Why Use a Search Firm?

What Do Search Firms Do?

Search firms are hired by organizations that want to maximize their chances of finding the best possible candidate to fill a key position. Because a change in leadership presents challenges to any organization, the assistance of a consultant at the time of a search can be beneficial in many ways.

For example, a search consultant will help define the needs and requirements of the position, and through this process, will help build consensus for the profile and support for the search within the organization. Administrators, faculty, clients, and other constituents may feel uneasy about the upcoming changes in leadership and may be critical of the search process as a result. A consultant can mitigate this potential discontent by helping to plan an inclusive search strategy that gains the support of the organization, while protecting the confidentiality of the candidates.

A consultant uses networking to publicize the position, and to build a broader and deeper pool of candidates than could be accessed through advertising alone. This is important in finding the best possible candidates for any search, but it is especially useful in certain cases. When an organization is not well known, is located in an area that does not usually draw many candidates, or has recently had negative publicity, a consultant’s networking is critical to communicating positive messages about the organization to the field and to recruiting candidates who otherwise would not have applied. Throughout the search, a consultant will help to ensure that the public and private activities related to the search reflect well on the reputation of the client organization.

Search consultants generally improve the quality of the process and the outcome of a recruitment. However, for some organizations, an equally important issue is the time it takes to conduct a search. Consultants can take over a significant part of the burden of the work of a search, freeing members of their client organizations to focus on core responsibilities.

Do search firms provide services for individual job seekers?

Most search firms, including Sage Search Partners, work solely for their client institutions, and do not provide outplacement services or career counseling. However, most firms do keep the resumes of qualified job seekers in a database that is consulted for every new search. Once an individual is a candidate in a particular search, the consultant will help him or her to understand the parameters of the job and the opportunities it presents, and will help the candidate determine how good a match he or she is for the position.

What Distinguishes Sage Search Partners?

Sage Search Partners has demonstrated success in helping academic institutions and non-profit organizations recruit outstanding candidates. We have excelled at recruiting a wide range of exceptional leaders and at successfully partnering with our clients to resolve strategy, assessment, and transitional issues.

Sage Search Partners is different from other firms in that the partners, and only the partners, conduct each search in its entirety, working together to provide our best judgment and to ensure the most timely and successful results for our clients. Our skills and experience, and not those of junior associates, are directly brought to bear on every aspect of our work.

Sage Search Partners values the partnership aspects of search work. We respect and draw on our clients’ knowledge and understanding of their organization and the field, and complement these with our experience conducting comparable searches. As partners in search, client and consultant leverage one another’s expertise to optimize the outcome.

The perspective we have gained through assisting many organizations facing similar opportunities and challenges enables us to acquire an accurate and in-depth understanding of our clients’ organizations. The same people who get to know each organization are directly and continuously involved in every aspect of the search process. Because of this, we are especially well qualified to make each search an opportunity to communicate to the field positive messages about the organization, to respond effectively to questions about the position and to provide frequent and informative feedback to each client.