Tag Archives for " Executive Recruiting Tips "

New Hire Onboarding Process Increases Productivity

increase roi optimized new hire onboarding process

New Hire Onboarding Process Increases Productivity 

New Hire Onboarding Process

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.

The Type of New Hire Onboarding Process that Works

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.

How About Costing You ZERO for a Custom New Hire Onboarding Process?

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.

NextGen Global Executive Search

Leadership Traits Growing the Leader From Within

Leadership Traits NextGen Global Executive Search

Leadership Traits  Growing the Leader from Within Yourself

Leadeship Traits Growing the Leader from within

Leadership traits are defined by what we do, not the role we are in. Leadership is action, not a position. Some people in leadership roles are excellent leaders. But too many are bosses, "snoopervisors," technocrats, bureaucrats, managers, commanders, chiefs, and the like. Whether in enterprise mobility, manufacturing, or consumer devices, strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across these key areas.

Leadership Traits in Functional Management Roles

To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behavior or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role. This starts with inner leadership traits in self-leadership and moves outward to influence, guide, support, and lead others.

The process of becoming a leader is the same as the process of becoming a highly effective human being. Leadership development is personal development. Effective leadership traits ultimately shows itself in what we do "out there." But it starts "in here."

It would be easy if we could all become leaders by following a simple set of steps. But the journey of personal growth means finding our own way. There are, however, critical areas of personal development based on timeless principles. The distance we need to grow along each of the leadership traits dimensions will differ for each of us, but defining and continually growing along each of these paths is the way of the leader.

Expanding Key Personal Leadership Traits

Strong leaders are well-rounded and constantly expanding their personal leadership traits across many areas, however these areas are key:

  • Choose Not to Lose. Whether we choose to focus on our problems or our possibilities is a key leadership issue. When we are faced with obstacles and failure, those with the leadership traits who can overcome adversity and learn from their experiences, turning them into opportunities, are the ones who will be truly successful.
  • Focus and Context. The core of my being: This is central to our growth along all the other leadership traits dimensions. Our Focus and Context is shaped by three vital questions: Where am I going? (my vision); What do I believe in? (my principles and values) and; Why do I exist? (my purpose or mission).
  • Responsibility for Choices. If it's to be, it's up to me: Good leadership traits means accepting responsibility for our choices in life. Leaders realize that life accumulates, that choice more than chance determines their circumstances. They refuse to succumb to the "Victimitus Virus" ("it's all their fault" and "there's nothing I can do").
  • Authenticity. Getting real: Leadership isn't just what we do, it's something that we are, which then drives what we do.  Great leadership traits are authentic, and based on honesty, integrity, and trust. We must ring true to ourselves by exploring our inner space, gathering feedback on our personal behavior, and ensuring consistency with our stated values and principles.
  • Passion and Commitment. Beyond near-life experiences: Successful people are energized by a love for what they do because it brings them ever closer to who they are. They have the leadership traits that overcome apathy and cynicism, develop a burning commitment to their cause, and with discipline achieve their dreams and desires.
  • Spirit and Meaning. With all my heart and soul: What is the purpose of our work? Of our lives? Material success alone is not enough. Leaders seek within their leadership traits and find something more. In what is too often a mad dash from cradle to grave, we need to take time in work and life to nourish our inner selves.
  • Growing and Developing. From phase of life to way of life: The popular goals of security, stability, and predictability are deadly. The closer we get to these dangerous goals, the more our growth is stunted. Good leadership traits will reflect true and lasting security comes from constant growth and development, based on regular reflection and renewal.
  • Mobilizing and Energizing. Putting emotions in motion: Leaders don't motivate with rewards and punishments. Whether at home or in the workplace, they energize people to motivate themselves. Highly effective leaders who possess ethical leadership traits boost the energy of others with their passion and appreciation. They engage people's hearts as well as their minds.

Effective Leadership Traits Make a Difference

The more the world changes, the more leadership principles stay the same. And effective leadership traits apply to all of us; no matter what role we play in society or organizations.  NextGen Global Executive Search uses a proprietary Performance Based Retained Search to recruit exceptional executives with good leadership traits. Contact us today for a free consultation or demo of our proven executive recruitment process.

