In this podcast, we’re diving into the topic of executive recruiting. Our guest is Peter Olmsted, CSH’s Director of Executive Talent Solutions, who will be discussing how he helps our clients find the right talent for their executive and C-level positions.
Podcast Show Notes:
1. Why would a company need to hire an executive search consultant?
If a company is continuously scouting for talent, identifying their future needs early, developing their best people, and retaining their top talent, they won’t need executive search unless there is a new skill set needed that was not anticipated. Turnover will happen and executive search is then necessary.
Another reason to hire an executive search firm would be when the organization is being held back by someone in a key position. If you know there is someone on your direct staff who is not capable of raising their game and is therefore holding back the whole organization, you have an obligation to do something about it. We can help you through the entire process, from making the right decision to taking the action and communicating with your organization.
2. Talk to me about the difference between executive search and the broader idea of Executive Talent Solutions.
Although we do many executive searches each year in a variety of disciplines, our real value comes from learning a client’s business inside and out, understanding their business strategies and helping to guide their talent strategies to support their strategic plans. We believe in long-term partnerships and not just a quick hit one-time fee for a high-end service like executive search. Executive search is crucial – finding the right people for the right position. But if the organization doesn’t have a defined talent strategy, you may be hiring great people, but you may not be hiring the right people to achieve your plans.
3. If Executive Talent Solutions is like your toolbox to help clients, what tools are you using?
There’s not a cookie-cutter approach to any complex business situation and there certainly isn’t one for HR, which covers a wide variety of challenges. Every business and CEO we work with is different and faces different people-related challenges. Depending on the organization and the problems they face, we have different “tools” – for example, tools for improving talent development, addressing HR process issues, optimizing organization design, and assessing employee engagement.
We care about the whole business and the issues our clients deal with every day. You can’t look narrowly at one issue without considering the broader impact on the whole.
4. Let’s drill down on how we approach executive search specifically in ways that may be different from others.
We provide a premium level of service at the same cost as other firms. We limit the number of searches we conduct at one time to a maximum of three per advisor on our team. This not only improves speed, but it greatly improves quality. For me, I have never had a candidate that I placed leave before three years with a company and I have been doing executive search for more than a decade. Quality is so important and the cost of a mistake is enormous. Not just cost in dollars but the impact to the organization and culture.
High commission-based compensation models, which is the norm for the industry, can cause bad behavior. Our team is salaried and our purpose is the satisfaction of our clients and doing the right thing. If, at the end of the day, our clients are happy because we found the perfect candidate, that’s success to us.
We treat applicants like we treat our clients. We are an extension of you in the marketplace and we represent you well by keeping candidates informed and handling business professionally.
5. You mentioned that retaining and developing your executive and high-potential talent is the better than going out to search. Do you have any advice for companies on how to keep their top talent?
Yes; have a plan for all your top leaders and your high-potential employees. I can recruit your best people tomorrow if they don’t have a meaningful plan for their next development opportunity. It’s not enough to say we are “grooming you” for such-and-such position. It must be specific to be meaningful. If your people have a meaningful plan for their career already in place when I call, they won’t even listen to the opportunity I have to pitch. And, that’s a very good thing for you!