Contact Paul Paul is a leading executive search professional with over 30 years’ experience in the recruitment of senior management and executive leadership professionals. Paul excels at developing a deep understanding of his client’s business needs and facilitating consensus discussions to create the key selection criteria. Paul... has completed numerous executive “C” level and general management searches for a variety of organizations across all industry sectors including health care, manufacturing, crown corporations, government, financial services, communications, hospitality, professional associations and not-for-profit agencies. More

Candidate Interviewing is all about listening!

It’s all well known that listening during a job interview is critical so that you can give effective responses to the questions. After all, it’s important that you share all of your skills, knowledge, experience, and accomplishments so that the interviewer understand how you can contribute to their organization.

On the other hand, what if you are the interviewer?  What are the skills that will best enable you to assess your candidates? The following are some of the keys that I believe are important.

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1016 Hits

Selecting an Executive Search Firm

Have you ever thought about the fact that an executive search firm is actually an extension of your own business brand? Yes, that’s correct!  The reputation of your search professional does indeed reflect on your corporate brand. How we do our job, our approach and our professionalism all serves to reinforce your brand image whenever candidates are approached and presented with your opportunity.

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1553 Hits

Are you ready for the job of CEO?

Are you ready for the job of Chief Executive Officer? Have you really thought about what it is like and what it takes to be prepared? Have you tried and failed several times to reach your CEO goal and are wondering where he stumbling block is? In reviewing your career history, the first thing to do is to understand the differences between being a senior leader and being the CEO and where you stand from an experience perspective.

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1299 Hits

Are you looking for a candidate who can change your corporate culture?

As an executive search professional, it’s my job to locate qualified candidates, conduct interviews and psychometric assessments and check references with an eye to presenting a set of candidates to the client. However, it doesn’t matter how thorough this search process, there is always the matter of whether or not the candidate will successfully fit into and thrive in their new environment. This is known as cultural fit.

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1223 Hits

Overcoming Disappointment in an Executive Search Process

Participating in an executive search process can be a grueling process for candidates. You participate in the process of telephone interviews, then further screening, face to face meetings, psychometric assessments, written documentation and reference checks. Then if you pass the “muster” so to speak, you are presented to the potential new employer for consideration.

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1098 Hits

Recruitment is a Public Relations Exercise!

I’m sure you’ve heard about the public relations challenge recently faced by Skip the Dishes, the successful food delivery company based in Winnipeg. It was reported that a young applicant was turned down for a second interview because she asked a question about compensation and benefits. The remarks made by the human resource manager suggested that talking about compensation so early in the recruitment process was deemed inappropriate and thus the candidacy opportunity was halted. Now of course, since the candidate posted her dilemma on the internet, Skip the Dishes is scrambling to recover its tarnished public image.

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1137 Hits

Self-Promote with Stretch Assignments

Alright, so you’ve finished your advanced degree, perhaps an MBA, but there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity for promotion in your organization. Then again, where will you get the work related experience that could be leveraged to attain a new job role in another organization? Don’t despair – take a harder look within your organization!

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1447 Hits

Finding a New Horizon in the Retention of Older Workers

In my view, there are two colliding trends in today’s business world that we need to start paying attention to. First, we know that the pool of younger, highly qualified and experienced candidates for succession to senior leadership positions is continuing to shrink. And secondly, we know that the average median age for retirement is now 63.3 years. Thus, with the number of individuals’ right on this age cusp, businesses are at risk of losing a lot of intellectual capital. We need do to something to keep these experienced senior professionals just a little bit longer while at the same time, developing younger professionals.

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950 Hits

Are you Actively Searching or Passively Hoping?

Technology is a wonderful tool. For instance, today, almost every person has some sort of technology gimmick in their right hand while organizations, businesses and/or not for profits have their own websites and landing pages. They also often have a Facebook page where news and events are regularly posted in order to keep clients and/or customers up to date.

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1143 Hits

When to Audit Your Recruitment Strategy

Are you frustrated with your recruitment results? Have you had a rash of unqualified applicants and/or a candidate turn down your salary? When was the last time you conducted in-depth reference checking inclusive of educational credentials, personal credit, and/or driver’s convictions? And what about your interview team….are they using best practice interview strategies that are legally compliance with provincial legislation? Do you even know what legislation protects your potential candidates? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is time to conduct an in-depth audit of your recruitment and selection process.

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1239 Hits

Hiring for Succession

As we all know, small businesses face a number of challenges not experienced by larger firms. One of the most pressing challenges is that of succession planning, especially when no internal candidate is readily available. Unfortunately, what I sometimes see is a business owner staying at the helm of their business until their health begins to suffer. When that happens, the health of business also begins to suffer, often resulting in a good, viable business being destroyed by lack of planning.

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1229 Hits

Culture Building in the First 100 Days

I’m often called upon to recruit a new CEO for an organization that’s been struggling with major challenges over a number of years.  When the challenges result from a difficult economic or market situation, the new CEO will need to focus on process, production and productivity. However, when the abrupt departure of a former CEO triggers an executive search, then the new incoming CEO can expect to face both technical as well as much more complex people problems.

