Everybody Wins When Managing Candidate Expectations

Human nature is restless. How many times have you questioned a recent purchase or even suffered from so-called buyers remorse? This is a natural occurrence and it more often than not happens to you in a professional capacity, for example: you join a company as a new addition to the executive team, but at the same time continue to consider offers from other companies.

Research has shown that very few new joiners are completely confident in their choice. It is such an important decision that many continue to study the market, hoping to confirm or deny the correctness of the decision made. It might be that they are confident in their choice and find the new company completely suitable, but they find that executive search consultants and companies are still approaching them. This is particularly the case if they were not a passive candidate, but were actively looking for a new challenge.

It is also true that the more interesting the opportunity the greater the likelihood that executives might be tempted to at least attend an exploratory conversation. The latter scenario is not unusual in itself, but when an executive continues to remain unconvinced that their new position is suited to them we have to consider how we could have addressed this situation before they actually joined.

There is also the possibility however that some candidates choose a position with the knowledge that it is unsuited to them. The last possibility is that after joining a candidate realises that the company culture just does not suit them or that the reality of the role is not how it was described.

Whatever the candidate's motivation might be, the cost of unsuitable hires is quite substantial; not to mention damaging for the executive in question.

In light of the above, the role of the Talent Manager and the executive search consultant, remains important in the hiring process. It is their responsibility to accurately manage the candidate's expectations and to determine their motivation at the interview phases. Once the candidate is onboard however a keen interest in their adjustment should be a priority - this could take the form of a formal induction programme, but it could also be a coach that familiarises the candidate with the ins and outs of the company.

As TRANSEARCH consultants we take pride in our commitment to the integration of the candidate and keep in regular contact with both parties for at least the first six months of employment. As a third party we are often able to act as mentors and external HR-experts, listening to claims and fears of candidates while understanding the needs and requirements of the client.

To discuss our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment find a TRANSEARCH consultant by expertise, region and country.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Culture Enables Strategy

How do strategy and culture complement each other?

First, it's important to emphasise that in a world where today represents the fastest things have ever been - but the slowest they will ever be - it's untenable to think that strategy can drive culture. The new reality? "Culture enables strategy."

What does "enable" mean? It's a mistake to even think about developing a meaningful strategy until you have first identified the culture you need to compete successfully in the future. In a turbulent world, strategy is, at best, a work in progress. It represents agreed signposts on the journey but the organizational path you have to create and follow is ultimately defined by your culture.

The implications?

It would be foolish to suggest that you don't need a strategy. It's just that it must always be subordinate to, and informed by, the culture you need (not want) to create in the future. What will be around long after strategy has been shredded is your culture. This implies:

  1. Although it's been a mainstay of academic teaching for several decades, it's a misstep to define the strategy and then ask, "What sort of culture do we need to land the strategy?" If you seek to change the culture every time you have to revisit the strategy, fail now … it will save time later.
  2. When subordinate teams lack insight and commitment - strategy is less impactful than it might be. When peer teams lack emotional buy-in - strategy is less effective than it should be. But when tomorrow's culture doesn't enable it - strategy amounts to little more than what could be.
  3. A "black swan" (unexpected and sweeping economic disruption) running into the road is assured. If strategy and culture collide there will be only one winner.
  4. Competitive advantage is fleeting. Today's point of difference is what it will take tomorrow just to get in the game. The only truly sustainable competitive advantage is how quickly the organization learns (culture).
  5. In a business climate marked by turbulence, the value of developing strategic scenarios is compelling.

The tools that TRANSEARCH International (powered by Orxestra®) uses provide a unique perspective regarding culture, performance, leadership and team 'fit'. Visit our website to learn more about our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment https://www.transearch.com/


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

What Do I Need To Do Today To Make The Business Better Tomorrow?

Talent acquisition is about managing risk. Risk, in turn, is about fit. As disruption, uncertainty and new technology impact how business does business … culture is destined to become evermore important.

Technology, being customer-centric, leveraging big data, agility, reach, responsiveness, innovation, collaboration, coaching, succession, attraction and retention … are all wired into the organisation's culture.

Get culture wrong and many of the building blocks of a successful business amount to little more than a spin of the roulette wheel. Success is about both results (strategy) and people (culture). Both are essential. Both are hard.

All that said, for a leader one question always has primacy, "What do I need to do today to make the business better tomorrow?" No matter the size of your organisation or the sector you operate in, if you really think about that question … culture will figure prominently in the answer.

The tools that TRANSEARCH International (powered by Orxestra®) uses provide a unique perspective regarding culture, performance, leadership and team 'fit'. Visit our website to learn more about our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment https://www.transearch.com/


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

Six Fundamental Hiring Building Blocks

Uncovering, informing, involving, inspiring and successfully bringing on board great candidates draws on six fundamental hiring building blocks:

  1. A winning hiring value proposition - people don't join your organisation, they connect with your story.
  2. The means to define and measure both the organisation culture you have and the culture you need.
  3. A robust performance scorecard.
  4. The means to define the emerging role-specific leadership competencies.
  5. The tools to measure and assess future team fit.
  6. An integration process that provides the structure, support and tools to enable newly hired executives to take a leadership role in their own integration.

