Due diligence in executive recruitment is a must
Research is a team effort. Research makes a search win or fail; it starts earlier than you think. It’s the beginning, we all do it; even without noticing.
Research is not just approaching candidates about a job, it is involved in business development to identify potential vacancies, board consulting requirements and other opportunities. It’s the researching of a potential client and preparing for the pitch, early insights on the candidate market to guide a client on job description design or salary levels as well as the intensive and methodical mapping work to produce a high quality target list before the search goes live.
Yes, the team then goes about attracting candidates and performing due diligence around them alongside supporting candidates in preparing their applications, but it is also involved in gathering all information possible before a long list or short list meeting to enable our clients to be best informed about the candidates.
It continues up to the final interview with on-going due diligence and cross referencing all possible data points about a candidate before they face the panel. Research can also support candidates in unearthing information for interview preparation and provide further checks and balances after interview if needed.
That’s why we call ourselves a research led organisation.
Why research matters for executive recruitment
Research is a major, resource heavy but important piece of the puzzle. Our work is specialised, and executive roles do not typically generate the same amount or type of applicants that other positions would, quality trumps quantity. There may only be a few people who can do the job and finding enough of them, it could only be one spot-on person alongside others with potential, is an activity that requires rigour of method, creativity to find and identify people, tenacity and resilience in approach, and integrity and quality as a brand ambassador for our clients.
Research has the opportunity to enhance a client’s brand and have those conversations that in-house recruiters or HR cannot. We can change the perception of an employer, or of a role in the market, and provide great insight for the client to work with.
Looking beyond the CV in recruitment
Integrity is important to us as we apply our values to how we work with our clients. As such, we can align our approach to ensure we find people with the values that match the clients. You must look beyond the CV and invest time in speaking with potential candidates to discover the right match.
Disruption and innovations in markets have led to roles being created that never existed before so our networks of senior or specialised contacts are of high value to not just gain referrals of potentially suitable people, or other referrers, but also add to our learning of the trends and the market the candidate will be expected to work within. Research allows us to be knowledgeable in the sectors we work in.
Research should also tackle the deal breakers upfront – salary, location/commute, other applications or commitments such as family that may affect the availability of an individual for a role. These all need to be squared away before an application is made or highlighted as risks so our client can make their decisions based on the best possible information. The client may even decide to change the design of a job to suit a candidate’s requirements.
Diversity is immensely important to us as researchers and we always work hard to secure a group of candidates that will provide the right insights, experiences and skills for our clients to consider, but that desire for diversity from each client needs to be explored as it has a different meaning and motivation for each organisation we work with.
For us, diversity in research is about securing the person that will succeed in the role, not the necessarily the most impressive CV. It is about the all-round qualities of the candidate as an individual and their ability to do the job – an assessment performed in partnership with the client including recognising.
For Peridot, research impacts all areas of our work and the positive support we can provide to our clients and the society they serve.