In a world of tightened regulations in finance and other sectors, retained executive search remains a largely unregulated zone. Although there are guidelines from the AESC, our leading trade organization, there is nothing to require search firms like us to provide updates about your search process—or any kind of transparency at all.
We believe there should be. We’ve always felt weekly status reports to be paramount in making sure we’re on track, and giving our clients the assurance that their searches are well in hand.
As a complement to our weekly status calls, the tool gives our clients a summary of regular activity on their searches. They get the information in real time: the minute our interviews are complete. They can view each candidate’s name, resume, career history, compensation, and LinkedIn profile (in one click). They can see—and comment on—next steps.
The tool—accessible on any device—also provides a nifty platform for on-point feedback. Is this candidate interesting? Are there questions, concerns, or disqualifying factors? Do they need more information? The feedback helps us refine our approach—especially in the event that the search is novel for your company (as many of ours are).
Our new tool thrills us for a couple of reasons. First, it advances our agenda: to lead the search world in both transparency and innovation. Second, it appeals to our love for technology. Third, we want our clients to get used to this kind of treatment, since their involvement is crucial.
Please give us your comments. Have you ever hired a search firm that kept you in the dark? How did it turn out? What does transparency mean to you?