Executive Searches

Executive Search

Search Process

By design, we are a small, close-knit firm offering personal care to every client. Maintaining the quality of our work is paramount.

We are search generalists, working in many fields as well as specialists in a few areas (nonprofits, education, religious organizations and hospitality). Our primary focus is on first and second level executives such as CEOs, President and General Managers, along with the functional Vice Presidents reporting to those positions.

Our approach to executive search allows us to concentrate on the unique mission, on culture, challenges and organizational fit of the client. We believe our gifts of wisdom and sensitivity enable us to discern the values, operational style, impediments to change and opportunities for growth or improvement of the organization. These same abilities enable us to find the personality, skills, and experience in candidates that will best suit the particular needs of the client.

We believe successful searches are the result of a search process refined over time that is focused on excellent results. Our long-standing reputation for excellence often leads to subsequent assignments.

We attribute our record of success to the diligent application of our process for identifying, screening, evaluating and recruiting quality candidates. For excellent results, filling a position must involve establishing a good relationship, not just a hiring transaction. Our process is summarized as follows:

Initial Consultation

During the initial meeting with a client, we review the client’s particular industry, markets, organization and technical information regarding the position to be filled. We also seek to understand the unique management and workplace culture which includes learning about the work atmosphere and personalities the candidate will work for and with, as well as determining what causes individual success or failure at this firm and thoroughly understanding the company’s vision. If confidentiality allows, we would like time with the supervisor and peers of the position in order to determine their perspective, style and personality. Since our goal is to find someone in whom the supervisor will have confidence both in ability and style, this part of the process is crucial.

Opportunity Profile

We next prepare an Opportunity Profile which describes the client organization, detailing the nature of the position, and profiling the qualities and experience possessed by the ideal candidate. This detailed document, once approved by the client, serves as the primary instrument to communicate the opportunity during our search process. A major impact of the Opportunity Profile is its articulate, thorough style in attracting candidates to the position and organization.


Our research director, in concert with the Search Consultant, begins identifying sources and candidates. We access our database of 40,000+ potential candidates or sources likely to provide leads and networking, utilize a variety of online databases, business directories and association membership lists, and gather names from our extensive network of personal contacts. The vast majority of the time, final candidates are found by pro-actively seeking out candidates and wooing them to be interested in the opportunities. The results we achieve are usually outstanding.

Development of Prospective Candidate List

We welcome our client’s suggestions as to which organizations or people may be likely sources to identify potential candidates, and conduct an exhaustive exploration for candidates who meet the criteria in the Opportunity Profile. The Opportunity Profile is then sent to the people obtained through this process, with follow up phone calls made to high-potential sources or candidates.

Screening and Interviewing of Potential Candidates

As resumes are received in response to our inquiries, we begin the evaluation process. Through many phone interviews, we reduce the pool of prospective candidates to those with sufficient potential to warrant a personal interview. During these interviews, each candidate is evaluated against the criteria as set forth in the Opportunity Profile. Other areas explored include the candidate’s level of interest in the position, compensation requirements, career goals and the geographical/cultural fit for the candidate and his/her family with the position.

We are not looking for good candidates because good isn’t good enough. Our clients want excellent candidates. Our goal is to locate candidates with great relational skills, who are both strategic and tactical, who keep growing and who already have a proven track record.

Reference Checking, Background Report and Preparation of Candidate Profile

Six to ten references are typically checked for each candidate we expect to present, including superiors, close peers and subordinates. A background search to include driving record, credit report and criminal history will be obtained. Educational degrees are also verified. Before presentation to the client, we prepare a Candidate Profile which includes the candidate’s resume, career progression, an evaluation of his/her overall fit for the position and their in depth response to a client’s unique questionnaire. We conduct thorough reference checks prior to presenting a candidate to a client, thereby reducing the potential of having to remove a candidate from eligibility after presentation.

Candidate Introduction to Client and Initial Client Interviews

The three or four most highly qualified candidates are typically introduced to our client and interviews are conducted. We furnish interviewing suggestions and guides to assist the client and are available during the candidate interviews, offering invaluable counsel as requested. After the interviews are completed, we follow up with the client and each candidate for feedback to insure that all important issues are identified. As needed, we assist in any clarification or problem resolution between the candidates and the client.

Second Client Interview

After the initial interview, the client may wish to interview the top one or two candidates a second time. After determining the preferred candidate, peers and subordinates to the position often also interview the candidate in order to gain additional input leading to a final decision. If this happens, it gives greater understanding to both the supervisor and his team, as well as to the candidate and thus making for a more informed hiring decision.

Offer and Negotiations

Our clients often ask us to assist in structuring a compensation package. If requested, we may act as a facilitator to resolve issues such as relocation, severance agreements, etc. After the client makes the offer, we seek the candidate’s reaction. If there is any hesitation in the candidate accepting the offer, we help resolve any problems which might cause an obstacle. Acting as a “go-between” during the offer period helps prevent any breakdown in communication during the “courtship” and decreases the potential for misunderstandings between the client and the candidate. Once the offer has been accepted, we talk with the candidate in order to minimize any apprehensions or questions which may arise regarding the new position, and to avoid the development of any other situations that might cause the candidate to change his/her mind.


We periodically follow-up with our client and the newly placed candidate during the first year after the completion of the search. If both can say that things are going well and there haven’t been any negative surprises, then we know that we have had another successful assignment.