The need for architects, software design, and algorithm developers is growing. The artificial intelligence recruiter lead for NextGen Executive Search has a solid background in identifying and placing engineers, product managers, sales / business development professionals in senior executive management, functional leadership, and lead roles to lead strategy, develop solutions for customers, and build platforms.
As a leading artificial intelligence recruiter, our team works with startups, mid-cap, and international conglomerates placing experts in natural language and context-aware processing, deep learning, pattern recognition, industrial automation, neural networks, machine learning, and biometrics.
Regardless of whether you need a CXO or VP in strategy, functional leadership, sales / business development, or a principal engineer / architect the NextGen artificial intelligence recruiter will deliver candidates that meet or exceed the objectives of the role. Companies focused on how to implement Ai platforms and applications are frustrated with what appears to be few candidates with relevant expertise, too many candidates from IT who only know data science, and very heavy competition for in staffing.
Whether you are building a digital system, integrating Ai into mobile apps, robotics, financial, or automation, NextGen Executive Search has successfully identified and placed Ai professionals in oil and gas, FinTech, AdTech, medical devices, cyber security, aerospace, and wireless industries. When you need an artificial intelligence recruiter who understands machine learning, cognitive theory, deep learning, k-nearest neighbors, random forests, ensemble methods, cloud architecture, big data, data science, IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, and Chatbots, look to NextGen
2017 and 2018 are characterized by an explosion of urbanization with as IoT enables smart cities to optimize services to their residents. According to the recent World Cities report of the United Nations over 3.7 billion people are now living in urban areas, while this number is expected to double by 2050. Urbanization trends are accompanied by a rise of the aging population and the emergence of entirely new lifestyle work patterns (e.g., telecommuting).
All these changes are putting extreme pressures on modern cities, which have to cope with the depletion of natural resources (e.g., water, energy) and the support of new lifestyles in a way that ensures sustainable development. In this context, the concept that IoT enables smart cities is a reality, such as vendors such as SIGFOX covers more than 10 million objects registered on its network which currently spans 26 countries.
IoT networks are able to leverage both advanced technologies and a city’s human capital in order to optimize urban operations, improve environment performance, create new sustainable business opportunities and improve the citizens’ quality of life. Smart cities are based on advanced ICT infrastructures and technologies such as high-speed broadband connectivity, multi-purpose low power sensors and actuators, as well as cloud computing infrastructures that facilitate scalable collection and processing of large volumes of data about the urban context. Most of these technologies are underpinning the Internet-of-Things (IoT) paradigm, which explains the close affiliation between smart cities and IoT.
Overall, as IoT enables smart cities becomes saturated in terms of sensors and mobile devices (e.g., smartphones used by citizens), they provide umbrella environments for the development of many different smart city applications. The latter can be classified according to two major (yet orthogonal) criteria:
Given the multitude of IoT technologies and applications in smart cities, policy makers need to prioritize the development of their IoT projects and infrastructures in-line with their urban development strategy. The latter strategy defines the city’s goals and substantiates them based on tangible KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), such as improvements in CO2 emissions and environment performance, reductions in urban traffic and the average time of urban trips in the city, increase in GDP (Goss Domestic Product) of the city, quality of life indexes and more.
With this strategy at hand, technology advisors and city CIOs (Chief Information Officers) can work towards preparing a comprehensive strategy for the tasks that IoT enables smart cities requires in terms of the infrastructures to be developed and the IoT projects to be implemented. The selection of projects should consider the application domains that need to be targeted in order to meet the specified performance indicators. The development of a city’s IoT strategy is usually a complex task, as it should consider multiple factors and trade-offs, including financial, business and technology factors at the same time. For instance, as most cities operate on quite constrained budgets it’s always important to define projects with realistic budgets, which could be financed either by the city’s budget or as part of public-private partnerships. The latter is a very popular paradigm for financing the usually costly IoT infrastructure development projects.
As a prominent example, the LinkNYC project, which provides New Yorkers with super-fast WiFi for free, is a result of a public private partnership between the city and the CityBridge consortium where Intersection, Qualcomm, CIVIQ Smartscapes and other companies participate.
In terms of technological factors, IoT enables smart cities a strategy that should specify key technological choices, including:
A vertical applications development phase, where applications in vertical areas (such as energy and urban mobility) are developed. An applications integration and interoperability phases, where different vertical applications are integrated in order to monitor or achieve city wide KPIs such as sustainability KPIs based on a combination of transport, energy, mobility and water management projects. An open innovation and citizens’ engagement phase, where citizens and innovators engage with existing infrastructures and applications in order to provide additional social and innovation capital, as a means of expanding and optimizing the operation of integrated applications.
In this landscape, we are witnessing a proliferation of smart city projects in many cities of the developed world. Nevertheless, there are also on-going efforts to improve existing smart city projects and broaden the scope and capabilities of new projects. These efforts concern both technological and non-technological developments and include:
Overall, the vision that IoT enables smart cities is gradually realized, but much more is yet to come. In this evolving landscape city authorities, technologies providers and other stakeholders are expected to collaborate to develop and execute effective IoT strategies for urban development.
