A. Davis Grant & Company is an executive search firm. Retained search is perhaps the most demanding and comprehensive form of recruiting. The effective search professional acts as both a consultant to, and an extension of, the hiring company.
ADG's mission goes beyond merely filling a staffing need. We focus on profiling and identifying candidates who not only meet the stated specifications for an assignment, but who will also be valued and lasting additions to the corporate management team over many years. The goal is to secure a human resource who produces optimal returns and contributions, in the manner of a valuable investment. When properly conducted the search process will, by its very nature, add significant value to the hiring process.
Before we begin any assignment we spend several hours with the hiring manager and, whenever possible, the Human Resource professional who will manage or coordinate the search. We help formulate the position specifications. We learn the culture of the company. We identify the critical factors for success and failure as they pertain to each unique company situation.
By learning as much as we can about how the company operates we are able to determine the appropriate combination of technical, management, business, and planning skills required for each assignment. We assess the personality style that will best blend with the organization. Our goal is to identify a candidate who will combine the right business and technical experience with those intangible traits that will lead to long-term success within the new environment. This holistic approach avoids temporary fixes and produces lasting results.
Corporate and Cultural Overview
Before we can effectively recruit for a client company we first need to understand the qualities that will lead to long term success. Working with our new partner we assess the corporate and individual styles, culture, and policies to help us determine the type of person who will best fit in. Only then can we focus on the specific position requirements.
During what is usually at least a two hour meeting with the hiring manager, Human Resources, and any other key members of the organization who can add value to the process, we mutually develop a formal Position Description. This document defines the position responsibilities, the most immediate challenges to be faced by the new hire, and those qualifications preferred and/or required of the successful candidate. Once approved by the client company, this Position Description becomes our key document in the identification and recruiting of qualified candidates.
Whenever possible (and always with a new client) we attempt to present a “benchmark” candidate within two weeks of beginning work on the assignment. Typically this candidate is selected from our extensive files and will be what we perceive as a general fit for the position as we understand it. This allows for quick calibration and, if necessary, refinement of the original Position Description. It is not unusual for the benchmark candidate to be asked back as a finalist by the hiring company.
Research and Recruiting
Since most assignments in I/T are not dependent on specific industry background, and since our comprehensive database consists solely of Systems professionals, it is rare that a great deal of actual research is needed. Most times we can begin the recruiting process within a week of receiving a sign-off on the Position Description. Any required research and all recruiting is performed by our own staff and never farmed out to third parties. We will talk to literally scores of potentially qualified candidates during this phase.
Personal Interviews and Client Presentation
Those candidates who seem to be on target are interviewed in depth by a senior member of our staff. ADG policy dictates that the partner who is managing the assignment must meet with all candidates who are ultimately presented to the client. During the interview we assess the potential overall fit from both a business and a personal perspective, evaluating the candidate's innate intelligence, business acumen, technical skills, limitations, short and long term goals, motivators, creativity, management style and strengths, personality, and assertiveness. Confidential profiles are then prepared on all potentially viable candidates. Our goal is to present a final slate of between three and six candidates who fit the requirements. Ideally, half of the finalists will have been identified from our database while the other half will have been specifically recruited for the assignment. The presentation of the candidates is done in person by the managing partner.
The ADG Difference
A. Davis Grant & Company likes to take an already value added process and enhance it further. With more than 20 years of experience we understand the traditional search process, but whenever possible we try to add our own creative spin. Rather than provide four or five finalists with similar backgrounds, we prefer to vary our slate. Unless otherwise directed by our client, we will generally present one candidate for whom the position might be just a bit of a stretch, one who may appear slightly over-qualified, and two or three who are right on target. We also do our best to present a diversified slate of candidates. More than one third of the candidates we place are female or ethnically diversified.
The Interview Process
A. Davis Grant & Company will coordinate and manage the entire process, from scheduling mutually convenient dates to making travel arrangements and reimbursing the candidates. Our goal is to make this process as simple, efficient, and pain free as possible for all concerned.
Offer and References
Once the successful candidate has been identified we will perform thorough reference checks. The references are presented to the client in writing and are signed by the managing partner. Contact information is always supplied should the client wish to contact the reference(s) directly. We will also assist to whatever extent requested in helping structure and prepare the actual offer.
It is our formal policy to remain in touch with both the successful candidate and the hiring manager for at least twelve months after the completion of the search. We do all we can to assure a smooth transition for all concerned, and we act as both a sounding board and an impartial advisor as appropriate. At ADG we take our partnership role very seriously. We don’t consider our responsibilities to have ended just because the position has been filled. Search fees are an investment. The services we provide in return are designed to be, at the very least, equal to that investment.
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