The search for talent is getting far more competitive. Finding the right people for the job is a task that no one is taking lightly these days.  In order to find the right leadership for your school or school district, you and your leadership team need a trusted partner who is an expert in the field of finding the right person for the right job.

The question is, where do you find such a partner and how do you evaluate their expertise?

Choosing the right executive search firm is nearly as difficult as choosing the right candidate and failing at finding the right executive search firm can be just as devastating as a bad hire.

When you are considering the hire of an executive search firm, be guided by the following criteria, to ensure that you’re hiring the right company.

1.      What is their area of expertise and how well do they know it? Are they in the know about the industry for which they are recruiting?

2.      What is their reputation in the industry? Are they well known or well-liked and do people appreciate what they do?  How many placements have they made? What is their success rate and do their placements stand the test of time?

3.      What methods do they use to search and how well do those fit into your own philosophy? It takes real innovation and outside the box thinking in order to ensure that you get the highest quality candidates that you need. It’s about more than just having a good grasp of the situation, but rather knowing how to find the fish and how to “fish where the fish are located.”

4.      What kind of turnaround time have other schools or school districts reported when working with these recruiters? It’s not okay to wait months to fill a critical academic or administrative position that was necessary 3 months ago. Getting a good candidate in a reasonable time span is imperative.

Each of these are methods by which you can judge whether or not you have the right executive search firm. They can also be used to ascertain whether you have the wrong one.  The devil is in the details so make sure to examine them.