Nanotechnology has been slowly treading into the field of biomedicine for almost a decade now. Owing to the fact that nanotechnology for biomedical usage is still a relatively newer technology surrounded by many ethical debates, its footsteps are a little slow and careful. So what is nanotechnology? As the name would suggest, it is the putting of nanotechnology to medicinal usage and that is where aI - aka artificial intelligence comes to light.
You can put about a thousand nano-particles side by side in the cross-section of a singular hair and disseminate them into the bloodstream to be in motion with the same fluidity as a red blood cell. Many biomedical scientists and researchers have managed to apply nanotechnology productively. In 2016, a DNA nanorobot was created for targeted drug delivery in cancerous cells. The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, China recently created a bactericidal nanoparticle that carried an antibiotic and successfully suppressed a bacterial infection in mice.
However, the most remarkable innovation in this field was in 2017, when biomedical engineers designed and created small-scale locomotive robots mimicking the structure, mobility, and durability of red-blood cells. These nanobots developed by AI architects exhibit the ability to swim, climb, roll, walk, jump over and crawl in between the liquid or solid terrains inside the human body. Scientists expect that with the creation of these nanobots, they will be able to freely circulate around the body, diagnose malfunctions, deliver drugs to the disease, and report back by lighting up while performing their drug delivery.
As amazing as that may sound, many find it equally as invasive; hence the ethical debates surrounding nanomedicine. However, taking a completely neutral stance, we will try to give the readers a brief overview of what Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage is all about, what strides it has made and where it stands currently.
Owing to these characteristics, nano-particles have found their effective uses in the medicinal field. Some of these Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage methods include the following:
This involves nano-particles that are constructed of immune-system-friendly materials, implanted with drugs and sent to the targeted areas of the body. Owing to their small size, they can effectively target only the areas that are disease-ridden; dysfunctional parts of the cells as opposed to the entire cells, or whole organs. This essentially means minimal side-effects because it lowers healthy cell damage.
This can be demonstrated by the example of NCNST creating nano-robots that carried a blood-coagulating enzyme called Thrombin. These thrombin-carrying nano-particles were then sent to tumor cells, essentially cutting off tumor blood supply. Another example of drug delivery using nanoparticles is of CytImmune, a leading diagnostic company that used nanotechnology for precision-based delivery of chemotherapy drugs – it published the results of their first clinical trials, while the second one is underway. Many such methods of drug delivery are being used for cancer, heart diseases, mental diseases and even aging.
As per the National Institutes of Health, the procedure encompassing regenerative involves “creating live, practicable tissues to repair or replace tissues or organ functions lost because of a slew of reasons, which may be chronic disease, increasing age or congenital defects.”
Just as nano-bots mimic the structure of red blood cells, they can mimic the function of auto-immune cells and antibodies in order to aid the natural healing process. Because the natural cellular interaction takes place at a micro-scale level, nanotechnology can make its uses known in multiple different ways. Some of these include regeneration of bone, skin, teeth, eye-tissue, nerve cells and cartilages. Ai is able to collect and direct and modify regenerations.
You can read about the Ai in nanotechnology for biomedical usage based cell repair by in the following article; The Ideal Gene Delivery Vector: Chromalloytes, Cell Repair Nanorobots for Chromosome Repair Therapy. While such a powerful and innovative technology has its innumerable advantages in the medical field, it must be used within certain ethical perimeters for long-term applicability. Nano-technology brings with it many risks that need to be kept in mind by researchers. If you need help to identify and recruit senior executives or functional leaders in advanced medical devices, electronic health records, biopharma, or artificial intelligence technology, consider the experienced team at NextGen Global Executive Search.
With over 23 years recruiting for medical device manufacturers, biomedical research and development, Ai development, medical devices semiconductor vendors, NextGen Global Executive search has served clients worldwide to identify and recruit "A players:" who can meet or exceed your objectives in senior management, functional leadership, and key sales, engineering, product management roles. Click below to contact us today.
The new hire onboarding process, for so many companies, is crammed into orientation or fails. New hire onboarding increases productivity when used correctly. Unfortunately the main causes for onboarding failure are two-fold. One is Human Resources tries to use a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Secondly, it involves too much valuable time of executives to follow the onboarding plan.
The executive recruiter found the "A Player you need. Your expectations are that the new leader or key staff person you just hired will make an impact sooner rather than later. You've made an investment in strategy, compensation, and a recruitment fee. Now is the time to utilize a CUSTOMIZED new hire onboarding process to increase the potential of gaining a Return on your Investment.
If you had engaged an executive search firm to recruit for a key position at any level, the recruiter should provide a custom employee onboarding set of tools based on the role and team dynamics. Doing so results in the new hire meeting performance objectives sooner and being retained longer. A best practices employee onboarding process will help you accomplish all of the above when designed and facilitated as a customized, one-on-one version.
In order to design, document, and deliver a viable, easy to utilize new hire onboarding process that works requires a few hours each month for both the new hire and manager he/she reports to. The guidelines should consist of a psychometric based team profile, the new hire's role fit and team fit analysis, a personal action plan for the new employee, a mentoring / coaching guideline, and a measurement tool.
