June 8, 2021 – In the world of recruiting, misconceptions often run rampant when talking about executive search firms. Despite the value that dedicated providers bring to the table, many organizations continually question whether outsourcing a high-level executive or C-suite search is worth the cost, according to a new report by TalentRise. “To educate our audience on the advantages of aligning with a proven executive recruiting firm, I’m here to disprove some of the most common misconceptions about executive recruiting,” said Pete Petrella, the report’s author. “Here are four of the most common myths related to executive search firms—and why they are all untrue.” Click here to read the full article.

Have you ever experienced a time when your hiring committee had difficulty getting past bias in their decision-making?  Part of the challenge is that we are all products of our personal experience; we create emotional ideas of how life should unfold. These assumptions are very difficult to remove and getting past them requires effort.

For instance, some people assume that one university is better than another. Therefore, a candidate from the preferred university might be perceived as a better choice than another. In other instances, we have seen selection committees struggle with appraising a candidate who has moved through several jobs in their career. In the view of some individuals, a candidate moving every two to three years is not very stable, while for others, a tenure of longer than five years might mean the candidate isn’t open to change.

As humans, we can often jump to conclusions based on very little fact. Hiring committee members can make inaccurate judgments based on age, ethnicity, manner of speech, dress, body language, and/or occupation. Imagine this situation: a young entrepreneur decided that he was better suited for employment in a large corporation. Yes, he got interviews, but was never offered a job. Finally, the young man had an opportunity to meet with a member of the selection committee and learned that his motives were not trusted. People believed that “once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur”. In other words, they were afraid he wouldn’t stay. Too bad, they missed out on a superb candidate. Thankfully, we were able to present him to a client who appreciated the skills that he would contribute.

Making assumptions lets past experiences cloud thinking and it prevents good decisions. It inhibits full exploration of the job requirements and ideal candidate credentials, which are crucial. Assumptions and a rush to judgment have no place in this important process.

Another mistaken belief about candidate selection is that the interview is the key to finding a successful candidate. Not so! In fact, several process steps must be taken far earlier than candidate interviews. These steps make the search successful.

As search professionals, our first job is to help clients form a selection committee that represents key decision-makers who know and understand the organization and the job role. We then facilitate in-depth discussions to identify, question, and validate the competencies and character traits of an ideal candidate for their organization. Throughout each round of discussions, committee members are asked to explain the rationale for their recommendations. Through this process, we tease out any assumptions that appear to exist and work to overcome them.

Once discussions are complete, the committee can be confident they have explored both negative and positive past experiences and a rational decision can be made. Additionally, the discussion experience helps committee members to learn more about each other and how their experiences have influenced the way they think, which in turn helps to develop teamwork at the senior leadership level.

Once we’ve identified the critical elements of an ideal candidate, we take several in-depth research steps to locate and identify potential candidates and flow them through a stringent assessment process. Candidates are compared and contrasted against the criteria--no assumptions allowed! Then and only then are finalist candidates proposed to the committee for interviews.

Without the effective guidance of a search professional in the candidate selection process, selection committee members might be allowing inaccurate assumptions to interfere in good decision-making.

If you need assistance in the search process, we are only too happy to help! Get in touch with Paul, Brent, or Tara, or call us at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

In today's business environment, there is a need to work smarter and more efficiently, with a real focus on efficacy. Accounting for every dollar is fundamental for Managers responsible for delivering results through organizational performance.  Great hires are essential but can be expensive, so many businesses are taking advantage of the considerable benefits of using Finance Interims.

Interims represent a significant percentage of today's working population around the globe and there are advantages in the areas of cost, flexibility, performance, and management.

We’ve compiled a list of best practices for hiring Finance Interims. For Part One of our series, click here, For Part Two, click here.

Here are our final thoughts when it comes to hiring a Finance Interim:

  1. Results

When you're in the “getting it done” phase, the process can sometimes get complicated and become unclear.  Trust your earlier judgment and let your Interim help you to work through potential challenges.

It is essential that you agree on measures of performance, milestones, and desired outcomes and that you review performance and progress regularly with your Interim and Interim provider.

  1. Ask yourself questions about the Interim to help you determine their suitability.
  1. Are they listening - are you really being heard?
  2. Are they helping you to explore and understand the job or project better?
  3. Are they interested in your needs?
  4. Are they meeting your needs?
  5. Are they happy to be challenged - do they encourage it?
  6. Are they clear about how they will tackle the job or project?
  7. Are they keen to agree and achieve measures of success?
  8. Will they complement your team and organizational culture?

