It often happens when you least expect it. Out of the blue you receive a call from an executive search firm, wanting to know if you might have an interest in a position they are trying to fill for a client. The opportunity seems promising, but you do not know what to expect. What does the process entail? How long will it take? What will the search firm expect from you? Most important, what are your rights and obligations during the process? As a potential search candidate, you are entitled to ask these questions and to have them answered. Fesa answers all these questions, clarifying the issues as much as it can, without disclosing our clients identity.
In retained executive search, consultants endeavor to provide qualified candidates for clients who wish to fill senior-level positions. Although contractual obligations exist only between Fesa and client, we also build professional and ethical relationships with candidates, whom we may remain in contact with over a period of years. Fesa's line conduct is synchronized with AESC's Code of Ethics that states that these relationships should be characterized by honesty, objectivity, accuracy and respect for confidentiality. Fesa believes that the most successful executive searches involve a three-way partnership, whereby the candidate, the search firm and the client fully understand their rights, duties and obligations to each other during the search process. As such, we believe that all search candidates have the following rights.
When you become an executive search candidate, you put yourself at a certain amount of risk with your current employer. For that reason, you are entitled to the highest levels of confidentiality from the search firm and the client organization. To safeguard your confidentiality, Fesa should:
It is important to remember that you do not become a search candidate until the consultant has conducted an initial evaluation of your suitability for the position and you have expressed an interest in it. If either of these two criteria are missing, you cannot be considered a candidate for the position. However, even if the position about which you are being contacted is not right for you at the present time, you may still benefit from conversations with search consultants by being kept up to date with the market for your skills and experience. Candidates not selected on one search may be selected on another.
In order to make the right decision, you need to know as much as possible about Fesa, the position and the client organization. This ultimately requires full and open disclosure regarding:
Be aware, however, that during your first conversation, when you are still being evaluated as a potential candidate for the position, Fesa is under no obligation to divulge confidential information about the position or the client. Only after you have been identified as a legitimate candidate should you expect Fesa to disclose more than the most basic information. Even then, there are times when certain information about the client must remain confidential until the final stages of the search process.
Fesa will also make clear it whether he or she has been retained by the client to manage the appointment in question. Retained executive search consultants work under an exclusive contract with the client organization; and thus have not only confidential access to the client on that assignment but have their full and committed attention. If the consultant fails to notify you of this important fact, do not hesitate to ask.
The completion of an executive search assignment can often take several months, with many steps between initial contact and the ultimate hiring of the successful candidate. Once you become an active candidate, Fesa should communicate with you in a timely manner at each and every step of the process. This means proactively updating you on the progress of the search as well as responding in a timely manner to any inquiries initiated by you.
Based on his or her understanding of the position and the client's needs, Fesa should give you an honest appraisal of where you seem to fit the opportunity and where you do not seem to fit. If at any point in the process the client decides not to proceed with your candidacy, Fesa should provide as complete an explanation of the client's decision as possible.
Fesa is expected to comply with all the employment laws that apply to the normal hiring process. In addition, Fesa also demonstrates a high level of professionalism with each and every candidate. Professional treatment means that Fesa:
As a search candidate, you are entitled to know what to expect as the process unfolds. For example, what is the anticipated time frame for the first round of interviews? If you make the first cut, what happens next? Most search consultants will readily volunteer this kind of information. If they do not, make a point to ask. In particular, be prepared at any stage in the proceedings to ask:
Fesa understands that, as a senior level executive, your current position demands your full time and attention. When scheduling appointments and interviews, the search consultant and the client should demonstrate the utmost respect for your time, your position and your responsibilities to your employer.
Fesa and the client should always do their best to be on the same wavelength in terms of the information they present to you. Keep in mind, however, that while Fesa represents the client organization, they do not have complete control over the client's communication with you during the process. If changes occur that contradict the information given to you by the consultant, you should ask for clarification.
The best executive search placements happen when the candidate has the time to make a measured, well-thought out decision. For this reason, Fesa should never try to hurry your decision or put undue pressure on you to accept an offer. However, the consultant should keep you informed of any deadlines imposed by the client and the implications for not making a decision prior to those deadlines.
If Fesa conducts him or herself in a manner befitting these guiding principles, you should naturally develop an open and trusting relationship. Keep in mind that Fesa strives for more than just filling the position for its client. We want to help you make the best decision for you, your family and your career.
If the client decides to hire you to fill the position, you have arrived at one of the most important stages of the search process: negotiation of your employment agreement. This can involve highly sensitive issues in which Fesa can play a crucial role of intermediary to ensure open and effective communication between client and candidate. Use this channel to candidly express any concerns or special requirements that you may have on terms and conditions.
11.1 - Final Negotiations and Executive Sign In - Fesa has a privileged position with in the negotiation procedure due to the fact that Fesa knows what is being offered by its clients and what the candidate desires in terms of compensation package and other benefits. During this phase, if appointed as the negotiator, Fesa will work in a manner to avoid misunderstandings between the parties. The purpose of this role is to achieve a smooth transition for the executive into his new position with out dissatisfaction for both parties. Due to the fact that this is one of the most important phases in the process Fesa will maintain itself available to the client and the candidate during this transition period.
11.2 - Resignation from Prior Employer - Fesa advises the candidate on how he should proceed with his resignation from his prior employer. Fesa maintains close contact with the executive, providing confidence to the professional during this decision making process and this transition period.
11.3 - Search Follow up - When the search process is completed and you have signed on the dotted line, Fesa will stay in touch with you for three to six months to make sure that your transition into the new position is a success. Feel free to contact Fesa with major concerns that arise. He or she may well be able to help sort out problems, and diplomatic intervention. This is how Fesa solidifies its long term relationships with clients and candidates, one of Fesa's objectives.
11.4 - Candidate Sign-Off - As a means of maintaining its long term partnerships with candidates, and as an eloquent and cordial attitude, Fesa will contact each and every candidate to notify the outcome of the search process. Once the client has reached its final decision on the executive they will hire. During this feedback process Fesa informs the candidate the reasons for the clients decision, this information is passed on in a very professional and ethical manner, in order to avoid frustrations, grudge or any similar feeling. Fesa will keep you in its pool of candidates for future assignments. Fesa may contact you from time to time to maintain the relationship and keep you appraised of any upcoming assignments. Fesa may also call upon candidates as a resource to help identify new candidates for assignments that are not a good fit for you.
As can be observed, this is a process that - regardless of all dedication and professionalism present in it - will only be successful if there is continuous communication and collaboration involving the client, the candidate and Fesa. It is a process that requires mutual trust, and is based on open, forthright communication leading to a fruitful exchange of information and a continued refinement of the process, thus ensuring the best result for all involved. For the client, the best talent; for the candidate, the best job; and for Fesa, the maintenance of a long-term partnership.
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Al. Santos, 1.800 - 6° andar
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