THE CLIENT’S CHARTER OF RIGHTS – UNDER THE RETAINED EXECUTIVE SEARCH
An executive search is an intricate process; it requires a substantial investment of mutual time and resources of the client and the executive search firm. By working with us on a retained executive search consultancy mandate, you enter into a consulting partnership relationship. Due to the importance of filling the position with the highest quality candidate, for your company, you have every right to expect the highest standard of service from us. We believe well-educated clients result in better relationships; hence we provide the following “Client’s Rights” in the retained executive search mandates:
- We shall inform you with a proper and frank assessment of our capabilities to perform your search
We shall work with the highest professional standards. During our discussion, we shall thoroughly discuss with you and understand from you in detail about your organization, your business, your culture, the position to be filled, your selection criteria for the ideal candidate, and your expectation of the role to be performed. Before we accept the mandate, we shall fully evaluate whether we have the required expertise, and resources available to execute your search assignment in a timely and proper manner. Once, we accept a retained executive search mandate, we shall give it our one hundred percent of the required time and attention, and shall endeavor our best to complete in a satisfactory manner. If for some reason, we cannot handle your assignment, we shall explain you the reasons; and perhaps refer you to another firm better suited to meet your needs.
- We shall be fully transparent; and fully and honestly disclose Conflict of Interest, if any
We shall make complete and honest disclosure of all information with regard to relationships or circumstances which have or might potentially create any conflict of interest; and disclose all-off limit arrangements, and limitations arising from working with our other clients that may impact on our ability to perform the particular search assignment.
- We shall inform you who will lead and conduct the search
We shall inform you as to who from our side shall lead and who will be in the team of professionals responsible to handle the search assignment. We shall provide you complete information about the background of the consultants and their capability to successfully handle the said assignment, besides the resources available with us to support the team working on your project.
- We shall conduct ourselves in professional manner and provide you with a high-level consultative experience
We shall act as your trusted consulting partners; and we shall assist you in property defining the executive position; and identifying and selecting the best suited candidates of high quality through comprehensive and proven search processes. Additionally, we may also be able to share with you the insights from our industry knowledge and market research gathered during our executive search that could be useful to your business – for example, a reasonable overview of the current market conditions, availability of the talent, remuneration levels, the general perception of your company among the talent in the marketplace, the practices of your competitors, and what recruitment strategies may or may not be effective at that stage.
- We shall maintain utmost confidentiality of your information
We understand the importance of it; and shall treat any sensitive or confidential information about your business or company shared with us, with the utmost confidentiality. We shall use such confidential client information with due care and discretion only for the purposes of conducting the assignment; and disclose client information only to others within the search firm (who may be supporting the consultant on this assignment) or potential candidates who have a need to know the information, after taking their assurance to treat the same confidentially. We shall never use confidential information for personal gain or provide that information to third parties for their personal gain.
- We shall gain a crystal clear understanding of the position, your business, your culture, and the search objectives
As the job description forms the foundation of a successful search, we shall thoroughly discuss with the client’s top management and interact with all those who are likely to be involved in the hiring process for the executive position, and shall properly review the relevant information. Once this is done, we must demonstrate an absolutely clear understanding of the position to be filled, the requirements of the job, your business, and your company’s culture. Our clients have the right to insist on a written note reflecting our understanding on these aspects. In fact, we might be able do more than just feedback the job description you discuss with us. With our experience, we should be able to proactively help you develop, refine, and fine-tune your own understanding of the position in a structured manner. To help us do this, please do give us access to all those who would be involved in the selection process and encourage them to share all relevant information about the position to be filled, so that we are able to do a nice job. Please also do inform us on time any information or the circumstances that warrant a change in the position or the profile of person you are looking for.
- We shall periodically update you with the status on the search progress
Usually, a successful executive search could take from a few weeks to several months depending on the position, the availability of talent, other factors, and circumstances. But we shall regularly update with progress report on an on-going basis, covering the companies at which our consultant has tried to target candidates, the response/outcome so far, obstacles encountered in identifying or attracting candidates, the candidates currently being developed, and any other relevant information.
- We shall present you qualified candidates who prima-facie fit the position and the culture of your organization, as per the qualifying criteria
On completion of search, our consultant, who is leading your executive search, is expected to present you with a shortlist of a few qualified candidates, whom s/he has thoroughly interviewed and evaluated as per the qualifying criteria. Our consultant should be able to discuss with you each of the qualified candidate’s relevant experience, achievements, education, technical and professional background, leadership and interpersonal qualities, strengths and weaknesses, cultural fit aspects, interest level, and expectation of remuneration.
