10 Steps Search Process

10 Steps Head of School & Senior Leadership Search Process

Our search process typically involves a series of steps. The early stages help to develop a clearer understanding of the board’s needs and leadership profile, the middle stages identify candidates, and the final stages support you with the evaluation and decision-making process to select a leading candidate. Each stage of the process will be tailored to your needs and expectations. HEG will act as the facilitator and guide the search process in reference to the interviews, data gathering, focus groups, and other related interactions. HEG will work with your board and Search Committee throughout the entire process. For quality results, filling a position must involve establishing a good relationship, not just a hiring transaction. Our process is summarized as follows in our ten-step search process:

Step 1: Initial Consultation

During our initial meeting with a client, we review the client's particular organization regarding the position to be filled. We also seek to understand the organization's environment, which includes learning about the culture, norms, philosophy, history, work atmosphere, and personalities of the people and community this person will work for and with, as well as coming to know what causes individual success or failure at this organization and thoroughly understanding the vision of the organization. If confidentiality allows, we spend time with the supervisor and peers of the position in order to determine the management's style and personality. Since our goal is to find someone in whom the community will have confidence, both in ability and in style, this part of the process is crucial.

Step 2: Opportunity Profile

We next prepare an Opportunity Profile that describes the client organization, details the nature of the position, and profiles qualities and experience possessed by the ideal candidate. This document, once approved by the client, serves as the primary instrument to communicate the opportunity during our search process.

Step 3: Research

We begin identifying sources and candidates. We access our database of potential candidates or sources likely to provide leads, utilize a variety of reference materials including directories and association membership lists, and gather names from our extensive network of industry contacts. We also stay current with electronic methods of information gathering, including the Internet, and various specialized databases.

Step 4: Development of Prospective Candidates

We then proceed with an exhaustive exploration of our sources to identify potential candidates who meet the criteria in our Opportunity Profile. This step includes mailing copies of the Opportunity Profile to the 100-300 people on our "target" mailing list, with phone calls to follow up on high-potential sources or candidates.

Step 5: Screening & Interviews of Candidates

As resumes are received in response to our mailing and phone calls, we begin the narrowing-down process. Through many phone interviews, we reduce the pool of prospective candidates to those with sufficient potential to warrant a personal interview. During these interviews, each candidate is evaluated against the criteria as outlined in the Opportunity Profile. Other areas explored include the candidate's level of interest in the position, compensation requirements, career goals, and the geographical/cultural fit for the candidate and his/her family with the position's locale.
Step 6: Reference Checking & Preparation of Candidate Profile

Five to eight references are typically checked for each candidate we expect to present, including superiors, close peers and subordinates. Educational degrees are also verified at this time. Before presentation to the client, we prepare the Candidate Profile, which includes the candidate's resume, career progression, and an evaluation of his/her overall fit for the position. Unlike many retained search firms, we conduct thorough reference checks prior to presenting a candidate to a client, thereby reducing the potential of having to remove a candidate from eligibility once presented to the client.

Step 7: Candidate Introduction to Client & Initial Client Interviews

The three or four most highly qualified candidates are then introduced to our client, and interviews are conducted. We then follow up with the client and each candidate for feedback after the interviews are completed to ensure that all important issues are identified. As needed, we assist in any clarification or problem resolution between candidates and the client.

Step 8: Second Client Interview

After the initial interview, the client may wish to interview the top one or two candidates a second time. After determining the preferred candidate, peers to the position often also interview the candidate, in order to gain additional input leading to a final decision.

Step 9: Offer and Negotiations

Our clients often ask us to assist in structuring a compensation package. We also act as a facilitator to resolve issues such as relocation, severance agreements, etc. After the client makes the offer, we seek the candidate's reaction. If there is any hesitation in the candidate accepting the offer, we help resolve any problems which might prevent the offer from being accepted. Acting as a "go-between" during the offer period helps prevent any breakdown in communication during the "courtship" and decreases the potential for misunderstandings between the client and the candidate. Once the candidate has accepted the offer, we talk with the candidate in order to minimize any apprehensions or questions which may arise regarding the new position and to avoid the development of any other situations that might cause the candidate to change his/her mind.

Step 10: Follow-Up

We periodically follow up with our client and the newly placed candidate during the first year after the completion of the search. If both can say that things are going well and there haven't been any negative surprises, then we know that we have successfully accomplished our job.

Benefit To You

That's HEG's' role as a recruiter, but as we repeatedly say, in order for this to work well, establishing a good working relationship is a must. Contact us for more information about searches.

Next Step

If you are interested in our private school search consulting services and would like to receive written material about HEG, or would like to discuss your particular needs, please contact HEG directly to find out more about our services. You can set this up by sending an email to info@halladayeducationgroup.com or calling directly at +1-800-687-1492. We invite you to continue browsing our website.