Another area to consider is Knowledge Transfer.  As the Interim period or project comes to an end, a plan to hand over information and transfer knowledge should be a priority.

Remember: not every Finance Interim would be a good match for your organization.  It’s recommended to work closely with an executive search firm experienced in Interim Hiring.  We can help you find the right fit. Call us at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036, or email Paul, Brent, or Tara.

Clients often ask what type of person to expect when hiring a finance interim.  We all know that there’s no cookie-cutter for senior finance executives, but there are usually some similarities among candidates.

Finance Interim executives are usually senior finance experts, who tend to be very experienced in a wide variety of environments. Typically, are taking an interim role while deciding on their next permanent role, or they simply prefer to work on an interim basis in place of permanent employment. They tend to be proactive, not afraid to roll up their sleeves, and will take charge of a project. These candidates are proven leaders with the demonstrated finance skills necessary for almost any situation.

For Part One of our series, click here: https://www.verriez.com/2021/03/24/hiring-finance-interims-part-1-of-3/

Here are some more tips to consider when hiring a Finance Interim:

  1. Look Back

You need evidence that the Interim has achieved results elsewhere. Their willingness to share previous successes and failures with you not only makes a statement about their competence, but also informs you about the importance they place on measures of success and delivering results rather than simply working through a process.

  1. Are They Right For You?

Only when you are satisfied that the Interim meets all your needs should you start thinking about your relationship with them. Doing this any earlier can cloud your judgment. A good way for you to test their fit is to consider how comfortable you would feel about this person sitting alongside you in an important meeting. Your answer will give an accurate intuitive measure of how you feel about the working relationship.

  1. A Good Fit

New faces around your office can make people feel uneasy (even when people are working remotely). Ensure that your team is clear about what the Interim is doing and if necessary, how this affects them. There could be occasions when complete and open communication might not be appropriate, but you should always consider the impact an outsider will have on morale.

Allow the Finance Interim to thoroughly explore your organizational culture and the team they will work with to ensure that they can make an informed decision about committing to you.

Remember: not every Finance Interim would be a good match for your organization.  It’s recommended to work closely with an executive search firm experienced in Interim Hiring.  We can help you find the right fit. Call us at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036, or email Paul, Brent, or Tara.

Many companies and organizations are realizing that specialized interim help can be of great value, giving a short-term boost that can lead to long-term gain.

Why do organizations hire Finance Interims?  One major reason is that the organization needs someone with expertise to oversee a finite project – something that the permanent team would be stretched to complete.  Another reason might be due to a restructuring, to keep the financial side of things running smoothly during the surrounding upheaval.  Alternatively, a family-owned business might seek a Finance Interim because of succession planning, to help guide the transition.

Hiring a Finance Interim is a good solution for a lot of companies, but it’s not a decision to make lightly -- get it wrong and could be very costly.

The good news is that steps can be taken to significantly reduce that risk, in the form of a robust process for the hiring of Finance Interims. We recommend an 8 step process,
starting with these 3:

  1. Preparation

Before you take on a Finance Interim, you must understand the job or project and the specialist skills, knowledge, and experience that will help you to achieve the desired outcome. Consider whether you want a specialist in a specific area of Finance or someone who has a wider experience and skillset who can help you to work through any complexities that may happen.

Preparation is a key element that should not be overlooked or rushed.  Resist any pressure to appoint a Finance Interim quickly. If you have previously used a Finance Interim, don’t use an old job description, as it may be outdated.

If the process is flawed from the beginning, your chances of a successful outcome are diminished. 

  1. Research

Search widely - use your network and other connections, approach other people in your business for recommendations or referrals and use the internet to identify forums and other social media where your ideal Finance Interim might be active.

Don’t necessarily rely on your search firm if you have one, and don't just go for big name providers. Smaller specialist providers can deliver for you and are often much more engaged with the process and invested in your success, going the extra mile and offering better value for money.

You should take the process of selecting a Finance Interim as seriously as you would a permanent role.

  1. The Candidate

Does the potential candidate listen and hear you? Can they understand and evaluate the job or projects you describe? Or do they appear to shape your needs into the thinking they have brought with them?

How does the Finance Interim respond to your description of the job or project? Are they simply repeating or paraphrasing what you say, or are they reframing your needs to help both of you understand what you want to achieve?

Do you feel that your discussions with the Interim are part of an open, creative process? You need to combine the ideas and experiences of the Interim with your needs and desired outcomes.

A good Finance Interim will have a range of tools and techniques at their disposal and should be able to describe a process from where you are now to where you want to be. This will reassure you that they understand what needs to be done.  You should feel that the Interim has added real value even before you choose to work with them.

