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You’ve agreed to work with an executive search firm. What’s next?

The process should start with a generous commitment of time, said Eric Kean Lee Group Search, among the premier staffing and executive search firms in the nation.

“The best search firms take the time to talk about their organization if it’s a new relationship and take a deep dive into the position,” Kean said.

This is a significant step in the process that should not be overlooked. The elite search firms do not settle for a quick phone call relaying information about a job description for an opening.

“How can a search firm be effective selling your organization and opportunity if they don’t know it?” Kean asked.

The idea isn’t to see how many resumes one position can solicit. It’s about being intentional to best align candidate, company and position.

The recruiting firm should know both the company, its values and culture, and on the flip side, the candidate, thoroughly to determine the ideal fit for both.

Communication throughout the process is essential. Neither side, of course, should be ghosting the other at any point.

“You want to build in from the beginning when your weekly check-in will be,” Kean said. “If there’s news to report, don’t save everything until that call. The weekly call is more about where a firm is in the process and what it’s learning.”

That feedback might include high candidate interest with the desired skillset but out of the price range of the client company.

“Conversely, there’s people you might have come across who are in the price range but don’t have the desired skill set or education level,” he said.

The best firms and companies partner with each other throughout the process. There’s a level of trust and transparency that lead to the optimal results. That means once the desired candidate is identified, the search firm remains onboard.

“From a client perspective, they can forget we’re the ones the candidate is confiding in. We can be very influential in making a hire happen,” Kean said.

Candidates might be reluctant to share too much with a hiring manager. It’s often easier to be forthcoming with a search firm.

“We’re that third party, the marriage counselor, in the process,” Kean added.

Ideally, the negotiation, hire, onboarding and follow-up happen with the search firm very much in the loop.

Like any good search firm, references and work history are verified and a background check is conducted. That lays the foundation for a successful partnership — aligning the candidate’s interests and skills with the ideal professional position. Satisfaction and continued growth on both ends result from a search firm engaging with both client and candidate so both can thrive.

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