Higher Education Search Firm Assessment:
7 Steps Other Search Firms Don't Want You to Know
1.) Credibility - Where did they come from? It’s common for a firm to have no leadership on staff with industry related expertise. Firms are often driven by someone that used to report to such an expert, or the firm stumbled into the vertical market and now claim to be experts.
2.) References - How did they get in the business? Any search consultant with integrity will be able to comfortably provide the name of the first person that brought them into the search business or who was the expert in their field that taught them the nuances of their market.
3.) Practice - Gimmicks? Firms that are advertising referral commissions vs. trying to establish trusting relationships, fancy tag-lines and odd policies such as refusing to work with anyone that may be currently unemployed are short sighted that lack production and real focus.
4.) Engagement - Ever Explain? Is the firm over-eager to get a job description, quote their fee and then immediately begin submitting resumes? Do they inform you on how they will represent you during the search? Do they ask for a commitment on your end as well?
5.) Process - What exactly will they do? So, how exactly will they find, attract and place talent on your behalf? Are they spamming out your job posting to user groups on LinkedIn? Are they screening candidates? Do candidates provide their permission to be submitted for an opening? What level of involvement do they offer during the interview process?
6.) Client Question/Challenges - Great firms are experts in talent acquisition…they will question you! Will the firm simply say yes to every request you make? Will they provide professional opinion based on previous or compatible searches? Will they make clear to you the expectations that you and your team will be facing based on the intangibles you’ve provided?
7.) Close - If they can't close you, they can't close the best candidates. Search firms, recruiters, headhunters that buckle for you and follow the pattern of all of the above will buckle to the top players you want. They will not have the credibility, bandwidth nor ability to reach the candidates that you’re not likely to find from ads, network postings or word of mouth – they have to be sourced and closed.
"Working with John has always been a pleasure. He is very knowledgeable in the field and has years of connections that helps place people in the right fit for them and for the company using his expertise. He knows the trends and is great at forecasting where the industry is headed. I rely on John’s judgment because he’s always on target."
Director of Financial Aid, Keiser University
"I have worked with John on several occasions. He is honest, hard working and will get the job done. Unlike so many others I have found John to be extremely knowledgeable in his field and he will give you proper guidance and information. He is a true professional and I will highly recommend him to anyone looking for the services he offers."
Director, Business Development, WBT Systems
"John has a deep understanding of this sector of higher education and has shown time and again that he can produce great results. He is professional and has a direct style which I believe serves him well in his interactions with candidates as well as management. I highly recommend John for any high level search assignment."
Former CEO Lincoln Education
The Hudson Group is an executive search firm specializing in higher education recruiting and education career coaching. Contact us to discuss your needs.