Many companies spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars with so-called Human Resources or People Management firms or psychology-based firms that in the end produce a one-size-fits-all model based on a corporate profile / corporate culture. They are very time consuming so rarely are they carried out for new employees to fruition. To make matters worse, often it is handed over to HR, who is not part of the individual team the person was hired for and their focus is on orientation and "corporate culture" assimilation rather than how the new hire assimilates into the team he/she will be working within.
Facilitated correctly, the plan should smoothly and quickly assimilate the new employee into the team culture, not just the company culture. By capturing profile data about the new hire, his/her direct reports, and the organization, a plan is developed for maximizing understanding, positive communications, and relational communications effectiveness.
An effective new hire onboarding process ensures the new executive or employee knows exactly what the senior team expects and receives specific feedback early, helping him/her to establish effective influential networks, social, community, and professional, internal and external relational communications and conflict resolution skills. The end result is higher retention because the phased activities lead to deeper engagement, innovation, and job fulfillment levels.
NextGen Executive search charges NOTHING to deliver a custom new hire onboarding process with each new hire we place. Our placements average 3.5 years still on the job retention rate. The employee onboarding new hire process will provide a good initial experience for a new hire and lay a strong foundation upon which to build loyalty, inspiration, innovation, and high performance.
Looking to fill a key executive position in your company? Contact us today for a free retained search consultation or download our award winning recruitment process.
Corporate recruiters and staffing firms utilize various forms of screening interviews and candidate assessments but fail to measure role fit and team fit to help determine who makes the shortlist for for the Hiring Manager to consider.
For executive recruiters it’s a combination of interview notes, references, details about accomplishments, and the recruiter’s gut feeling that these are the candidates to consider.
Corporate recruiters and large staffing firms often add some type of DISC based behavioral test or aptitudes testing to help in their candidate assessments.
In the end the Hiring Manager thinks they are getting the best candidates available according to the recruiter’s gut feeling, the interview committee’s thoughts on a relatively short interview, and one or more candidate assessments (according to their HR, corporate recruiting/talent acquisition group, or external recruiter).
But all too often failing to make sure the candidates being considered fit the role and are a team fit that will be a positive impact on team dynamics. What ends up happening is that a “C player”, a body that shows up and can perform the tasks but adds no real value, is hired.
Time after time I hear from VPs that within 6 months, a year or two AFTER a new hire that that “x” employee is okay, but he/she wishes the employee had the insight and ability to make better decisions, develop effective cost savings, or improve deliverables. This puts an added burden on the rest of the team that employee is working within, as well as the VP or manager who must figure out a way to make up for that employee’s lack of added value.
Hindsight shows that the candidate assessments are resulting in a shortlist delivered to the Hiring Manager prior to the face-to-face interviews and hire failed to address whether that candidate would be a “natural fit” for the team and what about that candidate would bring “real value” to making the overall team better.
The most common, and mistakenly, the worst determining factor, is based primarily on whether the candidate has the skills, experience, and track record of past accomplishments to do the job. This is a rote exercise where the recruiter matches up the responsibilities of the role with past work history and matches requirements with skills on a resume.
The Hiring Manager and his/her interview team then “guess” if the candidate’s personality and communications style will tell them if he/she is a team fit. Yes that is a guess as those latter parts are determined by a few or a committee whose members spent at the most a few hours in a prefabricated interview process face-to-face with the candidate.
Tragically, these candidate assessments and screening processes result in recruiters delivering the “C player” and occasionally a “B player” or the company hiring someone who will reveal they lack in key interpersonal areas or were the wrong team fit. What the recruiter should have done is take the objectives, aka the end game of the role into consideration. Responsibilities on a job description rarely give more than a very brief sentence or two about the objectives.
The recruiter should get with the Hiring Manager to discuss the short-term and long-term objectives of the role apart from the responsibilities. The second factor is whether the potential candidate is a cultural and team fit. This is where the recruiter fails most often as companies are too eager to use a corporate public image profile of their culture they would either like the public, their employees, or customers to believe in or that they desire to attain.
But the truth is EACH DEPARTMENT is unique. One needs to consider the team profile the candidate will be working within to then analyze if a candidate is a team fit. This means taking into consideration that team’s natural and adaptive communications styles, values and motivations, and decision making traits in order to identify a Team Profile.
Since we are not all born and raised in the same place, geographical culture, education, religion, and family dynamics of individuals play a big part in this – especially in the relational side of how one views his/her self and views others.Many vendors provide different forms of scientific, or skills-based, or psychometric, or behavioral testing and candidate assessments software. Most are one-size fits all in their approach and fail to take the skills, interview notes, and other aspects into consideration.
And without FIRST developing an ACCURATE Team Profile, you cannot know whether that candidate will be a “natural fit” as these tests and assessments are too one-sided. Sadly, this leads to often hiring the wrong person. The third factor is the relevant accomplishments.
Again this all too often is another rote exercise where recruiters miss the boat. Just because candidate “x” has this and that accomplishment for a direct competitor does NOT mean they will have similar success in a new role. Again you have to look at the team fit, company culture, team profile, and customer base dynamics he/she was working for in order to verify the accomplishments are really relevant to THIS new role.
Want to learn more about how to develop Team Profiles and sound Candidate Assessments? Need to increase the efficiency of your screening interviews?
