How An Executive Search Pro Gets Companies And Candidates To See What He Means

September 14, 2021 00:38:52
How An Executive Search Pro Gets Companies And Candidates To See What He Means
I See What You Mean
How An Executive Search Pro Gets Companies And Candidates To See What He Means

Sep 14 2021 | 00:38:52

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Show Notes

Evan Scott works with business owners and job candidates who have different interests in a position, evaluate different factors in the opportunity, and even view his role differently in the executive search process. But Evan needs to get them on the same page for their relationship to be successful, as well to succeed in his role. Here are a few ahh-ha! moments I had about how Evan does it:

 

6:55 - How Evan measures himself by candidate performance, not just placements, and how that makes customers see what he does differently.

11:20 - How Evan uses behavioral referencing to get to know candidates quickly, and how his report becomes a management tool for a company and new hire to get on the same page.

18:41 - How Evan gets potential clients on the same page with him by easing into an engagement to mitigates their risks, and his.

26:48 - How being on the same page with a company enables Evan to be ahead of its growth and hiring curves.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:06 Welcome to, I see what you mean a podcast about how people get on the same page and stay there or don't, or perhaps shouldn't today. My guest is Evan. Scott, Evan owns and runs an executive search firm in the Washington DC area, serving the federal consulting market. Evan you've had a great run 21 years. You've been in business a long time and I've received awards from the community. So you're doing the right thing the right way. What's your secret? Speaker 2 00:00:34 It's a relationship driven business in Washington or reputation and relationships. That's true with a contract is with the customers and with the vendors. So I've worked very hard at, um, developing a good following and a good reputation in town and helping clients bring in great talent. Uh, anything short of that? You're not going to last long in DC. Speaker 1 00:00:58 What are some of the things that you get people on the same page about in terms of executive search? Speaker 2 00:01:05 Well, it starts with the, um, clients search firm, relationship and engagement. So a good example is we will meet with a CEO of a, of a federal contractor. And CEO typically has a very important position they need to fill, but it really starts out from the initial conversation. Um, our understanding of what they're looking for us, both in credentials background and more importantly culture, you know, whether with, from an environmental standpoint. So the whole process, everything we do is basically relationship driven, um, convincing people, 90% of the candidates that actually get hired through an executive search through our firm are employed, but essentially we're knocking on doors of executives who are well thought of where they are, they're performing. And we're trying to convince them to take a look at another opportunity. Um, six, five persuasiveness, listening, intuitive skills, understanding, you know, who we're speaking with, understand the client's needs. And basically we're marriage counselors trying to predict who, um, who should marry and who should not marry. Speaker 1 00:02:21 Yeah. Right, right, right. And that's, that's an important part of getting on the same page is when, when we shouldn't, let's come back to that. So as you're in an intermediary position, you have to get on the same page with the search, the firm you're searching for and the candidate you're going to introduce to them. So you kind of have to know what the world looks like to both of them to know if you think they'll be a good fit when they come together, what kind of things do you get have to get on the same page about with the candidate and how do you do that? Speaker 2 00:02:54 Yeah, that's great. Great question. There is an inherent bias when a client is paying us or, or a firm to represent them, um, the candidates are not saying, this is the old saying, you know, follow the money. You know, whoever's paying you is the person you're representing, right. But in our business, you can't work like that. And that's been one of the biggest challenges over my years in the search businesses, trying to convince clients were paying me that, um, the candidates and what they're thinking, what their needs are, is as important as what your needs are. Uh, one of the, one of the things I will say, though, if you, if you retain me, I say, let me ask you this. If you were a candidate and I was representing you to a client, um, how would you want to be treated Speaker 1 00:03:46 Interesting? Speaker 2 00:03:49 And we have, you know, over the years of experience, we've been able to convince candidates, Hey, look, we're really interested in you. As much as our clients, as candidly. I don't really care who they hire, but whoever they hire has to perform and do well. Right? So we're, we're sensitive that this is a career decision for you. We're not interested in having you go to a company that it doesn't work out in a