Insights

The Executive Search Process Is Broken — Here’s How Thrive Fixes It

Posted by Reed Flesher

When one of the largest law firms in the world contacted WilsonHCG, they wanted the impossible: find them not just one, but three new executives — all in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the law firm’s new site.

The team closed all three searches in only 60 days, narrowing down pools of 100 candidates for each position.

Most search firms would have been doomed. 

Why? Two decades of data tell us that the traditional executive search process is broken: 40% of executive searches fail to place a candidate. And executive searches that do succeed can take an average of six months.

But the Thrive executive search management platform is fixing that broken process. Firms like WilsonHCG are managing their searches differently with Thrive. And they are seeing gains in efficiency and effectiveness from business development to candidate placement. 

Here’s how Thrive solves the typical search management struggles that most firms see.

Show, don’t tell, during business development

First conversations with a new client often come about thanks to a partner’s connections. But some of the other stakeholders at the client firm are left unconvinced, wondering what real value you bring.

The key to putting your best foot forward and winning the business is to show, not tell — right from the start.

Your firm can make a great impression at client meetings with Thrive’s business development capabilities. Load the role qualifications into Thrive’s collaboration portal right away, and then add a few sample candidates with just a few clicks. Next, share the portal with the client. This shows that you’re proactive and resourceful, positioning you ahead of firms that will take weeks to find its few first candidates.

Watch how easy it is to set up a new business development search in Thrive, starting from initial contact with a prospective client. You can add details like role qualifications and then move the status through each stage as you complete presentations, contract negotiations, and so on.

Create a new business development search for a prospective client and manage it through BD to an active search with Thrive.

As client discussions progress, you can view the status of a search and see the probability of winning it. Tracking details from early on gives you valuable information for planning and resource allocation.

When you win the search, simply set it to “open,” and the system launches your active search.

Track research and outreach details

As your team settles into the day-to-day research and outreach activities of an executive search, they produce a lot of detail. But tracking it all is impossible for most firms. Notes become scattered. Information falls through the cracks. 

Thrive automatically tracks information from your recruiters’ activities for them. 

When your recruiter sends an email or schedules an interview, for instance, it logs automatically in the candidate profile. That means your recruiters can do what they do best without bothersome data entry. Automating collection of data greatly improves productivity, as True Platform, one of the fastest-growing search firms in the country, attests. Founding partner Joe Riggione says that thanks to the Thrive platform, its admins can handle nearly double the number of searches.

See how Thrive integrates with your email and calendar to capture outreach details with a simple click.

Send emails from Gmail or Outlook and they will be tracked in the search record in Thrive automatically. Schedule interviews easily via the calendar in Thrive and events will sync to your calendar.

Tools help your team manage important relationships and tasks. Automated reminders make sure they follow up, preventing things from falling through the cracks.

See status at a glance

During the search, you have meetings to prepare for and client questions to answer. Most firms find themselves scrambling to pull together the details they need. 

With Thrive, you and your team can see the big picture view or drill down as deeply as needed just by clicking through the Thrive portal. 

Because your search activities accumulate automatically, you have rich information right at your fingertips anytime. So you can see progress on a search and answer questions about top candidates’ status instantly. Senior members of the team can quickly get up to speed for client meetings and status updates.

See the interviews already conducted for a search, and move a candidate ahead with just a few clicks.

This transparency makes it possible for multiple team members to manage clients with the high-touch approach that senior executives need.

Get candidate feedback from clients faster

When it’s time to send your shortlist of candidates to the client, effective search management is critical. Without an efficient process for gathering candidate assessments from the hiring team, the search may stall.

Thrive makes the assessment process faster and easier.

As soon as you’re ready, you can share the candidate shortlist with the hiring team from the Thrive platform. There’s no need to wait for meetings. The platform triggers emails to hiring team members, who can click through to view all the details about the candidates. Then hiring teams can add their feedback via email or enter it directly in the platform. 

Jonathan Edwards says this process has been critical in helping his company place better candidates faster. “With Thrive’s client and internal collaboration features, clients can log into the portal and leave feedback, allowing WilsonHCG to make their placements faster and with more accuracy,” he says.

With Thrive, hiring teams can quickly create candidate assessments and add notes to help inform and guide recruiting teams

Everyone can see a unified view of the activities completed and notes from interviews. And because assessments are available to all parties in real time via Thrive, your team can act quickly to adjust search parameters, if needed.

Keep momentum going through the client handoff

Once the top candidate is selected, it’s tempting to relax. As a result, many firms miss opportunities that surface during the placement phase.

You need to keep the momentum of the search going, so you can track valuable data that you can use later.

Thrive gives you the ideal way to record all the final details. It collects documentation and triggers actions so your team doesn’t have to rely on memory or a to-do list. As the placement stage progresses, Thrive helps you record things like references, offer details, notes on the negotiation, compensation, start date, and so on.

By collecting this information, you build a robust profile of the candidate and also the client company. This intel is priceless when it comes to future searches, putting you a giant step ahead from the start.

Thrive lets users manage the search through candidate placement, tracking relevant details like start date and compensation. 

How do you know if your executive search process is working?

Up till now, firms have survived with the traditional executive search management process. But things are changing. The landscape of search is shifting as more and more firms adopt new technologies, like Thrive TRM.

These tools will no doubt change how your firm conducts its searches. But there’s another benefit to the data and transparency that Thrive offersExecutive search firms can now also gain unprecedented visibility into their operations. You can better pinpoint what’s working and where your search process needs to improve. 

It becomes easy to see who your top recruiters are, your number of open searches, the average days to close, how many you closed each month, and so on. So you’ll not only serve your clients better with faster access to a higher caliber of clients, but you’ll also gain insights into your firm’s operational performance.

Technology is ready to transform your executive search process and your firm. Want to find out more? Talk to us about Thrive TRM today: schedule your demo now.