At this stage, our consultant would also like to discuss with you and finalise the interview schedule, arrangements and other issues for the interviewing process. Immediately after the interview, our search consultant will solicit your comments and feedback so that s/he can help you conduct comparative analysis and evaluation of the candidates. At this stage, we shall also like to discuss and agree with you about the process and extent of reference and background checking, including competence and suitability for the job, employment history, educational, and other matters. Sometime, your own organisation may also wish to conduct the background and employment history checks directly or through a third-party investigator. Regardless of who conducts this reference check process, it should be professionally done and to your satisfaction.
If for some reasons, it becomes obvious that the search will take considerably longer than estimated or that it may not result in an acceptable number of candidates, we shall inform you as soon as practical and discuss alternatives.
- We shall assist you in negotiation with the selected candidate, with skill, integrity and professionalism
Once you have selected a candidate, we step into the role of a negotiator and communicator. Here, we act as your representative and act as an intermediary between you and the candidate discussing compensation, benefits and other conditions of employment; helping candidate assess the career opportunity offered, understand, counsel, and resolve (in consultation with you), any reservations or concerns the candidate may have; and working with both sides to create a conducive situation for everyone. At this point, our primary focus is to provide you with help in bringing the candidate on board in a manner that creates a “win-win” for everyone, and facilitates a long and successful career with your company.
Here, although, we represent your interests first and foremost, we need to be sensitive to the needs and concerns of the candidate. Or, else, the chances of a successful hiring could diminish greatly. The advantage of our dealing with both parties with integrity and professionalism ensures that the candidate comes aboard feeling that s/he has been treated fairly; and this enhances your company’s goodwill in the market.
- We shall clearly share with you our replacement policy and other unusual situations that may arise during and after the search
We shall provide you in writing an explanation of our firm’s policy regarding the possible outcomes, including our firm’s obligations and responsibilities to you should the new hired professional quit your company for any reason within an agreed time-frame; and also your obligations to us, should you hire a candidate presented by us during the current engagement for a position other than the assigned vacancy. We shall also highlight the conditions under which our firm can withdraw from your assignment or consider it sufficiently changed to warrant starting a fresh search
- We shall assist you with reasonable post-hiring follow-up with the candidate
Our responsibility does not end on the candidate’s accepting the offer. During the transition phase, we shall stay in touch with your new hire as long as needed to ensure a smooth transition and help him/her settle down into the new role. We shall make sure that you are fully satisfied before we conclude the assignment.
- We shall endeavour to create a ‘win-win’ for all
We do our utmost and go to great lengths to complete each and every executive search assignment with thorough professionalism; and seek to enhance our relationship with our clients.
At the same time, we too need certain amount of co-operation from our clients to help us successfully conclude our search assignments. We wish our clients to take a proactive approach in engaging with us during the search process. We request our clients also to do some homework; provide us full and accurate information regarding the position and the ideal candidate; set very clear expectations up front; lay-down norms and process as to how you and our search consultant will work together; keep the lines of communication open at your end, and stay in regular touch with our consultant until the search assignment gets completed to everyone’s satisfaction. Also please do set-aside your sufficient time to discuss the profiles of the candidates presented to you; and give timely feedback. Please do also conduct the interviews at the earliest; promptly take appropriate decisions and communicate soon. And above all, please do maintain complete confidentiality about the candidates and all information shared by them/us during the search and selection process.
Our aim is to complete the executive search process with utmost sensitivity, integrity and professionalism to everyone’s satisfaction, while enhancing your company’s reputation.
Demand Your Rights
As it is crucial for your company to fill the position with the highest quality candidate, you as our client have the right to expect the highest level of service and professionalism from us. By working with us on a retained executive search mandate, you have entered into a consulting partnership arraignment; and it is our duty to deliver what we have promised in the search mandate, and complete the search assignment to your full satisfaction.
If at any time during the search, if you think that our consultant doesn’t seem to understand the nature of the assignment, fails to provide ongoing feedback and progress reports, fails to present a range of qualified candidates or doesn’t represent your firm in the manner you wish, please do not hesitate to express your dissatisfaction to our Principal Consultant immediately. We shall do whatever is needed to set right the process to your complete satisfaction. You have every right to hold us to the high standard of service that you expect from us.