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1033 Hits

To Find Exceptional Leaders, You Need the Best Executive Search Team

A PriceWaterHouseCoopers global HR survey identified that several key organizational issues must be addressed by any senior leaders in order for future success to occur. These included namely, change management, leadership development and organizational effectiveness. What does this survey say about the competencies required by future executive leaders? What sets an exemplary leader apart?

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1116 Hits

Are Assumptions Limiting Your Candidate Search?

Have you ever experienced a time when your selection committee had difficulty getting past a certain bias they were experiencing in their decision making? It certainly makes for interesting discussion. Part of the challenge is that we are all graduates of our personal experience which we then internalize and establish emotional views of how life should unfold. These so called “assumptions” are very difficult to remove and so we are challenged to move forward.

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1027 Hits

Interpersonal Skills are Essential to New Hire Success

A recent Harvard Business Review study indicated that 46% of new hires failed in the first 18 months of their new work and only approximately 20% percent achieved full success in their jobs. The key reason for failure was found to be poor interpersonal skills. 

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1158 Hits

Network Your Way to Career Security

It has often been said that in today’s world, the only job security you have is your skill-set. While I agree with that statement, I also tell my executive candidates that job security also means keeping their professional network alive and well. That’s because the network is an information pipeline, it’s how people build relationships outside of work. It keeps you in touch with what is going on in a variety of industry sectors. It’s a clear route to competitive intelligence where you can learn about new opportunities.

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1048 Hits

Three Truths of Modern Candidate Screening

One high profile incident regarding candidate recruitment and selection has popped up on our radar lately. More specifically, an internet technology specialist and newly nominated election candidate was forced to bow out of the campaign because of his less-than-desirable profile on the internet. Although several years old, his words continue to suggest a hatred for women and they have definitely come back to haunt him. Like lightning, he was struck down instantly. His future political job opportunity is now gone forever.

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1069 Hits

Culture is Key to Success of New Leaders

One of the key success factors that I pay attention to when conducting an executive search is that of corporate culture. Why? Because without cultural fit, your new candidate will ultimately fail. In fact, studies show that a senior executive who does not fit well with the organization culture will typically leave on their own and/or be transitioned out within eighteen months. As you can expect, this departure will come with a cost, anywhere between three and five time’s salary.

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1290 Hits

Importance of Brand in Recruitment

It is now well known that executive search consultants aren’t the only ones using the internet to do their searching and online assessment strategies. Job search candidates are using the internet too.

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1035 Hits

To Hire the Right Executive, Hunt for Character

As an executive search professional, one of the key high profile concerns in the current US Presidential election is the issue of personal character. While I lament the unfortunate focus on distributing disparaging remarks about each candidates’ character, I have to admit that character is indeed an essential component of a successful leader. What do I mean by character? 

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1264 Hits

Separate What's True From What's Not In Your Candidate Search

As someone who glimpses rather sparingly into all the rhetoric being spun throughout the American Presidential elections, two issues stand out for me as attention getting. The first issue is the proliferation of miscommunication being literally thrown out in the campaign. Half-truths, misinformation, sound bites with no substance and a twisting of words and phrases that shape the messages. It seems to be a race to see who can “best” the other candidate with the most untruths.

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1040 Hits

Do You Want to be an Executive?

As an executive search professional, I am always looking to meet young up-and-coming professionals who are seeking that top job. Many only see the fame and fortune they think will accompany the promotion rather than the hard work that goes with it.


 

Senior executive jobs are much more stressful. For instance, you will now have a governance board of some kind which means you are now like a symphony conductor facilitating a wide variety of ideas and shaping them into a collaborative goal. You will need to be very strategic with a focus on both short and long term planning because now your drive for results must include the entire company.

A senior executive must have excellent communication skills so that their communication is always timely as well as clear. They need to be good listeners, encouraging staff input and being open to hearing new ideas. They need to be good face to face communicators as well as having strengths in the written word.

Communication is a relationship building tool and good executives use this skill to develop extensive industry specific networks. They take external leadership roles in professional associations and they volunteer in community activities, all to become a known entity, market their organization and to be fully aware of everything that is going on around them.

Senior executives need to have a strong sense of political acuity in order to evaluate, understand and collaborate with the different political agendas that will be at play as decisions are being made.  Political acuity is all about judgment; understanding and effectively dealing with both internal organizational issues as well as external trends. It’s about the know-how as well as one’s timing in approaching and dealing with issues.

Financial management at the most senior level is complex and a senior executive must be highly tuned to the financial levels within their organization and how to continually balance these to ensure profitability. This means ensuring the highest level of financial analysis capabilities to identify trends and monitor productivity. It also means hiring the most capable people and being able to translate financial issues into understandable terms for general staff and board representatives.

