Gibson & Company Executive Search Process

Initial Meeting With The Client

Our initial meeting is with the CEO – or the Board of Directors Search Committee – and the Chief Human Resources Officer. In this discussion we develop an understanding of your company – your vision, culture, values, products, and strategic objectives. We encourage a candid review of special problems. With the client’s help, we identify target industries and companies. Following a comprehensive review of the position, and the full range of candidate specifications, a detailed Search Profile is prepared for the client’s approval.

Resource and Sourcing

A customized research plan is developed for every assignment. Drawing upon our research library, internal and external databases: the internet, and executive networks in virtually every major industry, we identify leading companies that are likely sources for individuals who will meet your requirements. We confidentially and professionally approach potential candidates and ask Board Directors and other high-level sources for candidate nominations. In addition, our sources within all of the major professional associations and graduate schools help us to identify candidates with specialized training and experience

Candidate Development

Our process for identifying and engaging highly qualified candidates is grounded in the development of a precise CANDIDATE MODEL that encompasses all of our client’s requirements and specifications. Our research and targeting of candidates is concentrated on the most successful companies within our client’s business sector, and focused on the executives who lead these companies. The first stage objective of every search is to gain the attention of the A Players in our client’s industry, the executives who have been-there-done-that. We develop a confidential dialogue with targeted candidates for the purpose of generating interest in our client’s opportunity, or alternatively, to generate qualified candidate nominations.

This targeted approach to candidate development stands in stark contrast to the practices of the large merchant search firms – wherein staff researchers and recruiters mine huge databanks of resumes submitted by individuals who have just lost their job, or who may have already accepted a new position.

Reviewing Qualified Candidates with the Client

Within four weeks of your authorization to search, we will present the qualifications of a number of individuals with appropriate experience, who have expressed interest in confidentially pursuing the position. Your reaction to these initial candidates will confirm and refine our mutual understanding of your requirements. Those candidates who successfully pass this stage of the search will be evaluated intensively and will also serve as models for the development of additional candidates.

Expert Candidate Evaluation

An intensive personal interview – and frequently multiple interviews – are conducted with each candidate. We develop, and report to you, a comprehensive impression of the candidate – paying special attention to energy level, intelligence, temperament, problem solving and decision models, personal values, and communications skills. Our primary objective is to be able to favorably predict personality and values compatibility between candidate and client, as well as the candidate’s ability to adapt his or her management style to the client’s corporate culture. We establish the candidate’s interest in the position (for confidential assignments, our client’s identity may be withheld during the initial interview). Preliminary reference checks are conducted before the candidate is endorsed for interview with the client.

Client/Candidate Interviews

You will probably interview only five to seven candidates during the progress of the search. All of the candidates you meet will be interested in and qualified for the position – giving you the opportunity to base your selection on candidates’ personal characteristics, succession potential, reputation within your industry, or other special factors.

Referencing Checking

When (after your interview) you express an interest in further developing a particular candidate, we obtain the candidate’s permission to talk confidentially with previous superiors, subordinates, and peers. Usually we can also check discreetly with current associates, customers and suppliers. We cover a broad spectrum of questions relating to the candidate’s job performance, functional strengths and weaknesses, health, family life, and personal characteristics – with particular emphasis on ethics, leadership, teamwork and communications skills. We continue to check out the candidate until we establish a clear pattern in the references – which we report to you in detail. Confidential conversations with off-list references are key elements in this process.

The Offer of Employment

Functioning as the professional third party, we counsel client and candidate, assisting them to reach an agreement on compensation and other key points. To assist the candidate, we review the present and future opportunities available within your company and discuss all aspects of the position candidly. Candidates frequently request a review of the client’s corporate benefits program, relocation policy, and community information relating to real estate values, cost of living, school systems, continuing education programs, and vocational opportunities for spouses.

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