We have all done it. We have an opening for a key executive and get introduced to someone or meet someone at a coffee shop and think … “that’s the person for this job.” You decide to hire thatĀ individual and everything seemsĀ to work out for the next 6 weeks. But after those first six weeks, things are not getting completed to your satisfaction or someone else on the team is starting to have conflicts with that person … or even worse, you get the feeling that something is just not right. You are losing sleep, you need to make a change. You hire an executive search consultant to perform a replacement search and hope they can find the right person this time.

The search consultant comes in and does an assessment of your goals and puts together a position description that identifies key qualities, skills and performance objectives. The search consultant presents several candidates who look great on paper, but when you meet them, it’s a no-go. You just don’t feel “it”, but have trouble defining what “it” is. So the search goes on, and on and on. Six months go by and your key position still remains open. You tell the recruiter, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

Your recruiter is exasperated and they put you low on their priority list and toss you a candidate now and then. You blame the recruiter, when in fact you have given them the impossible assignment of reading your mind.

To avoid this untenable situation you need to be transparent about your company goals; the scope and size of the role and your values and culture you wish to create. This is where the fit comes in.

It’s not enough to say you want someone who is “world-class.” You need to define exactly what that means to you and how to identify it in a candidate you meet. This activity hones your ability to assess fit in candidates.

Developing a few questions to learn about the “who” it is you are hiring is the easy part. After all, you are not just hiring a skill set, you are hiring a whole person.

Clearly defining and writing down what you want, increases your chances of success by 35%. Enlisting others to hold you accountable jumps that up to 79%. Hiring a professional search consultant places that over 90%. Staying focused is tough when the business climate is moving quickly and you feel your needs changing — but the focus is essential to success in the hiring process.

Our job as a search consultant is to ensure we not only define the requirements for the position from the beginning, but to also make sure we identify and vet candidates against your culture, and team compatibility. Not to say everyone you hire will see things entirely the same way you do, but they will be able to align with you and your team, run a business with the same vigor you do, and build teams that function within the larger company.