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Candidate Development

Candidate Screening and Qualification

Short List of Interested, Qualified Candidates

If you’d like a short list of interested, qualified candidates ready to move forward for interviews, Candidate Development can do that for you. Candidate development, also known as candidate screening and qualification, conducts recruiting outreach for an executive search to determine if the executives are qualified and open to engaging in exploratory conversations.

Candidate Development

To develop potential candidates, sourcers contact them to determine whether the prospect is qualified. If so, they request updated resumes and deliver the information rolled up into a report that summarizes that initial call. The work produces a short list of interested qualified candidates for in-house recruiting teams. Of course, investigative researchers first explore the various forms qualified takes.

A Havard Business Review article entitled How to Hire: Chances Are You’re Doing It All Wrong by Netflix Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord suggests we stop trying to hire for cultural fit. There are many personalities that you wouldn’t “want to have a beer with” who are great at their jobs.

Video Call for Candidate Screening and Qualification

What is Candidate Development

Candidate Development — also known as Candidate Qualification — contacts and screens executives to generate a Short List of interested, qualified candidates. It also produces a report for each candidate summarizing the conversation, detailing career preferences, salary requirements, motivations, and contact information along with an available resume or biography. Because Candidate Development is the first time a candidate is contacted for an executive search, either executive search researchers (sourcers) or executive recruiters conduct the candidate development.

Contact Potential Candidates on the Long List

The candidate sourcer contacts potential candidates on the Long List by phone and email to engage their interest and determine whether they are qualified. Often, researchers have to reach out to executives multiple times to elicit a response. Occasionally, the executive picks up the phone for an immediate conversation. Yet most of the time, the sourcer schedules a call with a Long List prospect and requests the resume beforehand.

Explore the Executive’s Ideal Next Opportunity

At the beginning of the phone call, the research associate discusses what kind of opportunities would motivate the candidate to make a move. What is the ideal next job? For the most candid response, the candidate sourcer asks that question before discussing the opportunity. Doing so after may result in the potential candidate simply parroting back the job description as his ideal opportunity. Throughout the sourcing conversation, sourcer assesses the candidate’s communications abilities, attitudes, values, and leadership style.

Determine Whether Candidate is Qualified

Candidate qualification gathers details on job responsibilities, education, experience, salary requirements, relocation preferences, and other deal-making details to determine whether the executive is qualified. Job hopping or unexplained gaps in the resume are red flags that may be disqualifying. Blaming and negativity are other warning signs. The executive may be impolitic or lack the awareness the complaints reflect negatively on his or her candidacy. Leaders who are overly “me” focused and rarely mention their teams are problematic.

Strong leaders point to lessons learned during challenging jobs. They are hesitant to criticize their employer, even when that criticism is justified. They use “us” and “we” as they talk about their team. They inspire such loyalty, team members often follow them from one employer to the next.

Gauge Interest and Motivations to Leave

If the executive is not the right fit, an adept researcher gently points to requirements and how they don’t line up with the executive’s ideal next step. The sourcer transitions to establish a trusted relationship over the course of the executive’s career as well as gather insights and referrals to other candidates.

If the executive does seem qualfied, the researcher describes the opportunity and gleans the prospect’s level of interest. The sourcer attempts to gauge how satisfied the person is in his current role. For recruiting to be successful, in addition being attracted to the opportunity, candidates usually require reasons to leave. Motivations to leave include too long a commute, not being paid well, working for a volatile direct superior, or not having a path to promotion. The executive may be blocked when the next step up is occupied by someone with no intention of leaving anytime soon.

Ask About Conversations with Other Employers

In closing, the research associate discusses whether the executive is engaged in exploratory conversations with any other company, and sets the ground rules for moving forward in the process — each party agreeing to keep the other informed. To facilitate scheduling interviews, they discuss the executive’s availability in the coming days and weeks.

Elicit Details on Direct Superior Chain of Command

Investigative sourcers do more when they conduct candidate development. They deftly elicit organizational details. Consequently, investigative researchers casually request the Title of the executive’s direct superior to get a better sense of the level and breadth of the executive’s responsibilities. That information is essential to assess whether the prospect is, indeed, qualified. When the level ends up being lower in the organization than the executive implied, you quickly determine the candidate is unqualified. That makes direct superior a possible candidate. Yet there’s another reason investigative sourcers ask about the direct superior, and then about the direct superior’s boss on up to the CEO. They want to confirm their understanding of how the company is structured. Often, they uncover lesser-known teams that hold potential candidates.

You Get to Focus on Actionable Candidates

Candidate Screening and Qualification enable you to focus exclusively on candidates who are actionable. By providing you with interested, qualified candidates ready to move for interviews, you don’t have to waste your time going through the long list of prospects. You get back countless hours you would have spent making multiple attempts to get through to each person on the list. You stop wasting time with potential candidates only to discover they’re not the right fit and not motivated to make a move. You can focus on what’s important.

You get to concentrate your efforts on more important things: the candidates, the hiring executives, and senior leadership. In doing so, you speed time to hire. In other words, we are your new superpower.

— Krista Bradford, CEO, Intellerati

Here’s to the Smart Ones

There is a reason you are here, reading this. We know, deep down, you are one of the smart ones. The corporate talent seekers. The Intellerati. Let’s co-create our success together. Let’s explore possible ways to make your in-house executive search team legendary with Investigative Executive Recruiting Research.

Investigative Candidate Sourcing Gives You More

  • Candidate Development delivers interested qualified candidates, ready for interviews.
  • Talent Mapping builds a database of virtually every executive at your favorite target companies.
  • Diversity Research is ideally suited to discover more woman executives and leaders who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

Intellerati level the playing field to ensure opportunity really is equal. In so doing, we outperform traditional executive search firms and recruitment research firms and deliver executive search research that takes candidate sourcing to a whole new level.

Learn More About Intellerati

Intellerati is a national executive search research practice. We conduct recruitment research for locations across the United States. We offer recruitment research services for a variety of functions and industries, including technology, life sciences, and financial services.  In addition to our unbundled executive search services, Intellerati offers specialized diversity recruiting research and target company talent mapping to produce organizational charts.

Got questions? Let’s talk.

If you’d like to explore possible ways to work together, let’s talk. We understand that no recruitment research firm is the right firm for every engagement every time. But, regardless, we make it a practice to listen and to try to help.