me on a second mandate to hire a Senior Partner – less than 3 months following the completion of this search. A great outcome for everyone involved.