year. Right, right. After the same thing. So we're all together on this. So I think that had been able to take away the surprise tissue, just put away. I interact with candies and Kenley. I'm not faking it. I really do care that the executives I'm contacting this, I'm impacting their careers. And if they ended up going to my client, they're going to be climbed. Right. Right. And they have to do well in order for me to continue to doing well. So, um, that's the biggest issue. The, um, in early on candidates to say, well, you represent the client. Well, no, I know I represent you and the client. Speaker 1 00:05:00 Well, so a couple of things there you said, I think you've said 98% are already employed. Right. So, Speaker 2 00:05:11 And there's always that exception where we catch somebody who's in between a position, but most, most of the candidates are actively employed when we, Speaker 1 00:05:20 But when, so when you approached them, they've already got a job in, they might be looking, but they might be happy in it. After 21 years, it might be people, you know, but you might be people that you're just meeting for the first time. So how do you get to know a little bit? What kind of questions do you ask? What's that conversation sound like where you get to know the candidates, um, to see what you think about the possible match. Speaker 2 00:05:43 I, I approach folks that I may not know and introduce myself, tell them who we are, what we're doing. And I asked them, you know, I'm very interested in talking about your career. I know you're VP and running DHS over at XYZ. Right. You know, you know, you've been there a number of years. I see that you've been there three, four years. You know, how does your career progressing? What your next step? How do you know? So I started to engage them on. What's important to them now what's important to me. Speaker 1 00:06:11 Right? Right. That makes sense. If they're not familiar with how executive search works, or if they're not familiar with how you work, you want to tell them things, to help them understand how you look at it. For them, even though the client is paying you the more they understand that the more they get your point, that your success as an executive search firm is directly tied to their success as a candidate. And so you do want to know about them. You are looking out for their interests. Nobody eats all three is like a triangle. You and the company and the candidate are going to succeed together or not. Speaker 2 00:06:48 Yeah. If you'd understand my business a little bit, we are really measured on not how well the search goes and getting a person hired. That's the only one piece of it I'm really measured on. Once James goes to work for my client and have she performs over time. So think about that. You know, what's my, what's my motivation. What's my objective. In talking to you about an opportunity and then in working with you and counseling you along the way, my, my objective is to be sure that if you end up going to the client that you perform, and if you don't that I lose a client, you get hurt in your career. Right. And then my reputation takes a hit, right? So it's explaining that to exec and mostly executives get that at this point early on, it was a little bit different, but now most people understand Speaker 1 00:07:47 One of the things that's interesting. People have a, let's say I'm a candidate, or I'm in a job. You contact me. I have a belief about what you do might be accurate. It might be an accurate if I think you're representing the client more than my interests. What you described to me would shift that perspective. Correct? So if you, if you explain, for example, I think it was really critical. You talked about a couple of measures of success or effectiveness placements as a measure. But if they all asked to under a year or six months, or if they, if some, if you had a run rate that were many of them, some number lasted many years, that's a different measure of success. Placing is easier than fitting, right? Placing people in is, is easier than making sure that they fit the place and the place fits them. And that's the longer term measure of success, right? Speaker 2 00:08:43 That's everything. My job is to make sure my clients do not make a hiring mistake. And many of the clients I represent, um, are a small mid-sized companies where they're going out for, let's say that this development, if they hire the wrong person, that could set them back two years and how federal contracting works, right. It takes 12 to 18 months for a good BD person to effectively land some programs. If you bring someone in, who just doesn't have the ability to close deals or chases their own programs, you lose two years. So these higher than that insignificant. And my role is to be sure you don't hire the wrong person and the person you hired delivers, and it makes a difference. And it has an impact in your company. Speaker 1 00:09:33 I want to touch on one more theme and then ask the questions about the hiring. You mentioned before that you might say to the client, who's the executive who's hiring. How would you like to be? How'd you say it? How would you like to be, Speaker 2 00:09:47 How would you like to be treated and handled if you were a