If you have ever met David Mersky or Michael Jaffe, you know that the principals of the firm have many skills. And as an associate of the firm, I like to think we associates bring our own areas of expertise to the table. Those cumulative skills include an understanding that the executive recruiting process involves so much more than knowing which questions to ask. Often the initial questions involve creating a synergy in the interview process.
What aspects of the executive search process requires synergy?
It varies from organization to organization but group dynamics often prevent a singular view about:
- What are the 3 most important qualities in a candidate?
- How much relevant experience does the person need?
- Is it worth it for you to pay a higher salary for more experience?
- How many people do you need to interview to make everyone comfortable with the final candidates?
- How should the nonprofit present itself?
- Whose opinion matters the most?
- How do you merge opposing views
Why is synergy so important?
It is all too easy to lose an ideal candidate due to lack of shared vision and values. Every potential candidate is looking at the organization to determine how he/she would fit in. If they are getting mixed signals, they may think that they are not getting a true picture of the organization. They might question whether the job is going to be more trouble than it is worth.
If it takes too long for you to come to a consensus, a good candidate may be snatched up by someone else. Or think that he/she is not the first choice and look elsewhere.
If the candidate meets with multiple people and gets differing opinions on key points, your organization can easily be perceived as “disorganized” and unappealing. Not to mention that if he/she is worth their salt, they will know that a large portion of their initial time and energy will be spent determining who needs to be listened to and who can be ignored.
Finding your synergy
Sometimes we are hired to perform an executive search because we know thousands of candidates. Sometimes we are hired to save the staff and board the costly exercise of doing an executive search on their own. And, sometimes, we are hired to find synergy. Finding common ground upon which everyone can stand and isn’t always easy, but it is always necessary in order to find the best candidate for the job.