Executive Search Techniques and the Fundamentals of a Good Hire, Part 1

By August 7, 2012 No Comments

For some reason it seems that employers are dead set on making their hiring practices as difficult on themselves as possible these days by attempting to completely change the way that their executive search and recruiting processes are viewed and carried out. And while there is certainly value in many of these newer hiring strategies, employers need to realize that the key to success in today’s job market is not necessarily one of beginning totally from scratch, but instead simply working to take those more traditional techniques and methods and refining them. One of the real problems with the way that many employers see their hiring procedures is the fact that they have become so well worn and repetitive that to those individuals conducting them, these practices seem dry and ineffective, so they have come to believe that in order to maintain relevance they must look to new strategies.

However, rather than completely rebooting their hiring programs, instead employers need to realize that the simplest option here is to reassess and bolster their traditional hiring strategies by relearning what made those practices successful in the first place instead of seeking to replace them. Since the most fundamental step in any hiring process is knowing what to look for, here is a look at the seven qualifications employers should seek out in their candidates, brought to you by executive search firms.

1. On the most obvious level employers will of course need to begin by ensuring that applicants possess those most fundamental qualifications necessary to fulfilling the role in question, those being the education, experience, and skills required to get the job done. However, as important as these aspects are to the assessment of a candidate, employers must recognize that, even when an individual may fall shy of expectations in one of these aspects or another, these are simply a list of facts and that there is a great deal more that can prove valuable of a candidate beyond these points. What is more, even these are not mattes which can be taken passing note of on a checklist by skimming a candidate’s resume, but must be thoroughly assessed through interview questions and background checks.

2. One of the most highly valuable abilities that a candidate can offer an employer is their willingness to go above and beyond in their work, to not only ensure that they fulfill their typical duties, but to do so as efficiently as possible and then to go one step further and exceed expectations by taking on responsibilities and roles, allowing them to bring as much value as possible to the organization. Such dedicated individuals can be hard to find and this is where looking extensively into a candidate’s work history again through targeted questioning and thorough background checks.

3. For a candidate to work successfully and compatibly with their coworkers is yet another of the most important abilities they can possess, particularly given the way in which most organizations function these days, through the work of teams rather than individuals. Here employers will need to assess how well an individual demonstrates that they can get along with coworkers and colleagues, and this can be done most efficiently by bringing possible future coworkers in to interviews to see how the candidate acts towards them and to let these individuals make their own opinions of the candidate as well.

For four more important qualifications that high quality candidates should possess, look for the second half of this article.


Maurice GilbertMaurice Gilbert is Managing Partner of Conselium Executive Search, which specializes in placing Compliance Officers and Legal Counsel for clients in the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Maurice is also CEO of Corporate Compliance Insights, a worldwide publication devoted to governance, risk and compliance issues. Maurice can be reached at or

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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