The Consultation Process
As you are no doubt aware, our prime directive is to introduce candidates to clients, resulting in successful, long-lasting professional relationships. For that to happen efficiently the process needs to be completely transparent, and as cohesive as possible between the client (the individual or organisation seeking an employee), the consultant (us) and the candidate (the person applying for the job).
In order to achieve this level of service, it’s of vital importance for the client to have a detailed consultation with us at the beginning of the process. This will enable us to establish all the “ins and outs” – naturally, who they want to hire, why, when, where, etc. – but there are often many finer details to observe. No two clients, positions, or for that matter candidates, are exactly alike.
It’s quite common when dealing with UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth) individuals or families that the person we actually deal with to arrange the new job will be a PA, Chief of Staff, Butler, House Manager or such like. If one of these capable people is representing the client in the search for an employee, it’s imperative that they are absolutely on the same page as the client themselves with regard to their requirements. Otherwise, this can cause major delays, hiccups and roadblocks in the process.
Before any search is engaged, the ideal consultation process should begin with the client or their representative (who are, it bears repeating, entirely in agreement) understanding precisely what they are looking for in as much detail as possible. It might appear to the client that some details are unimportant or unnecessary, but the more we know at this stage the better. This helps to ensure that the results of our executive search will be streamlined, finding the right person more quickly. Perhaps even more importantly, the right person means a longer lasting employment so avoids having to repeat the process in the near future, saving the client time and frustration.
A step further along we come to the interview process. During this time we will stay in constant contact with the client (or their representative) to ensure that there are no miscommunications. The details of the role should never come as a surprise to the candidate, nor be portrayed with anything other than complete candour – misunderstandings are by their nature inefficient, and can be seen as quite unprofessional. This highlights why it’s so important to communicate every detail as early as possible.
Communication is, of course, a two-way street. Detailed feedback from the client after every stage of the interview very much helps to ensure that we are proceeding along the correct path, that the candidates being presented are suitable for the role, and provides steering to the whole process.
Between ourselves and the candidates, communication is flowing at all times. We’ll have had an initial interview with them, and by the time we put them forward for a role we’ll have a clear understanding of what they have done in their professional life, the flow of their CV and be able to explain, for example, any gaps there may be. We’ll understand exactly what the candidate is looking for, their desired salary, expectations of the role, aspirations for the future, and so on. By drawing a complete picture of their professional profile in this way, we can ensure an as near-perfect as possible specificity of fit to the role with which we match them. This means no unpleasant surprises further down the line, and of course avoiding wasting everyone’s time on interviews for roles which prove to be unsuitable due to some small but immutable detail.
As with the clients, we constantly ask candidates for feedback at every step, in order that we can understand their perspective as well as that of the clients. We’re also here to advise the candidates, and might, through knowing our clients, be in a position to give advice on dress code, presentation, level of formality, or even favourite conversation topics.
Essentially, we at Pembury Partners are here to assist and facilitate both clients and candidates as efficiently as possible, bonding the Client-Consultant-Candidate sandwich and engendering long-lasting, successful professional relationships.