As organisations struggle to secure the services of the best candidates from the marketplace, there is a need for search consultants to produce key players who match the pre-agreed specification, with the right attitude and required levels of proactivity.
Search assignment failure generates a strain on fragile corporate and personal relationships.
Many key players are reluctant to move from one organisation to another in times of market turbulence, even though many companies are experiencing growth. However, at such times, the introduction of new blood will assist with growth and add substantial shareholder value.
It is at times like these that executive search consultants can greatly assist strategic growth, but they need to have a close working relationship with the corporate client, and an intimate understanding of the needs of the organisation and the human chemistry involved. Client and executive search consultant need to work hand-in-hand. Yet, as the end of 2003 approaches, there seems to be a disconnection between them, even though more emphasis is placed upon supply chain management, preferred supplier routes and seamless service provision within FTSE organisations.
I suppose if supply chain management techniques involving regular appraisal and review are implemented, there is a greater chance of a successful outcome. But this cannot be a foregone conclusion, even where a 360-degree approach is used.
In many cases, lip service is paid to the well-worn statement: "Successful search is a matter of strong personal relationships, achieving or exceeding pre-agreed targets, producing the right candidates, and managing the process pre- and post- commencement". Yet, failure to produce suitable candidates still occurs, and consultants and agencies can often produce mediocrity or a shortlist that bears little resemblance to the original criteria.
To be successful, there needs to be close attention to detail and a specific brief that fully covers the tangible and non-tangible aspects of the role and the organisation. A robust process needs to be applied and re-iterated at regular intervals, and finally, total commitment must be given to full and regular communication between the client, the consultant and the candidates.
So why do failures occur with such a well-scripted brief? Incomes for many search firms have been and are still reducing, although the first