Executive Search is a professional art that is learnt over many years. Novello Search has undertaken a number of assignments with varying complexity, from different regions. Some short, some long but all with varying challenges.
Finding a top performing executive is likened to mining for diamonds. Relevant candidates who are able to meet the specific demands of a role are rarely sitting on a database and ready to go. As a result, attracting them is both a time consuming and complex process. Our own internal research has revealed that 80 percent of our time is spent on research and building market maps and only 20 percent of our time is actually spent on contacting potential hires.
Novello Search has a strong footprint in our market and a current understanding of who is sitting where in competition to the client. Coupled with a well-rehearsed and structured methodology to go to the market, we will also represent your brand and promote it in any way that we can. The latter part is often overlooked when selecting a search firm; Novello Search works in partnership with our clients to act as an evangelist for their brand.
1. Initial client meeting
At this first meeting with the client, we discuss search needs and timeframes, and gain an understanding as to the organisation’s strategy, mission and corporate culture.
2. Gaining a better understanding of the client’s requirements
At this point, Novello Search seeks to obtain a more in-depth understanding of the hiring company. We identify key deliverables and opportunities for the new hire and begin to define the candidate profile for the role; identifying the deliverables and characteristics that will enable the successful candidate to fit into the business and its operating structure.
This stage will often involve meetings with key individuals in the hiring organisation to build up a detailed picture of the operating culture. This is essential to ensure that the new hire is a good ‘fit’.
3. Market research and the creation of a candidate specification
At this stage of the process, we carry out a deep market analysis to analyse the competitive landscape. This will influence the eventual choice of candidate. From this point, we create a detailed and compelling executive job profile, designed to attract your target audience.
This is a labour-intensive activity which requires the skills from a highly-experienced research team. The resulting candidate specification will be used as a key reference point throughout the recruitment process. It will contain all necessary detail about the role and its responsibilities, the hiring business, the dimensions and opportunities presented by the role and the type of person required to fill it, including educational and career achievements to date.
4. Defining the search strategy
The search strategy stage takes the market analysis one step further. It identifies the key companies that we may wish to target for executive talent, and defines the channels that will be utilised in order to access the very best individuals. Varied primary and secondary research tools will be used, including earlier market analysis, our comprehensive databases, online sources (including social media) and our carefully nurtured, high quality network of relevant contacts.
5. Long-listing, name generation and candidate identification
The name generation process – also called ‘talent mapping’ – involves the creation of a long-list of possible candidates across an industry or function. Sometimes we create talent maps with over 100 possible executives to consider for approach. Our search team use this list to begin qualifying each potential target and assess whether they are suitable candidates using previously defined criteria.
6. Short-listing, direct approach, qualifying and interviewing
Through an intensive period of focused internal meetings, we continue to assess the list and reduce it down to a maximum of 10 possible candidates. This list represents talent that closely matches the client’s defined success criteria.
We carry out detailed interviews with each candidate on this list to discuss the specifics of the role in question and to explore the individual’s own background, skills, experience – and potential interest in the role. This thorough process ensures that the client can look forward to receiving a list of quality, pre-screened CEO’s or CFO’s who are interested in the role, well positioned to deliver against its requirements, and keen to attend interview.
7. Basic due diligence, present short list to the client
We carry out basic due diligence before any candidate is placed before our client. Where no issues are identified, the client will receive the finalised list. Where any issues are flagged up, the reserve candidate list is reassessed and the shortlist is modified accordingly.
8. Narrowing/reducing the short list to 3-5, thorough client requested referencing
Through a final series of meetings with our search consultants, the short list is then refined further to a list of just 3-5 potential interviewees. As this stage (if requested), we will carry out bespoke indepth reference checks on each candidate and provide our own views as to each individual’s strength as an applicant; flagging up any observations on particular strengths or weaknesses. Of course most of our clients prefer to do their own referencing as it is their business they are hiring for.
9. Offer and negotiation
The interview process will begin, and external references will be received and considered. The client will then be in a position to choose their preferred candidate for an offer. The process of negotiation and salary-setting will now begin. We provide mediation services at this stage to ensure the needs of client and candidate are both satisfied and to provide expert guidance and insight where required.
10. On-boarding and integration
Our support doesn’t end at offer acceptance! We support our client with the on-boarding of the successful candidate into their new role. We vary our service according to the specific needs of the client’s HR team, and any agreements discussed at an earlier stage of the search process.
Our support with a quality on-boarding programme can help the client to achieve a successful long-term hire, through early integration into the role, team and broader organisational culture.
11. Post completion contact
We pride ourselves on maintaining excellent working relationships in the longer term with our clients. When the search process is completed, we continue to invest in the client relationship, maintaining links with both the client directly and the senior executive who was successfully placed into the role. This allows us to provide valuable services in the future, as required.