Research – The First Step to Finding the Best Talent

Research – The First Step to Finding the Best Talent

Have you ever gone shopping with the exact picture in your mind of the item you want to buy?

You have no idea if this imaginary, all bells and whistles item exists, if it’s affordable or where you might find it. You just know that it has to be exactly like it.

Sometimes, you hit the jackpot. Sometimes, after a lot of searching, you realise you need to compromise.

Executive Search is no different. Our clients come to us with an imaginary candidate in mind. An exact brief of what their dream person looks like, and don’t know how to go about finding them – which is good news for us, because if they could find them, we would be twiddling our thumbs!

In order to find that ideal candidate. You have to do your research.

All good Executive Searches start with a solid foundation of research, and here is why…

1. Benchmarking

Even in the best of client relationships, there is room for misunderstanding or error when conveying a brief. After a thorough search of the market, we present you with a longlist of candidates and a short description of their career history.

This means that at the very beginning of a search, you can give constructive feedback on which potential options are spot on and any that missing the mark. Without this comprehensive approach, you could get to the shortlist stage, 6 weeks down the line and be presented with a list of names that make no sense at all for your business.

It also allows you the opportunity to veto any names that you have prior experience with or that are sensitive to approach.

2. Mapping the market

It’s crucial to any search, that all parties understand the current state of the market. The Transport & Infrastructure sectors are fast project-based environments that move on very quickly. Your idea of what the talent market looks like from your last executive search could be very different from the realities of today.

Capture 14

Presenting you with an exhaustive map of the market identifies any opportunities or companies that are clearly good targets to recruit from and highlights any areas that you perhaps assumed would be more fruitful than others.

We can also provide salary benchmarking advice at this stage to make sure that your expectations are aligning with the market.

3. What is realistic

Once you can clearly visualise the available talent pool, it helps to solidify if your brief is realistic or if you need to make some tweaks.

Sometimes, that unicorn of a candidate that you can see in your mind’s eye, just doesn’t exist or isn’t within budget.  But that is ok. The point of research is to identify what does exist and how that can be adapted to work for your business.

More often than not, candidates that are a little unexpected end up bringing new ideas and initiatives to a business that improve processes and systems.

Over 20 years’ experience of executive search, I have seen first-hand just how critical it is to get that initial research stage really nailed. It is pivotal to understanding your requirements and getting a successful placement.

To find out more about our approach to research and how our in-house research team can help you please do get in touch.

Author: Jim Newsom

Jim Newsom

Managing Director