The Executive Search Group & Strategic Resourcing is comprised of a team of experienced search consultants dedicated to the advancement of the University's mission. We typically support our clients in the five main phases of the search process. We are happy to customize our approach to fit your specific needs.
Phase One - Understand and Develop
A stable foundation is the key to a successful search. This involves thoroughly understanding the school and department's unique situation and vision for the position. We have in-depth conversations with key stakeholders to expand our understanding of the position, the specific school or department’s philosophy, culture, and the qualities of the ideal candidate and how the role fits in the broader organization. We want to understand as much as we can about the position and organization, so that we can find candidates with the professional and personal attributes that are the best long-term fit.
The product of this research is a written position description that is both a strategic document and a recruiting tool. It clearly states what makes the position compelling, what success in the role looks like, and the qualities of an ideal candidate.
To position the search committee for success, we partner with our clients and provide expert guidance in: best process and timetable, issues of committee structure and size, and recruiting and advertising strategy.
Phase Two – Recruit and Screen
Recruitment is the core of any search. We search peer and aspirational Universities as well as less conventional entities such as non profit, public and private sectors. We contact sources and potential candidates directly, reach out to fellow consultants, utilize our database, and to a lesser extent, advertise to generate awareness. It is our proactive recruiting that generates the top candidates; the ones who aren't actively looking but that we persuade with the opportunity. Our recruitment is global, and we also look at talent internally to ensure we have considered individuals in our own community. As the pool develops, the candidates are thoroughly vetted and screened to identify those with the highest potential.
Phase Three – Review and Narrow
Our consultants share their insights about the market place and relay the information gleaned from their in depth discussions with the candidates to the committee. In our conversations, we learn about accomplishments in successive roles, discoveries from mistakes made, and what was essential to their success. We review with the committee what the major priorities are for the position and the characteristics that would make someone successful. We facilitate the committee’s discussion of the candidates and advise regarding interview selections.
Phase Four – Interview
Our consultants assist the search committee in orchestrating a high-touch and thoughtful interview experience. We partner to develop strategic interview questions that inspire robust conversation. There may be multiple stages of interviews depending on the committee’s desires including phone, video, off-site with just the committee, and on-Grounds with stakeholders. We assist in creating and administering feedback surveys from everyone who meets the candidates, and provide written reports. Once the finalist stage has been reached, the candidate may be invited back to Charlottesville with their spouse or partner for a visit that includes realty and community tours, school visits and their special interests.
Phase Five – Due Diligence & Bringing the Search to a Close
We believe due diligence, on- and off-list references, and background checks are just as important as a candidate’s performance during the interview process. Most unsuccessful hires occur because of poor reference checking. We document our conversations and provide a written report to the committee and hiring official. The consultants remain active through the close of a search, helping our clients make well-informed decisions. We stay in close contact with all finalists, ensuring even if they are not selected, their experience is positive. We also maintain relationships with high potential candidates that are not selected for future opportunities. We can play a role in the hiring negotiations by making recommendations on compensation, negotiating terms, and advising on relocation and family considerations.