While a search for a talented leader from outside your organization provides an opportunity to place a senior person that will fundamentally transform or improve your organization; there is also the risk that the new person will create a major setback because they found themselves not well suited to the role or not a fit with your organization’s culture.   Being aware of this risk is important and we always advise clients to ensure they have carefully considered all of their internal candidates before undertaking an executive search.

When an executive search is required, we work closely with our clients to clarify their needs and help develop a strategic approach that will be innovative and ensure success.   Outlined below are 10 questions that should be carefully considered when an Executive Search is undertaken:

  1. 1.Now that we are no longer constrained by who is in the role; should the position be redesigned to better meet the needs of the organization? If so, what does this redesign look like?

  2. 2.What are the 3-5 key strategic challenges and opportunities facing the organization?

  3. 3.What type of person is going to provide a strategic benefit or opportunity at this point in time and in light of the strategic issues identified in Question 2?

  4. 4.Do current needs suggest someone who is more an innovator and driver of change or someone who is more methodical and patient in their approach?  Are you seeking someone who is more likely to bring with them a fairly certain plan of action or someone who will work closely with the organization to develop a plan?

  5. 5.What is the compelling argument for why an outstanding candidate would be interested?

  6. 6.What is the ideal combination of background, skills, competencies and personal qualities?

  7. 7.What is the best way to reach ideal candidates?  Are there ideal candidates that are well known to us or perhaps our suppliers and customers?

  8. 8. What financial and non financial rewards will be required?

  9. 9. What is Plan B - if the search takes longer than expected?

  10. 10. What lessons have been learned from previous searches and how does that suggest we go forward on this search?  What support do we need: sourcing candidates; facilitating a consensus on selection criteria; facilitating decision making and/or screening candidates?

We use this flowchart to guide our search assignments:

The Executive Search Process FlowchartExecutive_Search_Approach.html

For more information or to discuss our consulting services in this area please contact us at (780) 487 4762 or by email at: info@jacobsonpage.com


Planning an Executive Search Project