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NBC News recently reported that some of the largest U.S. companies are looking to hire cybersecurity experts in newly elevated positions and bring technologists on to their boards, a sign that corporate America is increasingly worried about hacking threats.

JPMorgan Chase & Co, PepsiCo Inc, Cardinal Health Inc, Deere & Co and The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) are among the Fortune 500 companies seeking chief information security officers (CISOs) and other security personnel to shore up their cyber defenses, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

While a CISO typically reports to a company's chief information officer (CIO), some of the hiring discussions now involve giving them a direct line to the chief executive and the board, consultants and executives said.

After high-profile data breaches such as last year's attack on U.S. retailer Target Corp, there is now an expectation that CISOs understand not just technology but also a company's business and risk management.

"The trend that we are seeing is that organizations are elevating the position of the CISO to be a peer of the CIO and having equal voice associated with resource priorities and risk decisions," said Barry Hensley, executive director at Dell SecureWorks' Counter Threat Unit.
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Q: What do you mean when you say “cultural fit?”

A: Some companies take pride in being methodical and thorough. Others encourage more risk-taking. When we search for your company’s next executive or director, it is crucial that the candidate can work effectively with peers, those they report to, and those they manage. Some candidates have exceptional skills and qualifications, but their personality clashes with the personality of other key players. The candidate who fits in will be more anxious to accept your offer, will adapt more quickly and will contribute more to your company’s success. That’s why our first step is to learn about your company and the role you want your newest executive to play.

Foto9.jpgQ: What if we are not really sure what or who we need?

A: We learn your style through face-to-face meetings, phone conversations and e-mails with senior executives and board members. We’ll help you articulate the most important set of requirements for skills and personality.

Q: What if the best talent already has a great job?

A: With more than 20 years of experience in executive recruiting, we are experts in finding candidates. While we use existing databases, as all executive search firms do, we know better than to stop there. The best candidates may not even be looking for new positions. When we approach them, we already know how their industries and specific companies are doing. We also tap social networks, our deep professional and personal contacts in your industry, and our reputation for ethical placement.

Q: Do you use paid job boards?

A: Yes and no. We have the subscriptions and access we need, but our experience has taught us what to watch for in a candidate. There is little correlation between those who talk a good game and those who accomplish great things. Charisma alone won’t get the job done. We carefully pose questions that encroach just enough on the candidate’s professional identity to make them “put some skin in the game" taking them out of the realm of anonymity that is associated the web-based recruiting.

Q: What's your turnaround time?

A: It depends, but quality always comes first. For example, unlike many other executive search firms, we vet the candidates up front. We won’t even consider candidates who don’t agree to let us check with a former boss. By checking references at the start, we avoid any last-minute collapse of the search process and having to start over. That protects your time as well.

Q: How hard or competitive is it to get the sort of person we need?

A: We can help to answer that after creating an intial 'target list' and contacting a sample of the list. You’ll receive an assessment report on each and every individual prospect we have contacted, whether they have developed into candidates or not. This will serve as a "snapshot" of the marketplace as well as targeted individual candidate/prospect information.

Q: Who will actually be helping me, day to day?

A: Throughout the process, you’ll work with Tim McIntyre, Founder and CEO of The Executive Research Group. You won’t be handed off to a less experienced staff member. That’s important, because handoffs are when important items most often get dropped or misinterpreted.

Q: What is 'advanced referencing'?

A: We consider referencing so vital that no one gets a dialogue with your team unless our principal has spoken with at least one former boss of the candidate.

Q: Exactly when is the search complete?

A: The search is complete when we have all of the following:


Interview team has a comprehensive and diverse slate of candidates

Interview team is satisfied with the final selection

The new executive starts working and a positive cycle of feedback begins

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Q: Should we negotiate a more favorable fee structure with our executive recruiting partner? and, if so, how do we do that?

Foto7.jpgA: This is what separates a true "partnership" from a typical outsourced arrangement. When a prospective client asks the question, we know they're serious. We love to engage in challenging tasks but we would like to be assured of being compensated. Notice, we didn't say how much. The takeaway here is that we'd be happy to reduce our fees (sometimes substantially) for an agreed upon exclusive right to hire. Bring it.

Q: How do you justify your fees (especially in the current business climate)?

A: Our fees are far less than huge global firms and perhaps the most competitive in the entire industry. We work hard to understand the nuances, cultural fit , and "X factor" required for a long term match, and expect the individual to make repeated contributions earning an impressive ROI for our client

Q: Why is your approach the best for us?

A: Because here you get the best ROI and the best experience, specific -- we deliver:

Better quality candidates (testimonials prove it)

Hires who stay longer (we've kept score)

More rigorous vetting (nobody does what we do in this case)

More accurate fits (presume their longer tenure proves this)

 

How we deliver a better client experience:

More trust due to highest integrity

Proven repeatable method - it just works

Worry free due to track record, and approach

 

Q: What happens during a retained search?

A: Here is an example of a retained executive search firm:

Discovery call with The Executive Search Group founder and CEO Tim McIntyre

Contract with The Executive Search Group for a specific search project

Meet vetted candidates who are proven, remarkable performers

Hire With Certainty -- higher return on investment

 

Q: What happens during a contingency search?