Are you a VP of HR who desires a higher retention rate? View the video on our Candidate Assessment Process to learn how NextGen Global Executive Search determines the role fit and team fit that results in recruiting “A Players” who assimilate quicker, make contributions earlier, and are retained longer, or contact us today by clicking on the image below.
Let's look at defining the Key Performance Indicators or even better defining how performance objectives focused recruiting can be used in the recruitment screening process. Many hiring managers and recruiters for that matter have a misconception that these are used only after the hire or limited to executive leadership roles.
To understand why performance objectives focused recruiting is effective, let's look at a why it should be utilized as enhance both job postings and the screening process. Typical job descriptions delivers poor results, negative advertising, and lousy applicants. Generally they bespeak of a little company branding, responsibilities, requirements to apply, and a brief overview of benefits.
What does work is to use defining the performance objectives focused recruiting in the job description and developing ideal candidate profiling of a position. And herein lies the issue, which is that most Human Resources, corporate recruiters, and external recruiters lack any sense of understanding of how to analyze how a potential candidate may perform or what they will do to meet those defined objectives.
One of the gurus I learned from to define performance objectives focused recruiting is Lou Adler. Here is a link to his site. The best description of the SMART techniques come from Lou Adler's point of view as I believe he states it best. What do you want the new hire to achieve with “x responsibility”? Take each required skill and ask what id the performance objective of using this skill and how well the candidate may meet those objectives based on accomplishments and similar tasks performed by using SMART techniques.
Once you have defined the near-term performance objectives, move onto the long-term objectives that will bring real added-value to the company.
After discovering how to map those objectives you need to develop the ideal candidate profile. Next we will examine how a retained search firm like NextGen Global Executive Search , when, and who should be involved in defining the corporate profile, analyzing behavioral traits of ideal candidates, and refining how performance objectives focused recruiting uses team fit and candidate profiling to target and identify the candidates who can meet or exceed the management objectives.
It's a very tough market in electrical and computer engineers for companies that provide security applications, Ai, IoT, and aerospace products. Under rules from FAA and ITAR to FCC to ITAR to DoD, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is evident. Requiring US citizenship or green card (permanent residence status), real unemployment nationwide across all industries is still high.
First we need to understand the reality of the education bubble. In the USA, the primary reason we have a decline in economic power is that since the 80s we have moved from real education in science, history, english, writing, and mathematics to "social awareness" and social justice teaching.
As such, we produce a declining number of electrical and computer engineers for four decades - especially USA natives. Want proof the education bubble is worsening? Graduates numbered 14,584 in 2004-05, but declined to 14,209 in 2005-06 and 13,783 in 2006-07. Master's degrees also dropped in the same time period, recording a significant decrease from 41,087 in 2004-05 to 38,451 in 2005-06, followed by a smaller decrease to 37,320 in 2006-07.
Enrollment of U.S. citizens in graduate science and engineering programs has not kept pace with that of foreign students in those programs as new foreign student enrollment for 2008-2009 increased by approximately 16.0% from the previous academic year. Since the federal government took over education with the Department of Education in 1979, our elementary schools and high schools have declined and at the university level the education bubble is worse.
The Education Bubble shortage of US born engineers exists due to this social engineering. The education bubble has come about doe to the federal government's free-spending ways. We re broke as a nation and cannot continue to give student loans to those whose GPA is not deserving. And like my family did for me and my siblings, it is a parent's sacrifice and savings to put a kid through college. Or going to school at night while working full time like my father did.
Or going via the GI Bill by serving in the military. Or busting your butt in 2 years of community college like my own son did (who then received full scholarships for bachelor and master based upon his grades) who then achieved a PhD in Space Physics. He soundly defeats the issues in the education bubble.
Education should be about Learning and Competition
The education bubble shortage of US born engineers exist due to a failure to deal with real life in educating our children. Just as in life there are winners and losers - and no one should receive a trophy just because they tried. And if you did not win, so what? I was taught to keep trying. And I spent 2-3 hours a day in homework from elementary all the way through high school. In elementary and high school we were encouraged to join clubs and be involved. Me - I chose football and Key Club.
Those two things taught me competition, being a team player, and giving of my time to my community. With fierce competition and high education standards, we had no education bubble. And the focus on high academic standards prepared me for college. Today our schools focus on "feel-good" social engineering and teaching children political and social correctness rather than the 3 Rs and molding children for a bright future. We need to address the fundamentals about the education bubble.
We as citizens and responsible voters can CHANGE the education bubble. Scientists and engineers today make up only 4% of US employment; even doubling their number would in itself have a modest overall impact on the economy. It seems odd to me that for the sake of so-called global diversity, we fail to provide encouragement and programs to elevate our own minority citizens and break the bons of failing inner-city schools to allow these kids to learn STEM. I think you'd be surprised how well inner city children in Chicago can become engineers and scientists if only provided the will and means by our academic elitists.
Rather, the point is that scientists and engineers contribute disproportionately to the creation of jobs for the other 96% of the nation’s workforce by generating knowledge, by innovating, and by establishing new companies based on that knowledge and innovation. We can overcome the education bubble shortage of US born engineers.