NextGen Global Executive Search

Job References Making Calls vs. Automated Software for Employment Checks

Job References - Making Calls vs. Automated Software

job references making calls

All companies expect job references, aka professional and employment references to be conducted prior to making an offer of employment or shortly thereafter. Nine times out of ten these are pre-determined references provided by the candidate. Some may well include former bosses, former or current colleagues, and industry references.

That is the real question. Many of these are in fact “personal relationships” where the person(s) providing the employment references will give a glowing reference (call it pre-defined or pre-arranged) that is neither spontaneous and often times misleading. Since I am obligated to deliver a short list of candidates, I do not wait for a pending offer to conduct employment job references and comprehensive background checks.

Most Companies Use Outdated Process for Job References

In the 21st century, we live in a constantly moving and increasingly social media world.  Employees’ reputations - both professional and personal – can impact a company’s corporate image, affect how they are viewed by customers and vendors, and can project either a positive or negative social image of the company.  With that in mind, the employment verification call that includes employment references aka job references directly from Human Resources or the supervisor of said former employee is useless fodder.    Same goes for accepting verbatim without question those provided by the candidate as they are so often former colleagues who are great friends unwilling to look past a biased lense. 

After identifying a target list of potential candidates through my Rolodex, networking, and referrals, I conduct one to two pre-screening interviews with the objective of understanding the motivations, skills/experience, and accomplishments of those potential candidates. If I am satisfied, they move forward to deeper interviews on my INTERNAL candidate shortlist.

Use Behavioral Analysis Prior to Making Job References Calls

I have the potential shortlisted candidates take an online 10 minute behavioral survey. This customized testing produces a Behavioral Analysis on a candidate’s motivations, values, decision making traits, aptitudes, communications style, and whether they are a Natural Fit with the team AND the role.

Once armed with that analysis, I have sufficient data needed to conduct professional job references calls that are relevant to the role itself. Most search firms simply accept employment references provided solely by the candidates. What I ask from each candidate is for two each of the following current or former (within last 5 years) by name, phone, email, title, and relationship as follows:  superiors/managers they reported to, subordinates that reported to them, internal customers in their respective positions, external customers, peers or colleagues (professional references NOT like any of the above), and personal and/or community

I go one step further in validating the list of these employment job references requested of the candidates. I research, identify, and cold call former internal/external customers, colleagues, and vendors that were NOT supplied. These validate the professional references the candidate provided while at the same time reveal the best unscripted job references possible.

There are a growing number of companies who save time by automating job references checks. Some are pre-defined standard Human Resources types of questions. Others allow you to add your own questions for professional references checking. Thee system sends out emails, the contacts answer the questions online, and you get the results.

The problem here is that the human factor does not exist. You cannot hear and ask additional questions based upon what you actually hear and perceive, as well as lacks ability to build a relationship with these professional employment job references.  The truth is that I gain new relationships, fresh perspectives, and sometimes additional retained searches by conducting professional job reference calls the best way possible.

Avoid the Risk and Pitfalls of Hiring the Wrong Person

NextGen Global Executive Search has six practice areas that interconnect with each other.  These include artificial intelligence and augmented reality, aerospace cabin power systems and military stealth aircraft sensors, cyber security and cyber defense,  industrial automation and industrial power systems, medical devices and electronic health records, mobile networks with digital media and wireless systems.  

NextGen Global Executive Search

Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting for Potential Candidates

Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting of Candidates

Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting

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. 

Using Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting NOT Job Requisitions

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.

  1. Specific - details of what needs to be done (task, challenge, project, or problem)?
  2. Measurable – amounts of change / % of change required
  3. Action - what will the person in this role actually do?
  4. Results - what needs to happen to accomplish the major objectives?
  5. Time - how long will it take from start to finish for this objective to be reached?

Once you have defined the near-term performance objectives, move onto the long-term objectives that will bring real added-value to the company.

Target Candidate Profiling + Performance Objectives Focused Recruiting

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.

NextGen Executive Search recruitment process

Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers for High Tech

education bubble shortage of us born engineers

Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers for High Tech

education bubble shortage of us born engineers

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.

Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers is Evident Everywhere

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.

Reasons for the Education Bubble Shortage of US born Engineers

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.  

Contact NextGen Executive Search Group today

Poor Executive Performance .…What to Do…. and How to Avoid It

Poor Executive Performance how to Avoid It

Difficult Conversations – Poor Executive Performance ……... and How to Avoid It

Poor Executive Performance and How to Avoid It

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.

