Fairfield Partners utilizes a time tested structured methodology for executing its searches. This approach, proven over years of challenging search assignments, allows us to identify and attract superior candidates that make outsized contributions to their organizations.
At the outset of an assignment, we perform a broad based assessment of all aspects of the client, including company stage, go-to-market strategy, industry position, cultural style, competitive position, objectives, and key success metrics. This enables us to fully understand the dynamics inside and external to the organization that help define the ideal candidate profile. All members of the client's management team are interviewed individually to contribute their views to this process, helping us to gain this comprehensive understanding from which to launch the search.
A detailed position specification is developed and approved by client management, incorporating both the major and subtle points learned in the strategic assessment. This document is designed to both inform and persuade potential candidates of the attractiveness of the position, as well as defining the characteristics of the ideal candidate.
Research and Market Definition
The Managing Partner works closely with the client develop an effective strategy for executing the search. This includes developing a list of target companies, and those to avoid. Resources that we employ in this effort include:
- A proprietary internal database
- External databases
- Business centric networking sites
- Industry associations
- Prior search databases
Every assignment involves a great deal of fresh research, and efforts are made to be creative in identifying all sources of superior candidates.
Marketing the Search
Upon launch of the search, we rapidly inform the appropriate professional network that a new opportunity has arisen. We use multiple methods to contact people in roles relevant to the search, including extensive phone calling and use of targeted email. A strong emphasis is placed on speaking to our existing and new senior level industry contacts that can identify high quality candidates. We view peer regard as one of as one of the strongest indicators of candidate quality.
Our highly active search effort results in the identification of the initial "long list"- candidates who indicate that they are interested in being considered for the position. There are typically six to 10 people who reach this stage. Intensive phone screening is performed by the Managing Partner with these promising candidates, to fully explore their professional qualifications for the position. These calls are followed by personal interviews with the most promising individuals.
Detailed Candidate Assessment
Based upon their professional credentials and evident cultural fit with the client, a short list is developed of four to six individuals. A detailed report is prepared for each candidate, covering their professional accomplishments, reasons for career transitions, and personal background that is germane to the search. The short list candidates are interviewed by the client, and the list is typically reduced to one or two finalists, who return for additional interviews with senior management. In parallel, Fairfield Partners continues in its efforts to identify additional candidates.
We conduct detailed reference checking in coordination with the client, from people best positioned to describe the candidate's performance in prior positions. We also validate educational degrees as being complete and accurate.
We work closely with the client to formulate an offer for the candidate, and then orchestrate the delivery of this offer and any subsequent negotiations. Our role as an intermediary is often valuable in resolving final details during this sensitive final stage.
We always stay in touch with our clients on an ongoing basis regarding the candidate's early and mid-stage integration in the company. Occasionally we play a role in settling any rough patches or misunderstandings that may occur.