First, the outlook for 2018 and beyond is worse unless we dramatically increase H1B visas. It amazes me how often I hear “we can recruit on our own as so many people looking for work” and Hiring Managers who tell me “HR sends them garbage resumes, but the corporate decision makers have their hands tied.”
If you are in artificial intelligence,aerospace or defense systems, cyber security, industrial manufacturing or robotics, mobile digital media, broadband or mobile network operations, wireless infrastructure or IoT data / devices / networks, you often are required by federal regulations and laws to hire US citizens or green cards due to the security clearance needed. More so, when you need vendor-facing, or customer-facing engineers where the candidates in USA must be able to speak plain understandable English, the education bubble shortage of US born engineers is even greater. Oddly we lead in philosophy, history, sports nutrition, social services, marketing, and law degrees. Some of those are needed but we are woefully declining in science and mathematics (ranked 27 in the world and dropping) as the education bubble shortage of US born engineers increases.
Dealing with a poor executive performance can be frustrating. It can be complex and time consuming to make sure you get the right result - an improvement in their performance, or failing that, them being managed out of the organisation in a fair and legal way.
It is likely you will meet with a poor executive performance from senior management at least twice; the first time to tell them how their performance is ineffective and set targets for improvement, and the second to review their progress and decide about their future. In practice, you may have several other steps to follow, but the conversations will follow the same pattern, and if you master that pattern, you will find it easier to deal with any conversation about performance effectively.
And what is the pattern? You prepare. You talk. You listen. You consider. You decide. You communicate your decision. In basic terms, it is as simple as that.
Preparation involves making sure you know the Board of Directors policy and what authority they or you must make decisions; you know where the poor executive performance falls short (and you have specific examples), you've planned how you want the meeting to go, you’ve given the executive appropriate notice and information in accordance with policy, and you've identified a suitable time and venue.
Next, you talk. You may have a predetermined structure to follow or perhaps an agenda you have drawn up, in either case, you need to explain the reason for the meeting and what you want to achieve - to discuss the performance issues and what needs to be done about them. Then you give them the evidence of their performance shortfalls.
Now you give the executive the opportunity to talk and you need to listen. The quickest way to make sure someone doesn't engage with you is to make them think you're ignoring what they say. And the only way you are going to get an improvement in performance is if they are working harder, better, or differently. You need their participation. That said, if they refuse to make the effort, then you can still act. It’s not about handing over control. It’s about managing the situation.
It may be that there are some issues that you're not aware of. They may not have been properly mentored to carry out that objective or task. They may have to rely on a third party which is causing the problems. They may have a health problem that impacts on their ability. There can be as many reasons as there are staff.
They may also get emotional. You might face anger or distress. You can never tell how someone will react until you're in that situation. Don’t let this side-track you. If they become too emotional to carry on, take a break, but always make sure you get back to the matter at hand. As a rule, having evidence of poor executive performance issues makes it easier to deal with any emotional reactions since it is harder to ignore facts. It also helps you deal with those who might use an emotional reaction as a tactic to delay the discussion.
This leads neatly on to considering the information you now have. No effective Board member makes a business decision without having the relevant facts or without weighing the options. Performance management is as much a business decision as any other issue you will face. Compensation is not the biggest budgetary outgoing, as in reality poor executive performance can cause a damaging ripple or delay in carrying out the business strategy or impact your market share or customer confidence and that can cost not only millions over the course of two or three years. Dealing with poor executive performance issues is a key opportunity to ensure you get the best return on that investment.
Now you have the decision to make. You'll know from your preparation which options are open to you: it may be a verbal or written warning, it may be dismissal. Whatever it is, ensuring that you have been fair and followed policy will mean your decision is more likely to stand if the executive decides to challenge it. It would be unfortunate to end up fighting a legal battle and losing, just for the sake of following the process properly.
Once you have made your decision, you need to communicate it in the most appropriate way. Face-to-face is usually best, with written confirmation including an action plan. This should be given to him/her as quickly as possible to both capitalise on the momentum from your discussion and to reinforce its importance. There should also be clear demarcation between responsibilities, especially since the executive is the only one who can improve their performance.
And how do you know if you get it right? The executive goes away knowing what they should do, how they must do it, when they need to do it by, they have no illusions about the part they must play, they know the support they can expect from you the most senior management and the Board of Directors, and they understand the consequences of not meeting their targets.
And finally, it can be uncomfortable for any CXO or Board member having to have these discussions with one of their executives, but if you do it in a fair, reasonable, and supportive way, you can be their biggest ally, even if, in the end, it doesn’t work out.
Studies from Leadership IQ, SHRM, and many others have revealed repeatedly that the most failure by executives is lack of interpersonal skills. But really it goes much deeper than that. The executive may have outstanding KPIs and accomplishments throughout their career, but in this instance, seems to be failing. It is not always the individual’s fault as changes to the most senior executive staff or ownership of the company can also be a key reason for poor executive performance.
One of the first things we do at NextGen Global Executive Search is to use scientifically based psychometric surveys of the team an executive role will be working with. Depending on the level of the role, this could include Board members, CXOs, SVP, internal customers, and in the case of a vital role in sales or support, we include key external customers.
