First, a disclaimer: you can’t be the right candidate for an executive position if you’re not qualified, no matter how many advice articles you read. This article is no exception -- it’s intended only to help you if you have what it takes to succeed at the role in the first place.
So why did I write it? Because as an executive search consultant, it’s not uncommon for me and my team to locate multiple “right” candidates for a role in terms of experience and unique know-how. What sets candidates apart from the pack, however, is the uniqueness of the candidates themselves, how they present themselves, their level of preparation, and their alignment with the clients’ goals and culture.
The following list will help you better prepare for your experience with The Hennessy Group, an executive search firm that’s committed to successful placements and still thoroughly vets all qualified candidates before sending a shortlist to the hiring company. As you upload your contact information and background to our candidate system, be sure to review this list so you’ll know what happens if you’re selected to move forward in the process:
Stage 1: Initial contact.
Be open and honest so we can ensure the position is right for you and vice versa. During this short discussion, we’ll assess your interest, background, experience, and abilities. Ensure your candidate information is updated and current at all times. ADVICE: Be able to tell your story in 30 seconds and, if asked, expand to 3 minutes. And please don’t oversell. Top performer and “best fit” aren’t always one and the same. We want to talk to you and about you personally.
What’s happening behind the scenes: The Hennessy Group is researching you and other candidates and matching you against client requirements.
Stage 2: Follow up.
We rarely have just one discussion with a candidate before connecting them with the hiring company. If you move to stage two, expect a longer interview with a recruiter from The Hennessy Group. Have contact info for all references, plus dates, other info available before this discussion, and be prepared to discuss motivators, accomplishments, and reasons for transitions. ADVICE: Set aside at least an hour for a follow-up conversation so we can get to know you better and better assess your cultural fit and goals. Discussions with The Hennessy Group are thorough and can take more time than other interviews.
What’s happening behind the scenes: The Hennessy Group is shortlisting candidates and discussing each with the hiring company. We will also write your story in order to present you to the hiring company. We may discuss your performance with other people in the field, although be assured we will not jeopardize confidentiality.
Stage 3: Interviews.
If the hiring company wants to meet you, you’ll be scheduled for interviews. The Hennessy Group will ensure you know whom you’re speaking with, where, and when, and will do everything possible to prepare you and the hiring company for your meeting in order to make the most valuable use of everyone’s time. ADVICE: Very few candidates contacted by The Hennessy Group reach the company-interview stage since we focus on eliminating not-quite-perfect candidates from consideration early in the process. This saves time for both the candidates and our clients.
What’s happening behind the scenes: The Hennessy Group collects feedback from the hiring company regarding your interview so you have guidance to help you in this search and in future job searches, too.
Stage 4: Feedback and self-evaluation.
The Hennessy Group may request final-stage candidates complete a self-evaluation, information from which is provided to the client. If you’re a C-level or Board of Director candidate, you may also be evaluated through a competitive grid based on key selection criteria. ADVICE: Be honest and open and know that the self-evaluation helps everyone know that they’ve selected the right candidate -- no buyer’s remorse!
What’s happening behind the scenes: The Hennessy Group may schedule additional interviews for you with other individuals at the hiring company. We’ll also review compensation and conduct reference checks. Candidates typically give us feedback that our interview process is the best training they’ve ever had for interviewing. We go deep.
Stage 5: Offer.
While The Hennessy Group strives to close life sciences executive searches within 30-90 days, with some roles it may take longer. You will be kept updated throughout the process so you always know what’s happening. ADVICE: Be candid and direct and ensure you’ve consulted with your family, since their happiness with the role is as important as yours. Please present us with your list of must-haves so we can negotiate on your behalf.
What’s happening behind the scenes: The Hennessy Group will act as the intermediary to get answers for the hiring company and for you. Feel free to contact us at any stage of the process. The Hennessy Group’s goal is to ensure all candidates are treated the way we would personally want to be treated if applying for the same role.
Stage 6: Post-hiring follow up.
The Hennessy Group will check in with you and the hiring company at pre-selected intervals following your start date. At this stage, our goal is to ensure your transition to your new role is seamless. Caring for candidates is part of the magic behind our high placement success rate.