30 Hillside Terrace
Why Use Search
Hiring a senior administrator represents a significant transition for an organization and some degree of uncertainty and risk. The costs associated with an unsuccessful search are huge, affecting morale, lost opportunities, and revenue. To minimize the risks, colleges, universities, and not-for-profit organizations are increasingly turning to outside consultants for professional assistance in identifying and recruiting outstanding leaders.
Search consultants improve the chance for success in a variety of ways. First, search consultants can help an organization define its goals and hone its understanding of a new leader’s essential qualities. People in different parts of an organization will start with varying ideas about what is needed. The wish list of qualities and qualifications at the beginning of a search is often so extensive that no individual could possibly meet every criterion. Working with a search committee or other hiring authority, a search firm can help an organization reach consensus about which skills and experience are truly required. This is an essential prerequisite to making informed assessments of potential candidates.
Search consultants advise their clients about designing a successful search process–one that blends efficiency, confidentiality, and inclusiveness. A good process smoothes the way for a new candidate. If important constituencies are included in the search process, the new hire will begin his/her job with broad support throughout the organization.
Retaining a search firm will also broaden your pool of candidates. Exceptional candidates for senior positions are unlikely to respond to an advertisement. Senior-level candidates need to be identified and actively recruited. A search firm helps an organization recruit by drawing on its own contacts, as well as by approaching potential candidates identified through research and networking. A search firm can also approach potential candidates that an institution has already identified, but for a variety of reasons cannot approach directly. Search consultants allow candidates to explore a position confidentially, when they are not yet ready to declare their interest formally.
Recruiting involves not just identifying individuals with the appropriate background and skills, but also working extensively with those individuals to engage their interest in the position. Many of the best candidates for senior administrative positions are not actively looking for jobs. Their interest in a new position develops only incrementally, as they learn more about the position and think about their own interests and ambitions.
If candidates are confronted too soon with the direct question, “Are you a candidate?”, many will often decline to become involved in a search. Search committees are usually composed of very busy people. A search consultant is able to devote more time to cultivating a candidate than most search committee members can. With patience and careful attention to an individual’s concerns and needs, a search consultant can cultivate the interest of potential candidates who otherwise would decline to be considered.
Conducting a successful search is a time-consuming and detail-oriented process. Search consultants remove a lot of the “homework” from the shoulders of search committee members. Retaining a search firm helps insure that the details are attended to in a timely way and that candidates are treated courteously.
Search consultants also help a search committee or hiring authority evaluate candidates. Consultants provide a careful reading of paper credentials, informed by their experience in similar searches. Search consultants also offer in-depth interviews, which can be deeper, longer and more wide-ranging than the more formal interviews with a search committee or hiring authority.
References are a critical tool for evaluating whether a candidate has the right combination of skills and temperament to succeed. The process of conducting thorough references is time-consuming. Sometimes search committee members–whose principal responsibilities lie outside the search–are unable to provide the same level of detail and depth in referencing that a search consultant can. Every hire involves a leap of faith. Careful referencing and checking of credentials can minimize the length of that leap.
Why Choose Auerbach Associates?
In choosing among search firms, you will want to consider each firm’s balance of breadth and depth. If a firm works too broadly, it might not have sufficient knowledge of your arena to respond to your needs with agility. On the other hand, a firm that specializes too narrowly might lack perspective and a full understanding of how a position in one field relates to other positions in your organization. Auerbach Associates offers an ideal blend of depth and breadth. Our work falls in two sectors: higher education and not-for-profits. Within those sectors, however, we work across a complete range of administrative positions, on the academic side as well as on the business and operational side.
Auerbach Associates has a 16-year record of success in recruiting leaders for academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations. Our consultants combine expertise in search with extensive experience and accomplishments in education and other fields. Our intelligence and thoughtfulness are reflected in our conversations with candidates and with references.
Our firm is a collaborative one. When you decide to retain Auerbach Associates, you are obtaining not only the services of a lead consultant, but also of every member of the firm. While the lead consultant serves as primary liaison on each search, all members of our firm consult throughout a search process, to pool our experience, evaluations, and networks.
Identifying candidates is the most obvious part of our work, but our involvement goes much deeper and spans the entire duration of the search. Auerbach Associates provides expert advice at all stages of the search process, from refining a position description, to training a search committee, to assisting in negotiations with the final candidate.
Clients praise Auerbach Associates for our attentiveness, professionalism, candor, and the depth of our assessments. Candidates–both successful and unsuccessful–frequently mention how well they have been treated by Auerbach Associates, which reflects well on you, our client.
Copyright 2016 Auerbach Associates
30 Hillside Terrace
Belmont, MA 02478