Two questions to ask the search firm before retaining their services…
















The first question we normally receive from a prospective client is —

“Can you help us with our search need?”

Every client comes to the realization that their search requires the right search firm in order for the outcome of the project to be successful. Almost always the client is more comfortable with a search firm that has experience completing searches that are similar in nature to their hiring need. For example a client needing to hire a new CEO will always feel more comfortable retaining the services of a search firm with a solid track record of success completing CEO search assignments. “Success begets success”.

In the close to 20 years of experience successfully conducting search assignments I have noticed a few simple maxims hold true.
1) Clients who are clear on what the hired candidate must do by when —and base their hiring decision on verifiable information about the candidate are likely to hire the right candidate and achieve their hiring goal. They recognize the right candidate when they interview him or her because the candidate’s previous verifiable accomplishments match closely with their clearly stated hiring need.
2) Clients who trust in their assessment of the candidate–once it is verified by several references—stand a much better chance in hiring the right candidate. Interviews are a two way street.  The client and candidate must supply the right information and then listen and respond to their own questions.
3) Clients who follow a well wrought search process to complete their hiring need and confidently move forward with their candidate selection are always likely to hire a candidate who will deliver on the expected results and be highly successful over time.

It is interesting to note that the three maxims of success of a successful search are not predicated on industry knowledge possessed by the search firm.  That is because an effective search firm can successfully direct any search assignment because the firm knows how to do this—that is the very simple truth.

The two questions a client should ask of the search firm before retaining the firm are:
What is the average tenure of your hired candidates?
Why have the hired candidates been judged a success by your clients?

Have confidence in retaining the services of a professional search firm that demonstrates that they know how to run a successful search.  It is not as important for the search firm to be knowledgeable in your industry as it is for them to expert in their business of providing first rate search consulting service.

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Keith D. Kulper

Founder & President

Keith D. Kulper is the president and founder of KULPER & COMPANY, LLC an executive search consulting firm working in the area of senior level leadership for academia and corporate innovation. We are strong advocates of nurturing the linkage between academic investigation/research and corporate innovation/full commercialization of new product solutions. We specialize in attracting proven leaders who can effectively drive transformational change. The firm operates an Advisory Board that meets annually to bring together leaders from academia and corporate innovation to help drive continuous improvement of our professional practice. We are also an investor in early stage companies. We take pride in supporting the growth and development of business and engineering schools at leading universities throughout the United States.