What makes us different?
One of the challenges in building a retained search firm is keeping current. There is always something new. Technology enables us to be competitive with even the largest search firms in identifying potential candidates, but this comes at a cost – both in terms of dollars and time. Trusted associates are invaluable in helping with this. Although every assignment is personally conducted by me, each is supported by Tami Fitzpatrick, who handles the administrative as well as part of the research in identifying candidates (and also happens to be my daughter). Lori Avant, who leads our research as well as our online marketing, has been a part of my organization for some time; I believe she is the best researcher there is! Because we are a small organization it is easy to communicate, and be certain each of us has the same goals, as well as timetable. Our Clients come first, and at the same time, we always treat Candidates with respect and dignity.
Over the previous eight years I have become very active in Cornerstone International Group, an international consortium of retained search and HR consulting firms. As the elected President, for the last six years I have traveled to a number of foreign countries, working with members and meeting with businesses and organizations, doing search, consulting and assessments. This experience has been invigorating: there is nothing more exciting than helping others, particularly in such places as Canada, Chile, Mexico, the U.K., Greece and Italy. Cornerstone gives us an international reach, and the ability to effectively assist our Clients anywhere in the world. Our perspective is truly global.
Search firms differ greatly. Large search firms are big businesses. Many are public companies. They have the same profit and growth issues and goals that any for-profit business has. The smaller firms have the greatest differences – how they operate is typically based upon the owner’s personal goals and objectives. Each type of firm has a role in our complex business environment. Companies selecting a search firm to help them recruit for a key role should choose one they feel most comfortable with. To do so, make certain you understand the specific “drivers” behind the firm.
Someone in an active job search also needs to be aware of the different types of firms. However, they should communicate with as many as feasible. For them, the initial contact is more of a “numbers game.” If you are in an active search, be certain you send your resume to all organizations that recruit in the areas of your expertise.