The resulting data is compiled from these 5 to 8 surveys into a Composite Team Analysis. It tells us the values and motivations, relational communications style, decision making and management traits of the team.
This in turn gives our staff a good idea of the target candidate profile from a team fit perspective. The easy part, as any good retained executive search consultant will tell you, is finding a good role fit takes a lot of hard work and documented proof to insure you have the right shortlist. Even on difficult searches – I’ve had several of “finding the needled in the haystack” where there were a very limited number of individuals who could meet/exceed the role objectives, it’s still the easier part of a search.
Before proceeding with cold calling and networking, we develop a Search Strategy that details what we are looking for in role fit, team fit, measurable past KPIS, relevance and depth of industry relationships, investor relationships, market cap, market share, turnaround where appropriate, etc. After all, the entire reason for retaining an executive search consultant is because you want the “A players” brought forth, the 14% of the entire workforce that produces 8 to 10 times more than B players. With CXO and SVP roles, you cannot afford to miss. Same goes for key functional leaders, so that’s not limited to the most senior executives.
Now let’s get back to how you can potentially avoid poor executive performance and IMPROVE it. If your retention rate starts to go down, market share or customer support is dropping, revenues are declining, or poor morale seems to be increasing, the worst thing you can do is panic or make staffing decisions based solely on those metrics.
Before doing so, entertain the low cost involved with scientifically based Team Alignment and Individual Team Performance. We’ve done this for several clients – big and small – and what we have found is that some individuals are simply on the wrong team or that the teams themselves were simply improperly aligned to succeed. It goes back to team fit. Each department in any organization has different teams and those teams are made up of individuals. Having too many similar strengths and weaknesses means a team cannot learn and produce effectively.
The counterbalance of any team is having an effective leader, a coach, a technical or sales mentor, an interpersonal skills expert, a geek, etc. – if properly aligned these seemingly different individuals have the right balance of identified strengths and weaknesses that those traits can be effective through action plans. In a very short time, realignment and proper positioning of teams can increase production dramatically.
How many of you have ever used this method? For more information, view information and download for free an example Team Staff Alignment Report
When you choose retained search for key recruiting, your first consideration in the evaluation and selection process should not be on the fee itself, but how the fee is paid. While most charge three invoices at 1/3 each, regardless of the outcome, a few do use a Performance Based Fee Schedule.
We adopted and expanded upon performance based recruiting techniques, many of which were pioneered by Lou Adler. That is much of the basis of why companies choose retained search firm like NextGen to be successful as proven by client feedback is the candidates we place not only meet, but exceed their expectations. .
1. Majority of the Performance Based Search Fee is Paid on Deliverables
A performance based method means that after the initial deposit, the remainder of the fee is paid according to meeting deliverables and the hire. For instance, the 2nd installment should be paid when the search firm has delivered a viable shortlist of candidates that the company has accepted and scheduled for face-to-face interviews. The final installment should be paid upon hiring one of the candidates the search firm has provided.
2. Search Transparency
Many search firms use an applicant tracking systems, aka ATS, to allow Hiring Managers to view candidates resumes and interview notes. The problem is that an ATS is not built for client presentation, rather it is for tracking applicants and candidates through the search process. It assumes the resume, which all senior hiring managers know to be a "one-size-fits-all" document, fails to reveal if the candidates can meet the objectives of the role. If you want true search transparency, then make the right choice to choose retained search firm means that the search strategy developed by the recruiting team, the signed fee agreement, team profile, and all aspects of where the recruiting team is in the search process is available 24/7 online access to the company.
3. Discovery stage reveals much more than a job spec
95% of all job specs reveal the same criteria: a bit of company branding and corporate culture, responsibilities, preferred and desired skills. In deciding to choose retained search firm, look for those who schedule a discovery conference call or in-person meeting so that the recruiting team can learn many things including the past / present / future vision of the company as well as the team this role will work within. Next they will want to know revenues, profit and loss, and where the products and /or services stand in R&D, production, delivery to the marketplace, and how the supply chain / CE service/ field engineering is working as of now.
To choose retained search firm, make sure the recruiter will then want to go beyond the requirements of the role to determine not just the skills and experience desired, but rather what the candidate will DO with those Skills. What we use at NextGen is SMARTe techniques, which stands for:
4. It's not just a Role Fit but Team Fit that Counts
When you choose retained search, a really good recruitment team develops a search strategy that includes measured screening criteria including past accomplishments, key performance indicators, relative numbers performance in sales and/or P&L, depth of industry contacts and relationships, that is all used to determine role fit and whether the candidates can meet the objectives of the role.
Even if Elon Musk or Jack Welch were to appear to be dream candidates, if they don't fit the team, the new hire simply will will not work out. When you choose retained search firm, one would expect them to use a valid system of psychometric analysis. What we do at NextGen is to conduct brief 10-12 minute online Job Survey of at least four from the client company who are direct stakeholders for the role. This generally includes a direct report, an internal customer ( i.e. a department head the role will interface with daily/weekly), a key colleague or peer on the team, and when needed, an external vendor or customer. Human resources is not included as they are not part of the team the new hire will work within.
