November 2, 2010

Today’s blog is meant to help clients who are struggling with the question:

How can we improve our chances that we will be able to attract the right people for our organization when we conduct an executive search?

This is a key question for any hiring executive or search committee to consider before launching a search. Here is the key question to try to answer:

What do we expect the hired candidate to accomplish by when and how will his or her endeavors help to drive the enterprise forward?

All senior level executives know many—many people, so, identifying a slate of potentially qualified candidates for any senior level assignment is usually not much of a problem—particularly in today’s economic climate! The challenge is in developing a group of qualfied candidates, motivated to accept your offer, who have the proven problem solving experience, skill sets, personality/style that will help achieve the key objectives of the organization. For example; are you trying to increase top line revenue by 15% in your company—or improve the fund raising success in your University? These goals need to be specified along with your delivery time line. Doing this clarifies expectations and allows you to explore with the candidate how he or she accomplished similar goals in previous positions. Listing responsibilities is not enough—nor is producing a position spec with an abundance of images and detail about the organization; this information is helpful and important to the overall presentation but the critical information from the perspective of a well qualified candidate is a clear summary of what you and your colleagues expect him or her to accomplish/by when: the KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIs).

We know that when the client and the well qualified candidate are both clear on the KPIs of the role before reaching agreement on the hire, the chances that both parties are going to be happy over the long run is definitely much better. When the search firm works with the client to take the time to spell out and delve into the KPIs during the interviewing process, the average length of tenure for the hired candidate tends to increase—a key metric for the value of any executive search assignment.

If you would like to know more about how to do this in your organization —-pls reply to my BLOG or email me at

Wishing you all the best.

Warm regards,
Keith Kulper

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About Keith Kulper

Keith D. Kulper is the president and founder of KULPER & COMPANY, LLC an executive search consulting firm working in the area of senior level leadership for academia and corporate innovation. We are strong advocates of nurturing the linkage between academic investigation/research and corporate innovation/full commercialization of new product solutions. We specialize in attracting proven leaders who can effectively drive transformational change. The firm operates an Advisory Board that meets annually to bring together leaders from academia and corporate innovation to help drive continuous improvement of our professional practice. We are also an investor in early stage companies. We take pride in supporting the growth and development of business and engineering schools at leading universities throughout the United States.

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