The tools that TRANSEARCH International (powered by Orxestra®) uses provide a unique perspective regarding culture, performance, leadership and team 'fit'. And our integration methodology ensures that new leaders are integrated quickly and successfully without breaking stride.

Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition.

For more on the six building blocks of talent acquisition see The Empty Suit by John O. Burdett (2016).

Insights from "Great Candidates Ask Great Questions" by John Burdett.


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.

What Value Creation Should You Expect From an Executive Search Provider?

Taking talent acquisition to the next level

In a world marked by speed of change, doing what we have always done, better (value added) ... is not enough. The right search partner will deliver the ideas, capability and experience to help you take talent acquisition to the next level.

Without access to best practice, forging new ways to think becomes an uphill battle. Without new questions learning is limited. Where successful role models are missing, our extraordinary ability to copy what works cannot kick in. And when thought leadership is little more than "a consulting label", creating tomorrow today becomes a bridge too far. There is clearly a good deal to gain, therefore, from working with best-in-class, external resources.

7 critical areas of distinct value

At a minimum, in addition to sector expertise and international capability, the search provider must deliver distinct value in seven critical areas:

  1. Bring creativity and flair when it comes to attracting top talent.
  2. Help the client "measure" the culture they have today (roots) and the culture the organisation needs moving forward (wings).
  3. Leading-edge tools to build a robust, balanced scorecard for the position.
  4. Develop role-specific competencies for the role in question.
  5. Provide a meaningful process to determine team fit. As with culture, this implies measurement.
  6. Coach inexperienced line managers in how to conduct the interview.
  7. Bring support and appropriate tools to the integration process, and that means a good deal more than the perfunctory call to see if the newly hired candidate is doing okay.

The organisation's story underscores a successful hiring value proposition. Central to that story are the hiring organisation's values. Unfortunately, although the majority of organisations claim to have "organisation values," in many instances, they amount to little more than window dressing. To "win" top talent over even a great story may not be enough. A best-in-class search professional draws out why high performers stay and leverages that insight to inspire the candidate who is happy where they are.

The approach to measuring culture needs to reflect the context. By way of example, an organisation confronting transformational change faces a very different challenge to that of a successful business seeking to better manage the culture they have. It is also important - and especially so in talent acquisition - that the approach describes the cultural journey in business terms.

You can't manage what you don't measure. Talent acquisition devoid of a robust measure of the culture the organisation needs to compete tomorrow … amounts to little more than the hiring executive's "best guess." For a unique and compelling measure of organisation culture see - The A-Z Of Organization Culture. John O. Burdett (2017).

Developing role-specific competencies implies a library of relevant and up-to-date leadership competencies. It also means a proven leadership model that ensures that the competencies identified deliver "leadership balance." For a measure of leadership balance, see John O. Burdett, Attract, Select, Develop & Retain TALENT (2013). Balance denotes fit in four critical leadership areas:

  1. Direction,
  2. Discipline of Delivery,
  3. Development of people, and
  4. Day-to-day Dialogue.

This simple leadership template is the outcome of asking 15,000 leaders in 40 countries, "What do you NEED from a leader?" It is framed in The Orxestra® Methodology: the head (direction); the hand (delivery); the heart (development of people); and the spirit (day-to-day dialogue).

The best candidate vs. the right candidate

Talent acquisition cannot thrive in a vacuum. It's an integral part of the overall talent management system. If you hire great people and coaching is a hard-to-find skill, assume a higher attrition rate than might be expected. If "succession" is poorly thought through expect to go outside for talent more often than is good for the organisation's health. And if the leadership development agenda is found wanting, know that over-hiring for virtually every position will be a given.

The implications are profound. When the seven dimensions of distinct value (offered by the executive search provider) are either missing or short-changed and where the search is delivered as a tactical "replacement" - not as strategic and integral to the client's overall talent management system - the inevitable, default outcome is to hire the best and not the right candidate.

Uncovering the best candidate is, essentially, a beauty contest. It's the corporate version of the popular NBC talent show America's Got Talent. If they look and sound good, give them a ticket to Vegas. On the other hand, finding the right candidate is a matchless investment in building tomorrow's leadership bench strength … today.

Building a BRAND mindset

For many service providers business development is perceived as a kind of wrestling match … where the next sale, overcoming objections and asking for the order become the name of the game.

Delivering all of the elements of fit, landing the right candidate is predicated on a supplier/client relationship that goes beyond "winning the sale." It speaks of a trust-based partnership where long-term success is based on the search provider understanding the client's emerging business need as well as the client does. It defines a way to work where making the client's business better always takes precedence. It builds on a mindset where BRAND means Better Results And No Disappointment.

Successful business development ultimately draws on one simple question, "What do we have to do to ensure that the client views us not as a supplier but as truly part of their team?

Finding world-class talent requires a partnership with a trusted outside advisor. Visit TRANSEARCH International to discover our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and development.

Insights from "Talent Acquisition - The Battle For Tomorrow".


As passionate experts in the executive search and leadership consulting industry we build leadership teams for our clients every day. Learn more about TRANSEARCH International and our wide-ranging approach to leadership acquisition and management assessment.