The Job Survey interprets the role as in terms how the stakeholders view the role. It also reveals team dynamics (values and motivations, leadership traits, relational communications style, and decision making traits). The Job Surveys are combined into a Composite which then helps the recruiting team to develop a Target Candidate Profile. Each potential shortlisted candidate who passes the screening, deep interviews, background and reference checks are given a corresponding survey and scored against the Composite Job Survey to verify Team Fit by a strong match. Choose retained search firm wisely as the number 1 reason for new hire failure, according to Leadership IQ, is the wrong interpersonal communications skills. At NextGen we eliminate that from happening.
5. Flat Fees are better than compensation based fees
There has always been an issue with compensation based fees. Human Resources likes to base the fee on base salary, which is not the actual cash compensation as it fails to take into account commissions, bonuses, or MBO targets / objectives. Furthermore, compensation based search fees have an inherit conflict of interest as the company knows that when negotiating an offer, the higher the cash compensation the more the final search fee increases. Look for a flat fee when you choose retained search. At NextGen we have eliminated that issue by using a flat success based search fee, which is determined by the difficulty level of the search, geographic limitations, relocation package if used, the competitiveness of the compensation package, and the resources required to conduct the search. Choose retained search firm that eliminates the conflict of interest entirely.
6. Replacement Guarantees and Onboarding
In how you choose retained search, a key factor is how do they stand behind the placement and the new hire? Many provide a 90 days and up to six months replacement guarantee. A few provide up to one year. But as a company your intention was to pay a search fee for a new hire who would meet or exceed the objectives of the role. Each new hire generally has a set of criteria the company wants to see met in a particular time frame. If an engineering role, it may be product deliverables or cost reduction; for a sales related role it may be attaining revenue increases or market share; for a CXO or senior VP, it may be MBOs that have a three year plan to achieve. The replacement guarantee should reflect that criteria, whether it is 12, 24, or 36 months.
When you choose retained search wisely, expect a free custom onboarding plan. While all companies have some sort of onboarding, in reality it is mostly orientation. And many executives hate the "one-size-fits-all" company wide onboarding plan as it requires too many meetings or too much intrusion into the executive's time.
What we produce at NextGen with each new hire is a custom onboarding plan which includes a Personal Action Plan for the new hire and a corresponding plan for the designated mentor. The onboarding plan focuses on the new hire's strengths and weaknesses they bring to the team. The new hire creates actionable items to work on and the mentor simply advises and mentors without having to demand a great deal of time from multiple executives. Clients tell us the custom onboarding plan that NextGen delivered proved to be an essential tool in the new hire's quick assimilation into the team culture, faster production, and increased the communications skills of the new hire.
7. Retention Rate
Consider the facts: according to Leadership IQ and Oliver Wyman/Mercer Management studies, 46% of ALL NEW HIRES FAIL WITHIN 18 MONTHS, while 83% of executives fail as they lack the right interpersonal relationship skills for the team they manage and interact with. Every week we get calls from venture capital firms, CXOs and SVPs about conducting a search. Many of them use several contingency recruiting firms on each search, thinking that the more candidates or resumes they receive creates a large enough pool to choose from. The solution to choose retained search firm wisely is pick one that utilizes a performance based recruiting methodology. Choose retained search firm like NextGen where we utilize an award-winning Leadership Vault search process which has proven to work as we have a 93% new hire retention rate of placements still working at the client company in 3.5 years, and 87% still there in 5 years.
8. Contingency and RPOs vs. Retained
First, let’s look at the drawbacks to using multiple search firms and RPOs (recruitment process outsourcing) to compete on each role you need to fill. You will have most of them posting job descriptions all over the Internet and job boards, resulting in many terrible applicants and even worse messaging. Contingency search firms have a quota. Each recruiter has to have an x number of sendouts per day (resumes sent to clients) and often each recruiter works on 15 to 25 searches at a time. They never intend to fill all positions. It's the "let's see what sticks" agenda.
Most fail to use performance objectives in the job advert and failing to use good messaging about the position results in applicants by and large that are not ideal. They will also post to multiple job boards and social media with the #jobs hash-tag. Since all of these job titles and descriptions look alike, this will turn off passive candidates. This is a key area in how you decide to choose retained search. Again the cost overall is the same. Let;s face it - the vast majority of these applicants are active job seekers who are unhappy in their current role or under-performers. Is that really what you want? HR likes it because it keeps the candidate database growing at all times.
9. What Performer Types does the Search Firm look for
There is a huge misconception about “A Players”. The assumption is that these are only executives which is not true. These "A players", who make up to 14% of the workforce, produce 8 to 10 times more than “B Players”. They can range from janitor to CEO. They simply outperform most others. They never look at job boards because they are so highly sought after by their employer's competitors and are rarely ever without a job.
They are very happy where they are now, well compensated, and must be approached delicately- as in building a relationship based on what is important to the potential target and bringing forth what may be a more challenging environment or more responsibility. It's rarely about the money. By the way, "B players" make up 34% of the workforce, therefore most job board candidates and that includes Linkedin job posting applicants, are "C players" - they show up and can do a job but add no real value and are easily replaced by robotics, artificial intelligence, or software automation.
