It Takes Two: Tips for Clients and Search Firms to Build an Effective Relationship

06/21/2017 08.45 EST

Lack of communication and feedback from the client can be the most frustrating aspect of the search process.

When clients retain us to conduct an executive search assignment, they usually have a definitive sense of who they want to hire. Typically, the position has been open for some time, it’s a critical role for the organization, and the client is feeling frustration and a sense of urgency. Time is of the essence, but they also want to ensure they hire a highly qualified candidate and avoid a missed opportunity.   We’ve worked with many clients over the last 20 years and seen some of the same patterns in searches across varying industries. Based upon our experience, I’ve highlighted a few suggestions that may help organizations maximize their experiences with search firms:   Role Clarity: Take the time up front to gather as much information on the position’s responsibilities, key objectives and priorities, and create an overview of the team reporting to the role. This insight helps the search consultant be more efficient when launching the search. Key Stakeholder Access: The search consultants should have a series of conversations with whoever manages the specific role, members of the team, and key internal clients. This information allows the search firm to learn more about the position and what type of person will be a good fit, as well as get a sense of the overall office culture. Additionally, it helps the client and consultant make sure they’re both on the same page. Collateral Materials: Provide the search firm with background documents, such as an organization chart, company...