Your team has to look inward before it looks outward
David Perry and Anita Martel may be in the head-hunting business, but the title of “executive recruiter” is a poor fit. “Management consultant” is a more accurate descriptor of the work they do at Perry-Martel International.
Why? Because achieving a successful management hire in today’s market takes a lot more than circulating a job posting and wading through a slush pile of resumes. That’s not even where the process should start.
Fully half of all management and executive hires fail within their first 18 months, according to research published by the Harvard Business Review. The higher you climb the corporate ladder, the more costly these failures become. It could be hundreds of thousands of dollars per misfire, or more, depending on the size of your organization.
“All the digital tools we have today, the online job boards and the recruitment apps, haven’t changed this,” said Perry. “In fact, they have only accelerated the cycle of churn.”
Over the past 30 years, Perry and Martel have devised their own theories about why this happens, and the practical steps organizations must take to break out of the cycle.
A 99.5% success rate
Their “Inside-Out Approach” is a proven and systematic process that merits consideration. Out of 1,000+ engagements, they have only ever had to go back and replace five people because the hire didn’t work out.
How have they achieved this success rate? It begins by poking into the dark corners of their client’s organization and asking uncomfortable questions. That’s the only way to acquire a clear understanding of where an organization is strong, where it is weak, where it is going and what it needs to get there.
“A management team needs this clear narrative, this unvarnished self-awareness, to understand who is the best fit for the job and how to market the position to attract the right person,” said Martel.
Because, most of the time, the right person for the job isn’t looking for one. They are likely doing quite well where they are.
Heart, head and feet
Perry and Martel’s Inside-Out Approach systematically targets a prospective candidate’s Heart, Head and Feet: The Heart: Offering more money isn’t the key to luring the ideal hire – it’s making a personal connection with the hiring organization’s cause and its executive team.
The Head: Once you have spoken to the heart, you must speak to the head. The best candidates will want to understand the organization’s business goals, its challenges, its assumptions and its blind spots.
The Feet: After the head comes the feet. The best candidates will want to understand the organizational culture that drives the way people interact and how things get done.
“We go deep inside the organization to develop a complete and compelling story that will engage your ideal hire,” said Perry. “The result delivers more than tier 1 talent, it gives you killer competitive advantage.”
“Successful organizations devote much more time to creating a clear picture of the role to be filled, than on executing the search,” added Martel. “This is how they end up with top performers who become ‘unrecruitable’ by competitors.”
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Perry and Martel’s Inside-Out Approach is the subject of two best-selling books: Hiring Greatness: How to Recruit Your Dream Team and Crush the Competition and Executive Recruiting for Dummies.