By Jane Groves, Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor, MSA Executive Search
I have spent twenty three years of my career in healthcare as an executive search consultant, and another fourteen years before that in healthcare human resources leadership. I have sat on “three sides of the desk” in the area of executive recruiting--as the hiring executive, as the executive candidate, and as the executive search consultant. Although each seat requires a different set of skills and approaches, there are some common truths that I believe exist for us in each “seat":
- We each have something to learn from the search process--neither party is actually in the “drivers’ seat." There should be mutual respect from the beginning that includes timely responses, advanced preparation for calls and interviews, full disclosure, and truth-telling.
- Neither one of us should do all the talking.
- A poor job profile can be as problematic as a poor resume in getting off to a good start in the executive search process.
- Neither one of us should be on a pulpit with something to prove.
- As an executive, a candidate, or a search consultant, it is our ability to communicate clearly, which makes a difference in a one- or two-hour interaction.
- Whatever is “out there” on social media is a part of our story. No matter what seat we are in.
- The more self-aware we are, the better we will be at determining if there is a good match.
- This is executive work, requiring executive competencies, executive presence, and the highest standards of professionalism.
In the end, no matter which "seat" you're sitting in right now, there are some commonalities for all involved--hiring executives, executive candidates, and executive search consultants. Recognize the role you play and the necessary steps to take in order to make it a smooth and successful process.