Delivering Leadership

Questions You Should Ask (Before Hiring Us or Anyone Else )

Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Us or Anyone Else...

You need to know upfront the search firm's process for understanding your needs and managing the recruiting process. Ask specific questions to find out how they identify and recruit potential candidates. Will they rely on their database or actively recruit targeted individuals for your position?

What is the firm's "off-limits" policy? What companies are currently "off limits" to the firm? National search firms and larger firms may create a competitive disadvantage for your company. These firms have such a high volume of projects underway at any given time that they are often forced to recruit from their own clients, which will negatively impact your business. If larger firms have a policy to not recruit from its clients, you automatically will not see key individuals from your competitors.

Ask about their average time to completion. Understand their process. How will they communicate with you?

You want to be sure that the firm is putting its best people on your project and that it's a high priority. Unlike larger search firms, cSTONE & ASSOCIATES is not about quantity. Instead we concentrate on building solid relationships with fewer clients. The same person you meet with initially will be responsible for conducting and managing your search, supported by expert research & recruiting staff. We do not pass off your important project to junior associates.

The firm you hire is a direct reflection of your company. Know the principals to gain an understanding of how they operate in the business community and to gauge their level of professionalism. Be sure their image and reputation are consistent with how you want your business represented.

Retention rates are highest when the search firm maintains contact with the successful candidate, his/her spouse and the client to ensure a smooth transition during the first twelve months.

Anything over five or six current assignments means that your search won't get the time and attention it deserves

What happens if the search is not completed after one slate of candidates, after two slates, etc.? (Some larger search firms have a reputation of "walking away" from incomplete projects; small firms cannot afford to do so.) What happens if the selected candidate does not work out?

Is the fee arrangement clear to you? Do they put it in writing? Are expenses to be billed in addition to the fee? What is the typical amount of expenses incurred for comparable searches? At cSTONE & ASSOCIATES, our fee structure is straightforward and is put forth in writing. Unlike many firms, expenses are not a hidden profit center for us.

Did the search consultant come prepared with articulate questions about your business and culture? Do they exude passion about what they do, or, do they seem more transactional? The ideal search consultant will be an advisor and partner to you and your organization. Fo they exhibit excellent listening skills? Will they have an unrelenting commitment to deliver exceptional talent? Your company and your needs should be of utmost importance to your search partner.

Is there good rapport between the two of you? Do you trust them as you would your attorney or accountant?