So often, we are asked to find candidates from a very specific background. Often this is because they are referenceable quickly and easily, but also as a perceived way of reducing the risk associated with the hire. The theory being that if that candidate has done well in a very similar role, business and ownership structure, they should be able to repeat the recipe with a greater degree of certainty.
A valid assumption in the main. However, it inevitably leads to excellent candidates not being considered who could bring something new and potentially explosive. It’s also not necessarily the optimal way to reduce risk – just because someone was on the ride, doesn’t demonstrate how much value they actually created, nor how they might fare given the sheer complexity of external factors that can have a significant impact (consider the challenges faced with changes caused by shifts in/changes to team dynamics, markets, business cycles, financial pressures, life pressures, location/geography, legal framework to name a few).
Throughout a formal search process and with all senior candidates we meet at Eton Bridge Partners, really understanding those candidates is one of the most important things we do – not just stand alone, but in relation to the specific client, role and personalities with which they will become embedded. Formal and informal referencing. Analysis of past performance and roles, challenges and actions. Character assessments and news, data and social media mining. Multiple, detailed interviews with information built up over time. All these things have a significant effect on our search process and successful outcomes, however, increasingly, we are also utilising an additional layer of assessment though independent experts such as Richard Waddell, founder of Talent ID.
As Richard explains, “we would normally work alongside but independently from our Search partners. We would take the shortlisted candidates and ask each to undertake a psychometric test. So far, so good. This in its own right can be highly beneficial and helps to indicate the candidates preferences which may support or bely their presented interview behaviours and a beautiful CV”.