Good senior executives also inspire and motivate people, they build relationships throughout the organization. They are able to mobilize everyone behind a common goal and thrive in a participative and collaborative leadership style. That old fashioned, “do as you are told”, just doesn’t work anymore.

Yet, there is no way around it, balancing the role of a senior executive with professional obligations and family responsibilities is difficult and challenging. They work longer hours and have the pressure of success for the entire organization on their shoulders.

Energetic and ambitious young professionals need to ask themselves if they really want this challenge and lifestyle. They need to recognize that “climbing the ladder” isn’t the only path to success.  There are many elements that make up a great work experience and individuals need to find this out before they step on the first rung of the executive career ladder.

Take time to really do a self-assessment not only about your skills and experiences but what kind of lifestyle you want. What type of balance do you want between work and home? Do you want to be your children’s sports coach or will you be happy to attend the occasional game? If there is anything that senior executives say they would do again, is to spend more time with their kids.

If you decide that being at the top of the career ladder isn’t for you, that’s great because there are many projects and new assignments at work that you can take on. Sometimes volunteer leadership will help to fill a gap. Continuing with your education for intellectual stimulation is another good choice.

But whatever choice you make, know that your decision is the right one for you. Once you make the right choice, you will find your pride, self confidence and self-esteem will confirm you are at the right place at the right time and doing the right things.

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1535 Hits

Hiring by a Wing and a Prayer Doesn’t Work!

It’s not good news to start the New Year, 2017 but unfortunately, research is continuing to show that candidates recruited for an executive level role for an organization are failing at rates anywhere from 30-40% after only 18 months on the job. Of those who stay on the job, at least 50% are struggling. So, what’s the problem?

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955 Hits

Avoid the 6 Traps Facing New CEOs

Congratulations, you’ve now been appointed CEO of a growing enterprise! You are anxious to get started and you have the energy to change the world.  Well…..put the brakes on that!  This is where new CEO’s often cause problems for themselves. They carry this “change the world” thought too far and try to do too much too soon.

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1133 Hits

Internal orientation is a must

Congratulations, you’ve completed a thorough executive search and made the decision to promote an internal candidate! The individual has been groomed for years and was seen as the best candidate overall. The individual had all the qualifications you are looking for and you’re therefore confident they can take the assigned business unit to the next level.

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1020 Hits

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

I am sure by now you’ve heard that Black Friday, a US phenomenon that’s usually celebrated the Friday following Thanksgiving Day is being pushed forward by one week. This forward push is being initiated by Amazon.com which is aggressively offering huge discounts and sales on their online products in the hope they can cash in on the upcoming Christmas shopping season. The frenzy will certainly be quickly followed by the major brick and mortar retail stores who will have to scramble to catch up.

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1056 Hits

Critical Decision Making Skills are a Must

Although we appear to be far away from any potential of encountering the Ebola virus, after reading and hearing the daily news, I can easily envision the heightened fear that’s beginning to occur amongst workers. Not only are general citizens becoming ill, doctors, nurses and other health care workers are also becoming patients with a number of them passing away from the disease.

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1063 Hits

What is the Internet Saying About You?

Most marketing professionals as well as corporate leaders understand how a poor online reputation can damage their company’s sales. In fact, a poor online reputation can drive customers away thus causing a loss in sales. It can prevent you from hiring top talent and it can turn away investors. Marketing professionals also know that it is very expensive and very difficult, if not impossible, to rectify a bad online reputation after the damage is done. Therefore, most leaders today are paying a lot more attention to this issue and in fact, monitor and aggressively manage their online presence.

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879 Hits

Attitude is Everything

What’s your opinion about people who are always late versus early for work? How do you value a college diploma versus a university degree? Why do you so dislike carrots versus broccoli as a favourite food? And why did you go ahead and purchase a white coloured Nissan car versus blue coloured car from a competitor? Believe it or not, your answers will be influenced by attitude. In fact, all of your beliefs and your behavior reflects your attitude. Yet, most of us don’t think very much about what exactly attitude is and how we acquire it. Nor do we think about how our attitude influences how we think, believe and act. But attitude does indeed influence us and it is visible for all to see.

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1051 Hits

Hiring senior candidates who are "all beef," not horse meat

It seems we are once again learning that the traditional saying, "what you see is what you get" is simply no longer the case. For instance, news reports focusing on the recent meat scandal in Europe identified that packages of frozen beef burgers actually contained unlabeled horse meat. While horse meat isn't necessarily harmful to one's health, eating it is taboo in some countries while in many other cultures, horse meat is just not viewed as acceptable ingredient. This incident seems to be just scratching the surface as other analyses have reporting finding pig DNA in beef burgers.

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1126 Hits

Secure the budget for your capital project - here's how

It can be challenging in any environment to secure the budget for a capital project such as an HRIS. Our HRIS partner - Onyva HR Software - shared a few strategies that can help you earn stakeholder support and ultimately, get the investment budget you need. Read their six tips for achieving buy-in, support and budget for your project.

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979 Hits