Cambridge BLOG

J.I.T. Recruitment
Recruitment timing can be as important as the details...
Enhancing or Fabricating?
I think we’ve become so accustomed to hyperbole in advertising and marketing today that we’re beginning to lose our perspective.
Coach or Critic? Management Style Affects Performance
Talented individuals can succeed under virtually any conditions, but no matter how well they handle adversity, people always do better under favorable conditions.
Build a Winning Franchise
There is more to building a highly effective, functional team than just assembling a group of ‘A players’. Professional sports have demonstrated, time and again, that simply recruiting the best players is not enough.
Float Your Boat
If you believe that people who are passionate about their work are more successful, then you want to know that your new executive will be passionate about those areas of the role that are most critical to achieving success.
Succession Planning STILL the Elephant in the Room
Large segments of the business community are facing a serious succession gap with the loss of the huge post-WWII demographic, particularly in the financial and energy industries, yet there still seems to be a lack of will and/or capability to deal with this impending tsunami.
It Pays to Do Your Homework
Our latest article on “The Real Value of Hiring ‘A’ Players” reminds us that, in hiring, just like school and most other things in life, it pays to do your homework.
Hire for the NEXT Need
Considering “where do we want this individual to develop from here” in the context of the larger organization’s future needs will help hiring managers keep succession in mind.
Avoid Political Hiring Decisions
Even the most self-aware among us can be unconsciously swayed by political considerations when hiring, particularly when hiring a successor, or in situations where there is political sensitivity around the role.
Search Goes Beyond
When clients ask “Why should I engage a search firm when there's so much available talent on the street?”, I tell them...
The Future of Executive Search
I’m frequently asked where I think the field of executive search is headed...
Good Company
Great leaders promote their organizations, not themselves.
Local is the New Global
The unanticipated social, political and economic events of the past year have made many organizations rethink their international practices and consider local options.
Reverse Mentoring?
By spending time listening first-hand to those who are much further down the chain of command, you may find out a lot of things you didn’t know, and not just about your organization.
Think Like a Pilot
Many organizations are facing the need to cut staff in order to survive the recession, but cutting too much can sometimes be worse than not cutting enough.
Carpe Diem
Smart firms are taking advantage of a unique opportunity to strengthen their management teams by recruiting talented individuals during the economic downturn.
Time to Lay Low
The global economic meltdown has created an atmosphere of public anger and contempt for the wealthy that hasn’t been seen since the French Revolution.
Move 'em on Over
Smart organizations are using this recession as an opportunity to recruit and train high potential talent with transferable skills from other industries.
Exiting Successfully
True leadership is a character trait, and good leaders care about the success of their team from start to finish.
What Makes a Candidate Impressive?
Everyone is looking for an edge with employers and recruiters when interviewing for a coveted role, but there’s one thing, next to a stellar track record, that I find most convincing in a candidate: passion.
Looking to Hire Internationally?
Certain industry sectors are having difficulty finding local candidates in highly competitive markets. More and more companies are considering seeking candidates from outside of Canada, but aren’t sure where to begin...
What's Your Market Value?
How do you know if your compensation expectations are realistic? Ask a recruiter! Most recruiters work across a variety of industries, as well as functional roles, so they’re a good source for this kind of information...
International Search Trends
I attended our IIC Partners Annual General Meeting last month, and had a chance to get updated on search trends from across the Americas region, as well as Europe and Asia-Pacific...
The Most Common Candidate Mistake
The most common mistake executive level candidates make when interviewing for leadership roles is trying too hard to impress...
New Executives Should 'Bunt'
In baseball, if you want to be sure to get a man on base, you bunt. We recommend that new executives borrow this strategy to improve their chances of success in the first few months with an organization...
Different Animal, Different Handling
My last blog recommended avoiding candidates who are more interested in what’s in it for them, than how they can contribute to the success of the company, but there’s always one exception... The Sales Executive.
Sell the Challenge
If you really want to be sure you’re recruiting the right candidate for the job, make sure you’re selling the challenge first, before the rewards.
The Best Route
When you’re trying to get from A to B in a cab, you want your driver to know the quickest route to get there, as well as the best alternative routes. The same principle can be applied to research.
The Perfect Process
One of the benefits of being a private firm is having the ability to adapt our processes to the needs of our clients. While tight, solid operating processes are necessary to efficiently and reliably run an organization, they’re only a framework, and can sometimes be an impediment to success if they’re too rigid.
Meet the Folks
