Researcher’s Insight: The team behind the search

As with any successful Executive Search and Interim Management firm, a strong support structure lays the foundation for capability, delivery and growth.

There are obvious reasons why Eton Bridge Partners invests considerably in their support team. Whether it be Admin, Research, Marketing, Finance or HR, all functions have a vital role to play in what we do.

Kyle McLaren-Kennedy, Head of Research within the Interim CFO & Finance team, has worked on both the interim & search sides of the business and shares his perspectives and insights here on our in-house Research function.

Researchers at Eton Bridge Partners extend beyond the value-add of proactively identifying, and attracting the optimal mix of skills and capabilities to provide challenge and support to our clients. In the context of delivering on live assignments, the Research team forms part of a tripartite partnership of Consultants, Researchers and Executive Assistants. They act as the internal mechanism of a well-oiled machine with a focus on delivery and trust.

So, why is this relevant? And more importantly, how can you make the most of your relationship with the team?

Let’s look at a few points:

> Market insight and sentiment

> A sounding board and valued opinion

> Analytical and technical advice

> Visibility of activity across the Practice

Market insight and sentiment

Whether it’s the detailed and measured process of an Executive Search, or the fast-paced experience-led process of an Interim Management assignment – assuming a healthy balanced market of course – consultants in silo rarely have the capacity to take on a full search process whilst focusing on generating new business, and juggling the needs of clients and candidates at the same time without support. This is especially true of Search, and is amplified across both Search and Interim in busy periods.

When it comes to delivering on live assignments, the Research team drives the search and maps the market. This will most likely be the first point of contact to discuss your current situation, your relevant skills and experience, your mid-to-long term requirements, your interest in a particular role and/or company, as well as your take on activity in the market.

How does this help you?

Well, being a candidate-focused function by nature, Researchers will generally have a strong sense of market sentiment and candidate activity in the market. They can act as a credible source of information on how the market is changing, optimism or pessimism in the market, types of roles and skillsets presently in demand, areas of specialism within a client or candidate-driven market. Also, whether and how this impacts expectations in day rates and/or salary expectations, as well as your overall competitiveness in the market.

Take advantage of this when speaking to Researchers, and ask the relevant questions. As a candidate, use this information to consider your own situation and define your job search accordingly. As a client, engage with researchers to get an idea of how your organisation is perceived in the market and if your expectations are aligned with trends in the market.

A sounding board and valued opinion

When it comes to live assignments, it is important that Researchers have a sound understanding of the client’s needs, role approach and expectations around personality and cultural fit. In addition, it’s essential for Researchers to understand the requirements and expectations of the lead consultant on the role to ensure their requirements are aligned with those of the client.

Experienced Researchers can act as a valuable sounding board in which consultants can sense check their thoughts and conclusions when considering a particular candidate, profile or entire shortlist. Researchers can also provide a different perspective and opinion, and provide constructive challenge as and when necessary.

Why is this important for you?

As part of the search and screening process, consultants –and by extension our clients– put a great deal of trust in the partnership they have with Researchers. Researchers are trusted to make a considered judgement, not only on a particular candidate’s suitability for a particular role(s), but also as to whether the business is best positioned, or able, to support and represent them going forward.

As a candidate, connecting and building rapport with both researchers and consultants alike goes a long way in ensuring you’re in mind, “on the radar” and considered for roles when it matters.

Analytical approach and technical advice

Researchers, by nature, tend to be highly analytical and methodical in their approach, especially when it comes to formulating comprehensive and creative searches using an array of keywords, phrases and abbreviations in order to source pertinent candidates. In addition to having a good understanding of the role requirements, Researchers need to have a keen eye for detail.

How can you take advantage of this?

A strong eye for detail translates well into identifying what potential candidates are doing well and what they could be doing better in the context of the more technical aspects of a job search. Your CV and LinkedIn profile are good places to start.

In the context of your CV, recent studies show the average initial screening time for a candidate’s CV is just 7 seconds; this is cut significantly shorter if your CV format and content leaves much to be desired. Researchers browse through a vast number of CV’s on a daily basis, so ask for feedback and advice on what works and what doesn’t work, and how your CV matches up.

Have a look at our blog, ‘CV Writing – Get the basics right’, which looks at the benefits of crafting a good CV.

In the context of your LinkedIn profile, studies show more than 95% of headhunters use LinkedIn on a regular basis. Often more senior candidates, or those who haven’t needed to rely on platforms such as LinkedIn in the past, may find it all a bit daunting. That’s OK – Researchers are typically more than happy to share tips and tricks on how to make the most out of LinkedIn and how to get noticed.

Have a look at our blog, ‘How to stand out in the LinkedIn crowd: Make your profile work for you’, and start connecting.

Visibility of activity across the business

In any given specialist team across Eton Bridge Partners, Researchers strive to have a good overall view of activity within the team, and more specifically what roles the team are currently handling at any one time – which roles are currently live and at what stage, which ones are likely filled, those on hold, and roles in the pipeline.

Being a relationship-led business, we often see candidates becoming clients and clients becoming candidates. So, for both candidates and clients, leveraging the advice and expertise of experienced researchers will ensure you are kept informed, up to date and well-equipped to tackle your job search as a candidate or, as a client, ensure your senior recruitment needs are in line with the market.

So, reach out, engage with the Research team and make the connection. We’re happy to help.

Kyle McLaren-Kennedy

Head of Research
Interim Management
CFO & Finance


Kyle is Head of Research within the Interim CFO & Finance Practice at Eton Bridge Partners. His focus is to ensure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to market mapping, candidate identification and head hunting.