Decide What to do about Poor Executive Performance

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.

How to Avoid Poor Executive Performance

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.

Poor Executive Performance KPIs

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  

Improve poor Executive Performanc
NextGen Executive Search recruitment process

Choose Retained Search for Key Recruiting – 10 Valid Reasons

choose retained search wisely
choose retained search over contingenc

Why Choose Retained Search for Key Recruiting?  10 Valid Reasons 

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. .

Choose Retained Search as Optimal Choice

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:

  • Specific - details of what should be done (task, challenge, project, or problem)
  • Measureable – amounts of change / % of change required
  • Action oriented - what will the person in this role actually do
  • Results defined - what needs to happen to accomplish the major objectives
  • Time based – how long will it take from start to finish for each major objective to succeed
  • environment – corporate culture and team dynamics of the group

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.  

Choose Retained Search Firm Final Analysis

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. 

choose retained search
Contact NextGen Executive Search Group today

Retained Search Improves Talent Acquisition with a Competitive Edge

retained search improves talent acquisition

Retained Search Improves Talent Acquisition
with a Competitive Edge

Retained search improves talent acquisition with a competitive edge

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.

  • Client-focused in time management – retained search improves talent acquisition as we only work on only a few select searches at a time per executive search consultant. Because the lead recruiter has a team behind him, each task from sourcing to pre-screen to deep interviews is assigned.  Since the focus is on quality, retained executive search consultants are not measured by the contingency search firm focus on sending out x number of resumes daily.
  • Industry Expertise in Your Market - retained search improves talent acquisition bottom line by possessing a higher level of proficiency when it comes to finding potential candidates for a specific niche industry and market.  These firms specialize in what are the trending news in the market, recruiting, executive changes at your competitors, and news about the current and future strategy of your market and your competitors.

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.

Retained search improves talent acquisition

Retained Search Improves Talent Acquisition with Onboarding Tools

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.

Final Thoughts on how a Retained Search Improves Talent Acquisition

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.

NextGen Executive Search recruitment process

Job Boards Impending Death – Recruiting Insights

job boards impending death

Job Boards Impending Death - Recruiting Insights 

job boards impending death

From an executive recruiting standpoint, job boards impeding death is apparent.  Job boards have always been a non-issue. The voluminous lists of pedestrian “McJobs” offered on job boards are targeted towards “active” job seekers – by and large all “C players” that make up 55% of the workforce and could easily be replaced by automation, software, Ai, or robotics.

While they can actively show up and do a job, they add no real value in terms of contributing to or developing IP (intellectual property), fixing or resolving key issues or revenue rainmaking.  In essence what stockholders call overhead. 

To further our assumption, there is empirical evidence that job boards impending death is near suggest they have lost value even for active job seekers, some of the primary reasons being:

  1. Companies using job boards rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) or HRIS systems to house, sort, and store applicants and employee records.  This means that your resume must be optimized for keywords, skills, and experience to get past the 3-5 second look to be noticed. 
  2. Because of the sheer volume of responses most companies receive, many will only look at the top handful of qualified results, so active job seekers are competing with hundreds, or even thousands of other people for the same job.
  3. A job board submission rarely goes directly to the decision maker or Hiring Manager.  You first must get through the Human Resources or corporate recruiter gauntlet - many of these are simply not qualified to screen and assess for key roles.  
  4. Quality positions are just not posted on job boards.  In fact estimates are that as much as 80 % of new jobs are never listed but are instead filled internally or via networking.  Referrals on the other hand, make up 40% of new hires. 

Who or What Caused Job Boards Impending Death?

Suspect number one: Social Media

One of the key trends that is driving job-seeking talent away from job boards (besides the sheer volume of dreck) is the rise of social media networking. With the right research and approach, a job-seeker can generally locate and connect directly with the people and companies they want to pursue on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.  Job boards impending death and probably a big bonus for job seekers everywhere – but in terms of executive recruitment, it’s a non-issue as the passive candidates we seek won’t be lurking about in either locale.

