By now you’ve heard the story. Front page of today’s New York Times. Classic D.C. If there’s a good recruitment story, look no further than our federal government. In a nutshell, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hired two candidates to fill the very same position. One, Mick Mulvaney, brought pastries to work on his first day. The other, Leandra English sent a communique out to her entire team thanking them for their efforts. The fact that they read this e-mail while eating pastries courtesy of Mick Mulvaney was just part of the problem. In summary, Mr. Mulvaney was nominated by President Trump while Ms. English was nominated by the outgoing director.
It is possible to see this same scenario play itself out in the boardroom of any firm from any industry. There could be – and often are – two members of the same Search Committee that have contrasting ideas of what they are looking for in a candidate. Sharing these divergent views with the candidate on an interview has been the downfall of many an interview.
While we’re not here to solve Washington’s problems (and there is no evidence a search firm was utilized by either party), this event does illustrate an important point. When selecting a search firm, select one. If you don’t have enough faith in their effort to get the job done, you need to choose a different firm. However, think about the message your organization is sending the industry when two different tales are being told. Which one is correct? Of course, in the case of the CFPB, the worst case scenario is now playing out. Two candidates show up for work and both have entirely different visions.
In summary, this embarrassing situation can be avoided? But how?
Simple…hire one recruitment firm. Let’s say it again. One. We always tell our clients, “It need not be us but please choose only one.”
The hiring process is made simpler when there is a unified force. That’s where the search firm, working in tandem with your search committee, can take the lead.
When you have chosen the one recruiting firm that fills your needs, you will find that the search process is a lot simpler. In the words of Edward Kleban and Marvin Hamlisch from A Chorus Line – “One Singular Sensation.”
As far as Mr. Mulvaney and Ms. English are concerned, two’s a crowd. One must go.