A: Here is an example of a contingency executive search:

Discovery call with The Executive Search Group founder and CEO Tim McIntyre

Receive summaries on top candidates who are proven, accomplished professionals/executives

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Executive Human capital, ahh. Everyone loves to talk about "gender diversity" and boardroom issues, surveys, why women leaders are leaving the workforce and talent acquisition, and all sorts of discourse, but in reality, very few are doing anything about really Targeting and Recruiting them.

fotolia_16150650_xs-resized-600.jpgFor example, our search firm has published (an almost) quarterly survey sent to thousands and thousands of corporate personnel, and while there is strong sentiment and responses, and continuous downloading of ebooks and other materials  when conversing with the head of diversity, or senior HR folks or heads of lines of businesses, clearly, these are academic pursuits for most,getting up to speed on the latest lingo for that upcoming meeting, or preparing to foist off on unsuspecting colleagues, bosses or watchful eyes the latest spin on "breaking the glass ceiling".

In fact, the conversations I've had with leading organizations prove that almost all of them are strictly giving lip service to recruitment of female leaders and executives. It seems to me, that if you are serious about finding talented executives, you simply budget for it, and get it done. Even if there's a shortage of skilled engineering or more technical talent, then you go in on the 'succession plan' modis operandi, and begin to recruit the most promising middle management folks you can and see if they'll bloom through mentorship. Is anybody other than JNJ or TIAA-CREF doing this?

Sites like theglasshammer.com list openings for a select few sponsors and prattle about gender diversity (with the best of intentions) but if those companies don't pony up the recruiting funds and get engaged, then really, how serious are they? Love to hear your comments. Thanks for reading. BTW, we always adhere to the philosophy "best person wins the job", and as recruiters its about finding a broader array of talent to level the playing field.

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Job Market Affects Executive Recruiting

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Over three years ago USA Today asked, "Is the nation's stubbornly high unemployment caused by long-lasting structural changes to the job market or cyclical forces that should neatly resolve in a couple of years? Talent acquisition followup:

Fotolia 10061052 Xs Resized 600Two college professors who had recently won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work on job searches differed on the question. The issue had divided top economists and had some in the executive recruiting industry wondering too.

Peter Diamond, 70, an MIT economics professor who had been nominated by President Obama to serve on the Federal Reserve, said the jobless rate, then 9.6%, should return to its normal rate, generally deemed to be 5% to 6%.

"I'm a believer in markets. I'm a believer in capitalism," Diamond said at a news conference. "I don't think that with suitable macroeconomic policies, there's any reason to think that in time we won't go back to a more normal level of unemployment."

Fellow Nobel laureate Dale Mortensen, 71, economics professor at Northwestern University, noted that job openings have risen even while unemployment remains high. "There are some structural issues there — a mismatch between jobs and workers that are available," Mortensen said at a separate news conference.

The two, along with Christopher Pissarides of the London School of Economics, won the award for "their analysis of markets with search frictions."

Why are employers and workers often unable to find each other even if wages are seemingly at ideal levels? Your thoughts?

Here's a state by state unemployment rate "look back" (seasonally adjusted):

State
Nov. 2009
Nov. 2010
Change
ALABAMA
10.9%
9.0%
-1.9
ALASKA
8.5%
8.0%
-0.5
ARIZONA
9.3%
9.4%
0.1
ARKANSAS
7.6%
7.9%
0.3
CALIFORNIA
12.3%
12.4%
0.1
COLORADO
7.4%
8.6%
1.2
CONNECTICUT
8.7%
9.0%
0.3
DELAWARE
8.6%
8.4%
-0.2
D.C.
11.6%
9.8%
-1.8
FLORIDA
11.6%
12.0%
0.4
GEORGIA
10.2%
10.1%
-0.1
HAWAII
6.9%
6.4%
-0.5
IDAHO
9.0%
9.4%
0.4
ILLINOIS
10.9%
9.6%
-1.3
INDIANA
9.8%
9.8%
0
IOWA
6.5%
6.6%
0.1
KANSAS
6.7%
6.8%
0.1
KENTUCKY
10.7%
10.2%
-0.5
LOUISIANA
7.3%
8.2%
0.9
MAINE
8.1%
7.3%
-0.8
MARYLAND
7.3%
7.4%
0.1
MASSACHUSETTS
9.2%
8.2%
-1
MICHIGAN
14.4%
12.4%
-2
MINNESOTA
7.6%
7.1%
-0.5
MISSISSIPPI
10.4%
9.9%
-0.5
MISSOURI
9.6%
9.4%
-0.2
MONTANA
6.6%
7.2%
0.6
NEBRASKA
4.6%
4.6%
0
NEVADA
12.9%
14.3%
1.4
NEW HAMPSHIRE
6.9%
5.4%
-1.5
NEW JERSEY
9.9%
9.2%
-0.7
NEW MEXICO
8.1%
8.5%
0.4
NEW YORK
8.9%
8.3%
-0.6
NORTH CAROLINA
10.9%
9.7%
-1.2
NORTH DAKOTA
4.3%
3.8%
-0.5
OHIO
10.8%
9.8%
-1
OKLAHOMA
6.8%
6.9%
0.1
OREGON
10.7%
10.6%
-0.1
PENNSYLVANIA
8.7%
8.6%
-0.1
RHODE ISLAND
12.5%
11.6%
-0.9
SOUTH CAROLINA
12.3%
10.6%
-1.7
SOUTH DAKOTA
4.7%
4.5%
-0.2
TENNESSEE
10.7%
9.4%
-1.3
TEXAS
8.2%
8.2%
0
UTAH
6.6%
7.5%
0.9
VERMONT
6.7%
5.7%
-1
VIRGINIA
6.8%
6.8%
0
WASHINGTON
9.2%
9.2%
0
WEST VIRGINIA
8.9%
9.3%
0.4
WISCONSIN
8.6%
7.6%
-1
WYOMING
7.5%
6.6%
-0.9
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