Selecting The Right Search Firm

» Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Breaking News | Comments Off on Selecting The Right Search Firm

Selecting the Right Search Firm……

Traditionally, discount the decision to utilize an external search firm is made when all internal staff efforts have been exhausted.  Often those involved with the search lack firsthand, professional knowledge of the field.  A thorough understanding of current competitive market conditions is critically important to achieving a successful outcome.

The first question to be asked when a search is progressing slowly is this:   Does the internal staff have the resources and “insider” knowledge to leverage the national market effectively? Do they have the time to devote to the search?  It can become evident that the impact and cost of a staff-managed search is greater than the investment of hiring a professional search firm.

The benefits to partnering with the right external search firm include: 

The search firm is the expert in in their industry and it is what they do all day, every day.

This results in a vast and diverse pool of candidates, otherwise unavailable on the open market, regardless of current conditions.

Your staff is able to focus on their regular responsibilities instead of chasing candidates for inquiries, scheduling, etc.

The direct, internal cost resulting from the time your staff devotes to the search is eliminated.

Results are achieved in a much shorter time frame.


Selecting the Right Search Firm:


Does the firm specialize in your specific discipline?


Emerson Professionals, Inc., unlike other academic search firms, is responding, exclusively, to the critical shortage of leaders within the nursing and healthcare education sector.


How many searches are they currently conducting with a similar job title?


Ten or more searches of a similar title is acceptable.  Ask for references.


What methods do they utilize to identify candidates they will be referring to you?


If they are relying on advertising and job boards, then save your money.  You don’t need a search firm for that which you can do yourself.  Ask about their outreach efforts, their knowledge of the market, does their database contain active candidates?  Remember, the exclusivity of a professional search will assist in gaining excess to “Top Tier” candidates, currently employed and concerned about confidentiality.  They feel safe working with a third party search firm.

What are their fees, and what services are included?                  

Compare apples to apples. Who are they and what is their process?   If a firm’s fees seem significantly below market, the service they offer will most likely be limited.  Look at the timeline for payment as well.  What milestones trigger payment?  Are you comfortable with them?

How do they vet and support throughout the process until the candidate’s start date?        

Review the process carefully and consider the kinds of questions they are asking you.  Be knowledgeable of what happens after an offer is accepted.

Get current, market-competitive feedback…. How do your search parameters compare to other similar searches?  

Ask about similarities and differences in credential requirements, location, compensation, candidate perception of your organization or program, and position history.

These criteria should go a long way toward helping you find the search firm that brings you that mission-critical, talented, individual who can drive your organization to success!

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