Archive for the Retained Search Category

What I Learned in Bangkok (Part 1)

  A few weeks ago, my partner Sally Stetson and I spent a week in Bangkok, Thailand attending the annual meeting of IIC Partners.  Our firm is a member of this global network of independently owned retained search firms and this meeting is devoted to sharing best practices, developing relationships with each other and generally […]

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Don’t Call Me a Headhunter

Headhunter. The definition of a “headhunter” is someone who seeks, collects and preserves the heads of enemies as trophies or ceremonial objects. This is not what I do and I certainly hope it’s not something my competitors do.   Whenever I attend an event and meet people for the first time, most ask me what […]

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In Praise of Non-Profit CEOs

A while back, I was contacted by a journalist who was upset about CEO compensation for non-profit executives.  He thought many of them made too much money, which he found especially galling since he thought they had cushy jobs.   Specifically, he said things like:   “It’s not like they have shareholders!” “They don’t have […]

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The One That Got Away: Why Some Companies Just Can’t Land Superstars

“We need to win the war for talent!”; “People are our most important assets!”; “The only capital we have is human capital!” blah blah blah   Insert CEO’s name here and these statements could come from the leader of any Fortune 500 company.  Ask one of these leaders what their top five priorities are and […]

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How’s the Job Market?

Being an executive search consultant brings with it a variety of occupational hazards.  When people discover my profession, they immediately work the word “headhunter” into the conversation and then apologize to me in case I’m insulted by it (I’m not, but I don’t embrace it).  Or they send me copies of resumes from friends and […]

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The Hiring Manager Has No Clothes

When swapping stories with fellow talent acquisition professionals on assignments that yielded less-than-satisfactory outcomes, the question usually comes up as to when the search went awry.  The answer almost invariably is that it went wrong from the start.  Whether it was the position not being filled or the placed candidate ultimately failing in his or […]

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What to Assess When You’re Assessing

The use of some type of assessment methodology has been on the increase in the executive selection process over the past several years. While executive assessment is nothing new in Corporate America and tools such as Assessment Centers have been in use for well over 30 years, the proliferation of the use of assessment tools […]

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The Biggest Misconceptions about Executive Search

I’m starting to think I am in a profession that almost no one understands.   Sixteen years ago, my partner, Sally Stetson, and I started a retained executive search firm. The field existed long before our entry into it and the essential service offering has changed very little. Employers retain us to find the best […]

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Random Thoughts

One of the problems in writing a blog is that on periodic occasions, you actually have to write one. After several entries, I’ve found—at least over the short-term—that I’ve run out of insights that merit 500 words or more on a regular basis. I’ve also come to the conclusion that those who are able to […]

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What Companies Are Looking for in their HR Leaders

In the executive search world, I often hear several “ideal profiles” when companies are looking for new human resources leaders; however, most companies have one thing in common: they want a solid human resources generalist who “knows their stuff” across a variety of functional areas.   In addition to broad-based human resources skills, talent management, […]

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