I think it’s useful to get a well-rounded view of a candidate by introducing them to one or two others in the organization, as there are often issues that get overlooked or questions that might have been asked when working alone...
Testing Talent
I often get asked ‘What tests do you use to assess candidates?’ Well, that all depends upon the client and our assessment of their needs...
Director Independence
In most roles, there are one or two requirements that are critical and must be considered "non-negotiable". In the case of Board Directors, I’d have to say that requirement is independence.
Give to Get
Senior executives who are looking to stay relevant and keep their industry knowledge current should consider mentoring.
Plan for Everything
Smart leaders know that the basis of success in business (and life) is having a solid plan and then implementing it effectively. But there are still some organizations that haven't got a definite, or even informal, succession plan for dealing with the loss of key senior executives.
Take a Break
Constant demands and time pressures slowly wear you down, so it's important to detach yourself and give your mind (and body) some well deserved rest every now and then...
Follow Your Instincts
Sometimes, as a recruiter, we see a candidate who doesn’t match the specifications exactly, but whom we feel offers unique strengths that make them worth including in the search process...
The Perfect Candidate You Didn't Know About
Smart people know that the more information you have, the better your decision-making capability. The search process works the same way.
Too Much Information
One of the mistakes that some clients make when interviewing candidates is getting caught up in details, or side-tracking into minor internal issues that are irrelevant to the position and likely to make a candidate shy away from the role.
International Search Trends
In the broader world of recruitment (not just retained search), there is a marked trend towards greater technological functionality, particularly online capabilities.
How Many Candidates Are Enough?
Well, that depends... Every client is different, but as a general rule, we recommend 4-6 finalist candidates.
The Future of Executive Search
When I’m asked to look into my crystal ball, I really don’t see a vast change in the way the search business works...
The Ideal Client
Those clients who get the best results from the executive search process are also the ones I like to work with the most...
Look Way Ahead
It can be tempting to ignore succession when you're in a pinch, but you're better off dealing with a lack of experience now, than a lack of talent later.
The Greater Good
One undervalued criteria in candidate assessment is how the individual will affect the team they’ll be working with.
Failure Can Be Good
There is no better teacher than failure. Unfortunately, great candidates are often passed over because of a perceived ‘black spot’ on their record, and that’s too bad, because those individuals may be less likely to make such mistakes in the future, as a result of that experience.
Money May Tempt...
Good news for smaller organizations that can’t compete head-to-head with the big guys on compensation: Money is a great motivator, but it’s not a guarantee of loyalty...
Perspective Pays Off
I’m frequently asked by senior HR professionals "What can you do for me that I can’t do for myself?" and my answer is: "Lots".
A Leader’s Job is to Lead
There are a few fundamental traits that mark true leadership talent - great interpersonal skills, critical strategic thinking, a proactive approach to business and a relentless drive to succeed.
Red Flags or Red Herrings?
I’ve seen a lot of great talent passed over in my time for a lot of reasons, some of them potentially valid, but I have to wonder when I see a great candidate rejected over superficial or perceived faults.
RECRUITING is our specialty
The debate regarding Generalists vs. Specialists in Executive Search is an ongoing one, and both sides are passionate in their opinions...
Be Careful What You Wish For...
I often hear clients say they want to hire a ‘P&G or GE type’, hoping to take advantage of the comprehensive training and development provided by such prestigious organizations. I advise them to consider whether they’re in a position to benefit from that knowledge...
What's Your Real Objective?
Occasionally, a prospect will reluctantly admit to giving their business to one of the 'Big Five' search firms because they ''felt it was safe''...
Are You Really Saving Time?
Last week, I talked about the amount of work it takes to coordinate communication with our IIC Partners. Time is a challenge for everyone, and we all have to choose where we can spend it most efficiently...
Hard Choices
At our recent Annual General Meeting of IIC Partners in Vienna, I realized that while I always complain about the amount of work required to be involved in this type of organization, it really is worthwhile...
Stick to Your Knitting
The best leaders know their own weaknesses; they surround themselves with experts who can provide wise counsel and then make their own decisions based on sound advice...
Pre-Recruitment Reality Check
Sometimes organizations can get caught up in their own marketing propaganda and forget what the reality is, as viewed by others outside the organization...
ON HOLD: You're Not Just Losing a Great Candidate
Probably the greatest frustration an executive recruiter faces - and it happens more frequently than you might think - is losing a really great candidate because the client can't or won't make a hiring decision...
The C.E.O. as a Recruiting Tool
One of the most important functions of a CEO is to promote the organization - not just to the media, investors, customers and the general public - but also to potential key employees...

Cambridge Management Blog

by Graham Carver, President


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