If you’re in need of a Finance Interim to aid your organization, we can help. Give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036, or email Paul, Brent, or Tara.

We’ll share more tips on hiring finance interims soon!

Some organizations can consistently secure and retain top talent as well as create a thriving culture. As with many best practices, it all comes down to communication: clear and quantifiable career paths, consistent reviews & feedback, and two-way-street leadership. Do you want to be the kind of organization that can attract and retain the best talent? We can help you refine your hiring strategy, onboarding plans, and follow-up communication to ensure your senior finance hires succeed. Give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

Click here to read the full article.

Despite the pandemic, many companies are going ahead with hiring for key roles, in some instances without ever having physically been in the same place with the candidates. Here are some insights on getting to know a candidate, assessing fit, getting your team comfortable with a hire, and ultimately preparing the candidate to make the leap.  Click here to read the full article.

Our team at Verriez is honoured to share some exciting news: we’ve been selected by Hunt Scanlon as one of Canada’s Top 60 Recruiters! As one of the few firms based in Southwestern Ontario, we’re especially pleased to be included.

As you may already know, we take pride in helping our clients develop their talent acquisition and succession planning strategies, solve their hiring challenges, and build exceptional teams that will help them grow and prosper, especially in these challenging times.

We are a bespoke boutique firm and do all our searches in-house, from first meeting to final placement and beyond, including onboarding check-ins with both client and candidate. We make certain that we gain a profound understanding of the needs of our clients and the role itself, so we can tailor our search to ensure a great fit.  With a combined experience of 65 years, our team is capable of recruiting at the highest levels with both discretion and efficiency.

We are delighted to be recognized and are ready to partner with you. To discuss your C-Suite, Senior Leadership, or Senior Finance recruitment requirements, whether current, ongoing, or anticipated, email Paul Verriez, Brent Verriez, or Tara Forster Sowa, or call us in complete confidence at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

Onboarding is a critical factor in the success and retention of any new hire. Throw in a pandemic, however, and doing it well becomes even more important.  Challenges include meeting and bonding with the new team remotely, learning the company culture and values. Shorter, more frequent check-ins can help, as well as letting your new hire participate in setting goals. Click here to read the full article.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Even as COVID-19 played a disruptive role in business and lives this year, one thing remains certain: organizations will need every ounce of talent they can acquire to guide them through this current situation and to drive growth in 2021 and beyond. Your search for that exceptional talent should start now.

Regardless of whether your business is growing or you’re replacing a role, there is no more important decision than choosing the key people in your organization. As well as bringing in the required skills to maintain your current standards and/or kick the company up a notch, they may hire or approve other people in the company, set the tone for values, and make key decisions that will mean success or failure every business day.

Five Key Steps:

  1. Start with a comprehensive audit of your company's current team and compare it with requirements for the coming months and years. Identify the gaps that need to be filled to achieve your company goals.  If you are expanding, diversifying, or need to find investment, be clear in your mind about what you need and recruit accordingly.  Circulate the job description to obtain input and comments from all stakeholders.
  2. Decide on the interview process, timeline, and roles. Who will interview the candidates? Who will have final veto power or be responsible for the ultimate hiring decision? Many companies fail because the individuals that conduct the screening and interviewing of candidates lack the in-depth knowledge of the position they are trying to fill.
  3. Leverage your stakeholders with the skills and experience you need for the hiring process. Interviewing a senior executive without possessing the right interview skills or knowledge of the role being recruited can harm your process. It can discourage the best candidates and lead them to conclude that the company doesn’t take recruitment seriously or value candidates. You will be perceived as wasting their time.
  4. Consider: why should a prospective candidate join you over your competition? Investing time into crafting and communicating your candidate message ensures consistency and assists with your overall recruitment process blueprint. What you offer to prospective employees is as important as what you hope to gain.
  5. Think about partnering with a specialist search consultant. They are highly knowledgeable about current hiring trends and have access to the hidden employment market, including professionals who are not actively looking for work. It’s a well-known fact that nearly 50% of individuals are open to a discussion with a well-respected recruiter; these are individuals who don’t browse job sites or check company websites for current vacancies. Their deep networks and knowledge of the industry, afford them the personal understanding to identify the right senior-level match between employer and employee. The right Search Partner is an extension of your business and worth their weight in gold.

Now is the time to look to the future and start the search process.  The demand for top senior finance management is high and companies that will be best positioned after the crisis are looking ahead to what comes next. If you’re ready to plan for a successful 2021, give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.