Suspect number two: the companies themselves

Of the thousands of job boards that are out there – from Monster, Indeed and Career Builder to LinkedIn and all the niche sites dedicated to specific industries – there is not one that successfully connects with passive candidates. These A-players, who make up approximately 14% of the workforce, are rarely, if ever, unemployed, and don’t ever use job boards or post their resume’s online, even if they are searching for opportunities. Of that 14%, only 15% don’t want to move at all, and almost half of them are open to dialogue with a recruiter.

There are a few boards that claim to target passive candidates, but they levy an additional cost on top of your paid recruitment campaign, and still the resulting applicants are (most often) not ideal: they are, in fact, active job seekers and not passive candidates. They now push the idea that new algorithms and predictive data based on utilizing artificial intelligence means they can attract and better match applicants to jobs, yet these are still targeted to those who overwhelmingly use job boards - active job seekers.  So basically, by buying into this thinly veiled cash-grab and stalling job boards impending death, you are wasting valuable time and money when you should be focusing on more traditional recruitment techniques such as networking and cold-calling to get the results you need.

Where are all the A-players?

The top players, known as "A players" who exist at every level from CEO to janitor, the candidates we actively seek out for recruitment, make up only about 14% of the workforce. They are rarely, if ever, unemployed, they are never actively looking for a job, they don’t post their resume online and they don’t ever use job boards – and for good reason.

For the most part, the job boards don’t do a good job of attracting A-listers. Jobs posted on job boards focus solely on responsibilities, skills required and corporate culture selling points. This amounts to mostly boring descriptions of positions that mention nothing about the actual opportunity in terms of learning or career growth. Further proof in the death of the job board is their postings also rarely mention “performance objectives.” They rarely, if ever, describe the “team culture,” preferring to use ambiguous terms like “corporate culture,” or “vision,” creating a huge disconnect between our A-players and any available positions.

Team culture is also important, but you’ll never see anything about that on a job board. Individual work groups are unique and have their own “team culture.” A team culture is defined according to the personalities and behavioral patterns of each individual team member, as well as how they all work together. The only way to determine whether a candidate will fit with a team culture is through personal connection – something you just won’t get with a job board.

When recruiting A-players, you must present them with opportunities that are significant. This could be reflected in title, objectives, location, an attractive company size, growth, and product/service market share, but at least one of these things must be present to assure that you are piquing their interest enough to even have a shot.  As for how and where to find the A-players, if you take away the online and the bulk of social media, traditional recruitment methods always win the day.

Numbers never lie

If you’re looking for proof that job boards impending death is near, look no further than your own ROI. Numbers never lie. For every job board you invested in over the course of a year, how many hires occurred? How much did each hire cost you? And most importantly, what was the level of the positions you placed from a job board candidate? Were there any critical roles filled? What is the retention rate of those hired from a job board?  Most evident is just to take a at Indeed, a job aggregator service and you will find that the same jobs are not only posted by the actual employer / company, but also by numerous contingency search firms.  Its juts recycling the same "C players" - that 55% of the workforce that are bodies and will show up to work to be paid, but contribute nothing to the bottom line.  Once you start crunching the numbers, the evidence will probably give you a clear picture of the unfortunate, unvarnished truth.

Personal connections always yield the best results

Retained executive search companies have always relied on interpersonal and industry relationships to bring about successful results. As anybody in this niche knows, the discovery of most A-players come from actual conversations that bring forth referrals. As much as technology has infiltrated our society, our industry, and the way the world around us turns, it is still the tried-and-true grass-roots efforts that win the day.

The verdict on Job Boards Impending Death

In closing, let’s consider the advantages that a niche, retained executive search consultant brings to the table:  If using a retained executive search professional, the hiring manager doesn’t end up with an inbox full of “flypaper” resume’s. They instead receive a shortlist of 2-4 “finalists” who not only meet the performance objectives of the position, but are truly A-players who will produce 8-10 times more value than B-players.

This proves that the result is well worth the placement fee and time investment, leading us to conclude with confidence that this is a far more valuable, viable and cost-effective solution over the waste in the death off the job board.

job boards impending death loom

NextGen: your partner in recruitment innovation

NextGen is a global executive search company with a focus on AI and robotics, IoT and wireless, medical devices and electronic health records, and power systems for aerospace and industrial markets.  With more than three decades of experience recruiting for leadership and key contributor positions. If you are interested in finding out more about who we are and what we do,

NextGen Global Executive Search

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is BETTER than Corporate Culture Match

Screening candidates for team fit

Screening Candidates for Team Fit 

Screening candidates for team fit

Screening candidates for team fit is more fruitful and accurate than corporate culture match. Work is a lot like life in general in that screening candidates cultural fit is what many strive for.  While it is a lofty goal, it is also a bit of star Trek wishful thinking that all will be well in the universe and a perfect hire will happen.

