Let’s choose better

Let’s get past trusting gut instincts, connections, biases, and preconceptions about what an “executive leader” looks like. Let’s base our decisions on accurate, relevant data and a robust process, based in science, supported by research, and refined in years of practice.

The process is the foundation

The model for effective executive selection hasn’t changed much since Rob Kaiser studied over 300 C-level hiring decisions in the 1990s. Simply stated, it breaks down into four steps:

  • Define the job in terms of its objectives, responsibilities, and the strategic direction of the company.
  • Develop a profile, based on your definition, that outlines the key qualifications of a successful candidate. It should state what they will have to know and do to achieve key objectives, fit into or shift the organization’s culture, and mesh well with the Board and management team.
  • Assess each candidate against this profile by digging into their skills, personality and style, career history and know-how.
  • Interview the candidate to confirm their strengths, probe the extent of their gaps, and size up their fit for this role and this organization.

That’s the process. Almost every executive selection consultant will follow these steps. There may be some variations on the theme here and there, but the core elements will remain the same.

Our Experience with Evidence From Studies of

Over 300

C-Level Hiring Processes Tell Us

The Process Is Not Enough

The standard process is standard for a reason. When executed well, it works. The various tweaks and enhancements may add some value—for instance, interviews with coworkers and former associates provide an often missing piece of the puzzle. But the process — neither standard nor enhanced — will not guide you to a better hiring decision. Better hiring decisions come from better knowledge. Better knowledge comes from better analysis.

Many of the data points gathered in assessments, interviews, and even career histories are subjective. Candidate interviews may identify their bright side, but aren’t likely to surface dark side derailers. Personality is a complex pattern that is more than the sum of its parts. A track record of positions held and accomplishments achieved doesn’t tell you everything about the whys and hows of an individual’s advancement, let alone what was actually learned from those experiences.

It takes a highly skilled professional to find the truth that’s buried in both the hard and fuzzy facts. They need more than just the ability to see the apparent contradictions and discontinuities. They need the curiosity to explore them. And after they have reached the right conclusions, they need to be able to communicate their findings in a simple report that is easy to understand. Then comes the hardest part: weighing the trade-offs among candidates whose profiles indicate different strengths and risks.

Our expertise informs your decision

We have assisted organizations in executive assessment and selection for over 20 years. We not only studied best practices in the standard process, we have continued to refine it in our practice. We have worked with Bob and Joyce Hogan on “next practices” that apply the Hogan suite of personality assessments to this purpose. We teach other consultants how to use the process, and we have helped organizations create centers of excellence for its implementation.

We don’t make recommendations. We give you a framework for understanding the pros and cons of each candidate. Your choice will be based on an understanding of how well this individual will fit this position, how to accelerate their onboarding, and, critically, how to manage the inevitable risks and up the odds of success.

Our final assessment is available to both the organization and the candidate. And almost always, the organization and the candidate agree with the conclusions. So when the decision is made, both sides know it was the right choice.

A continuum of options

We have packaged a set of services into processes that we know work well. However, not all organizations have the same needs. Some need a comprehensive solution for executive assessment and selection. Some want to supplement their already-established process with services that target specific aspects of executive selection. We are happy to tailor a solution for your unique situation and needs.