10. Knowledge is Power - does the search firm Intimately know your Industry?
Be careful about generalist retained search firms. To choose retained search firm, make sure the lead recruiter or practice lead has intimate knowledge about you industry, markets, products and services, customer base, and competitors. At NextGen our recruiters come from within the industry they serve For instance, I sent my wireless recruiting team to Mankato State University for a two week intensive course in Wireless to add to their knowledge of mobile networks and wireless infrastructure.
It;s not about picking a staffing partner per se. One of the things that Hubspot founder Dharmesh Shah states is that “culture is to recruiting as product is to marketing”.
Before getting into specific deals about the role, we want to know what the end game is. Not only why this position is being created or replaced, but specifically what internal or external customer(s) does the role serve and what solutions the Client is looking to be accomplished or delivered by the person hired in this role. That is the beginning of the performance based recruiting process and what a Hiring Manager should consider when you choose retained search firm.
Retained search improves talent acquisition by identifying, effectively screening, and bringing forth “A players”, the 14% of the workforce that produces 8 to 10 times more than even “B players”. Today companies have a hectic schedule due to keeping up with the competitiveness of the industry. Resources and time becomes constricted and companies do not have the time to implement a thorough recruitment and screening process.
Relying upon job boards, LinkedIn, focusing on branding and “social responsibility” on web site career portals brings in hundreds of applicants, but rarely the right applicants and most of those applicants are “C players”, the 55% of the workforce that can show up to do a job but don’t add to increasing revenues, lowering cost, or creating new intellectual property.
Smart companies know that a really good retained search improves talent acquisition. Human Resources has a plethora of other responsibilities so the time devoted to recruiting suffers. Many companies employ internal recruiters of contract recruiters, and while they can produce more applicants, the quality of the candidates they find are primarily “C players” (easily be replaced by AI software and robotics) and a few “B players”.
Retained search improves talent acquisition with a Discovery step strategy. While contingency search firms are internally measured on the number of sendouts (resumes) emailed each day, the focus in on quantity, not quality. If a company must conduct a phone screen, simply put the recruiter failed to do a good job in screening and deep interviews.
Companies engage a retained search firm to manage the recruitment process and to get down to a shortlist of highly qualified candidates ready for in-person interviews. Everyday there are numerous people looking for job openings. Usually there are many people applying for the same position. However, companies do not have the time to processes each and every one of these candidates to see if they are fit for that one position.
Hiring a candidate that does not meet the requirements needed for the tasks, as well as is revealed in the interviews cannot meet the performance objectives of the role leads the company to look for another candidate who can. This means that more time is used on searching, hiring, and training which could have been used for future projects.
Retained search improves talent acquisition by NOT looking for active job seekers who dominate job board and Linkedin job postings, but instead use their vast internal rolodex, identify and cold call, and reach out to potential candidates bringing them an career opportunity and a challenge that turns them into viable applicants. The truth is that “A players” and many “B players” NEVER add their profile to a job board and RARELY will even look at a job posting. They are highly qualified successful people who are rarely unemployed. If their company closes or their department / division is shut down, they are well-known as top producers and will have several offers before they have even left their current job.
Rather than using a typical job description quoting responsibilities and requirements, retained search improves talent acquisition with the approach of learning about the company’s vision, their financial state, determine the dynamics of the team the new hire will be working within, documenting KPIs to ensure potential candidates can meet the objectives of the role.
The screening focus is more effective as instead of solely focusing on a checklist of x number of years’ experience and x types of skills, retained search improves talent acquisition as we focus on what the potential candidate will do with those skills to meet the performance objectives of the role rather than just having x years of experience with that skill.
Simply put, prior accomplishments performing and success in meeting objectives is a better assessment than matching skill keywords on a resume.
A custom onboarding tool that works is one that uses a psychometric composite team profile with the corresponding candidate profile and performance objectives of the role. No lengthy involvement of time and effort by multiple executive staff members. It is customized and easy to use. It should include a personal action plan for the new hire that identifies his/her strengths and weaknesses and provides the designated mentor with an effective coaching and evaluation tool. Retained search improves talent acquisition like NextGen Executive Search as clients has shown that the 60% who use the custom onboarding tool realize quick assimilation into the corporate culture and team dynamics, faster productivity, and longer retention.
The costs are much lower in the Long Run - utilizing the expertise of a good recruitment team shows that retained search improves talent acquisition that lowers the expenses used to screening applicants and potential sourced candidates. This relieves the company’s HR department of the expenditures that are used in screening processes such as background information, investigating previous employment records, filling up Hiring Managers inboxes with unqualified flypaper (resumes). Searching for the ideal candidate for the job can take a lot of time and expense if the company does it alone.
Much Higher Retention Rate with Low Turnover - retained search improves talent acquisition with a much higher retention rate for candidates they’ve placed (NextGen Global has a 93% retention rate for placed candidate still working after 3.5 years of being hired and 87% still there at 5 years).
Retained search improves talent acquisition with a competitive edge as the people they place outperform, meet, or exceed your expectations, and significantly contribute to the success of the organization. Hiring the right staff, not just at the senior executive level, can propel the company towards success and development, but hiring the wrong ones stagnates the progress.