T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T :

In many organizations today, the critical and complex executive recruiting, assessment and selection processes have become infrequent, event-driven, and at times, distracting part-time activities.  All too often, high expectations and the need for quality outcomes are compromised during the recruiting process, with less than optimum results.  Unfortunately, and for a variety of reasons, hiring executives often don't even recognize that the compromises were made.  The real tragedy in this scenario is that often both the organization and the individual hired have unrealistic expectations for the future.

Albert Einstein was correct. The world is in a state of constant change.  And, the ingredients for successful leadership and achievement are continually evolving.  The personal knowledge, management skills and leadership abilities of an executive sufficient for past success may not be adequate for tomorrow.  There must be continuous personal growth, development and adaptation.  Indeed, without these changes, yesterday's knowledge, skills and abilities may even become tomorrow’s liabilities.

The daunting challenge is how to identify and recruit only those executives who comprise that small percentage of individuals possessing the critical ingredients for successful leadership and achievement.  The bottom line is that the executive selection process, done correctly in this fluid environment of constant change, is complex and demanding.  One that requires a dedicated effort, specialized skills and the investment of considerable time and resources.

As professionals, The Custer Group implements a process dedicated to securing the best executive talent for our clients.  Individuals who:

  Possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required for success today, and in the foreseeable future.
  Instinctively evolve their talents and skills and see change as an opportunity that is full of promise.
  Are able to interpret and understand the dynamics evolving around them, identify patterns in change, create successful strategies and craft shared visions.
  Take the initiative to act and capitalize on the future, rather than waiting for random events or adversity to require them to take action.
  Inspire others with the confidence to embrace the future, rather than the past.

T H E   E X E C U T I V E   S E A R C H   P R O C E S S :

Our executive search process is comprehensive.  Every step has the focus of serving the client's need and is tailored to the objectives of the individual project.  However, common elements typically include:

  Client Consultations
    We conduct a thorough discovery meeting with the hiring executive and relevant members of the management team to determine the requirements for the position.  We also endeavor to identify all other important factors about the company, culture, competition, etc.  The information developed in these meetings becomes the foundation for our search plan and strategy.
  Search Plan And Specifications
    At this juncture we develop a Search Project Plan that serves to guide all of our activities during the project.  We also prepare and submit for client review and approval both a comprehensive Position Specification and a detailed Candidate Profile. These two critical documents form the basis for targeted search activities and for communication with individuals during the recruitment process.
  Research & Search Strategy
    For each executive search assignment we develop an in-depth recruitment strategy to direct the recruiting activities and a research strategy to provide the targeted support information necessary to identify high potential individuals.  The research strategy will often draw on a complement of external resources to identify the environments where prospective candidates are most likely to be found.
  Candidate Identification
    The search and research strategies come together and enable us to source and identify prospective candidates.  Extensive communications are involved in the process of qualifying prospective individuals and to identify the high potential candidates.
    Most high potential candidates are successfully engaged and not seeking to make a change.  Thus, it is often necessary to develop a strategy for each high potential candidate to recruit them for the client opportunity.  A unique approach must be crafted that positions the opportunity to appeal to the aspirations and desires of the individual.
  Interview And Assessment
    We conduct personal meetings with the high potential candidates to further assess their individual qualifications and characteristics.  We validate their pertinent skills and experience and also assess such things as strategic vision, creativity, cultural fit, etc.  These meetings also serve to allow us to engage in discussions that enable us to assess their communication skills and interpersonal abilities.
  Presentation Of Candidates
    The executive search process is one of elimination.  A disciplined process that results in a short list of the highest potential candidates for the position.  At this stage, we meet with the client and extensively review each candidate and their qualifications.
  Client/Candidate Meetings
    We then make the necessary arrangements for the client and the top candidates to meet and appropriately brief each party for the meeting.  Successful client/candidate meetings often require extensive coordination and communications to ensure optimum results.
  Candidate Evaluations
    Subsequent to the client/candidate meetings we provide feedback to each party and also assist the client in evaluating and comparing the individual candidates.  We help them compare the candidates to the Position Specification and Candidate Profile, and to the other candidates.  The decision to select the final candidate is always the clients and we assist them in any way that we can to make the best possible decision.
  Reference Checking
    Formal reference checks are conducted to help validate the candidate's background, management ability, technical competency, integrity and character.
  Compensation And Negotiations
    Where appropriate, we counsel the client relative to the compensation package and are frequently asked to negotiate on behalf of our client with the selected candidate.  As is often the case, at this stage both parties have a strong desire to proceed and a third party can facilitate understanding, agreement and closure.
    We have a vested interest in the success of both our client and the successful candidate.  Therefore, we work to facilitate the transition and continue to act as a liaison over the next year.
  Client Communications
    Probably the single most important element of a successful search project is our communication with the client.  The majority of our work is done out of the field of view of the client, and it is our responsibility to keep them informed about the status of the project.  We routinely communicate with clients by phone, e-mail and personal meetings to ensure continual client awareness of the progress of the project.
We are committed to achieving excellent results for our clients.  We conduct a thorough executive search process while they are free to do what they do best.


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© 2001 The Custer Group, Inc.