 In life, we tend to mingle with people who are quite like ourselves. As an individual, a person would usually be drawn to another who expresses similarities, in language, music, and style are among the things. In a few words: we are attracted to the same culture. The same goes for the business world.

Companies have a selection process where they usually look for candidates who share the same values and methods of their organization, i.e corporate culture. Screening candidates for team fit takes more work but in the end it is about the performance of the team and the impact the individuals being considered for hire will impact team dynamics.  Each team has their own culture.  And teams are made up of individuals.  If everyone thinks the  same and has the same corporate culture and process methods philosophy, their is no innovation, no challenge to different thoughts as everyone is robotic in their thinking.  

And cultural fit should not be mistaken for one’s own prejudice. A candidate should be hired based on how they would make a positive impact on the team he/she will work within and how that in the end would be beneficial for the company without clashing with other employees and while at the same time maintain demeanor. If these are met  y assessing team fit instead of culture fit,  then that new hire is likely to fail. 

Screening Candidates for Team Fit is Essential to Team Success

While cultural fit can be discerned in the screening process, whether the candidates fit the team he/she will work within is one of the main purposes of utilizing psychometrics to asses a candidate’s impact on team dynamics.  The major problem is the reliance upon one-way behavioral testing that partially measures a potential candidate's potential behavioral patters, values, and motivations, but fails to take into account the team composite regarding relational communications style, decision maing and conflict resolution skills, and leadership/management style. 

Many feel that in  a panel interview they can discern within a few hours how a candidate will impact team dynamics and weigh heavily on Human Resources to provide the behavioral assessment.  the interaction established in the interview exhibits the candidate’s credentials to accomplish the job and an essential fit needed to perform efficiently within the role, but cannot measure team fit. 

Screening Candidates for team Fit is better than Cultural Fit

Behavioral interviews are often used; unfortunately, the standard practice does not work well. Organizations need to measure a candidate’s behavioral profile against the composite reading of the team’s behavioral profile. This type of psychometric measurement combined with the in-person interviews can accurately tell how the candidate’s approach and conduct are compatible with the ones practiced within the team, as well as within the company.

According to Entrepreneur, Corporate culture is “a blend of values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths companies develop over time.” In itself, a company has their own identity within its workforce and it greatly varies from one organization to another. Within a company, it is common that different people are working together.

Screening Candidates for Team Fit Means a Good Hire

Screening candidates for team fit assures that teamwork is common and important in a corporate setting. Employees who value working with peers and acknowledge the input of various ideas is most likely to work well in an organization that puts emphasis working in teams. Working with others is an important part in business organizations. However, when an employee prefers to work alone, he or she might be a good cultural fit in an organization that is more inclined in working in teams.
Screening candidates for cultural fit and team fit also measures the capability of an employee to embrace diversity and exhibits no qualms in working in an organization that is compatible to their own set of principles and ideals. Companies need to recognize and employ candidates who exhibit these traits. Employees who are happy in their work environment tend to perform better and stay longer.

Despite the diverse personalities within a workforce, a company needs to find balance in shaping their work culture that will assure its accomplishment. Working in organizations would mean meeting a lot of people with different backgrounds. Both cultural fit and team fit emphasizes an employees’ abilities in and characteristics that can contribute to the success of the company.

A Recruitment Process Unmatched

NextGen's award-winning Leadership Vault search process begins with the Discovery step where the objectives of teh role, how a candidate will use their skills, team dynamics, and value proposition are determines.  The target candidate profile includes researched competitor and company targets followed by documenting accomplishments, relative KPIs, depth of industry / customer relationships, and scientifically based team fit analysis.  Success based recruitment fees where majority is based on acceptable deliverables and the actual hire.  Backed by a custom onboarding plan and a 24 to 36 month replacement guarantee and a retention rate of 93% of our placements are working for same client at 3.5 years of service with 72% in 5 years.  You should expect NOTHING LESS than hiring an "A player" when you pay a recruitment fee.  

NextGen Global Executive Search