candidate, which by the way, many of my clients have been candidates at one time, their career, right. Recruited, you know, so I, you know, you can relate very easily and then you would re the candidate I'd want you to re you know, represent me. I like to do what's in my best interest, right? Speaker 1 00:10:06 Yeah. I like how you say things in a conversation that helps someone shift perspective. I think if they shift perspective. So, so anybody could come into a situation, let's say a situation is hiring. I'm a client, or am I going to be a client? I've called you? I hope I know you are, I've looked you up, but I think I know what you do, but I have a, I have some impressions about what you do that might not be correct. I might even have some things I'm thinking about my, the position might not be in my best interest, but I might be blind to that. I've been around the consulting industry a long time in DC, like you have. And I know lots of owners and executives who I think look at a pro uh, open position, an executive hiring a person as a, as a, as a solution to a problem. Right. It's a means to some, and they want to achieve if they've got any of that misaligned or that skewed, which is happens to all of us, that could be going down on making a hiring decision that you might want to back them up a little bit and maybe just reconsider some things. So how do you work that Speaker 2 00:11:13 Good question? Um, yeah, the real, the real secret sauce in my business are the behavioral references. For instance, I'll interview a candidate. I'll, I'll check them out through my network. I'll, I'll listen to what they're doing. And, um, and I liked the person. I liked the presentation, the personality. I think my clients are like you and that's, that's wonderful. Okay. So what I'm starting to think now is, okay, I can introduce you to the client. They'll like, you it'll probably go, well, you have the credentials you have experience. Um, what I don't know yet is how you perform in this particular company. This is a different conflict, different culture, right? That the key is being able to reference it. When you start talking to, we call it 360 degree behavioral referencing. When we talked to bosses, peers, subordinates customers, um, sometimes when it's appropriate and we ask questions that, Hey, is it Joe Good guy? Speaker 2 00:12:14 And then we don't, you know, that's not what we ask. We talk about style and how does Joe get things done at a P how does he relate to people that worked for them? What's his retention rate, um, how his peers viewed and, um, and the bosses, you know, you had objectives have to the issue, meet your objectives. And if so, how did you go? So we started asking a lot of soft questions, issues, style issues, personality issues. And we talked to 5, 6, 7 references who know the person really well because they've worked with them and you start to pull all that together. And then you, um, put that, get that in writing. And you'd give that to the client. Now, what the client does is they'll read through that and then there'll be good points and bad points and all that. No, one's perfect. But what it really serves as is it serves as a management tool. So when you, when you hire somebody, you kind of know what you're getting. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:13:10 Yeah. That's interesting. And those questions you asked really go to the performance question, right? Speaker 2 00:13:16 Absolutely. Absolutely. It's trying to guess if, if the person will be able to replicate the success of one company at a new company, they're going to, that's, that's, that's what we're trying to get at. Speaker 1 00:13:30 You do. If the hiring company needs to have some expectations reset, or think about something in a little bit different way. Um, you and I have talked about you and I've talked about owners, especially small business owners. Who've been successful to a point in the business, in the, in the growth and the trajectory of the company. They might, they might be blind to their blind spots. They might not know everything they think they know or that they need to know. Um, maybe at a certain point in their trajectory at a certain point in their growth, they're going to apply what they believe that they've been successful with right in the past to the future. And we all do that. That's our starting place. But if you see something that they're missing, your, your, your measure is still, I want to put the right person in there who will perform well. And if I'm an owner and I'm going to hire, and you see me thinking through something that could work against me, how do you have the conversation to try to get me on the, on the same page with you, where I see it differently, and maybe, maybe would reconsider some things Speaker 2 00:14:35 It's about trust, experiencing, and, um, knowing what you're talking about. Um, cause what we bring to the party is, you know, we've been down this road before with other clients that look like you, maybe they're smaller or maybe they're larger. And my is to advise you on counsel you on, on the realities of the market. Now, a lot of the CEOs I work with, um, they build successful businesses to a point, but they've never scaled the business. Right? I get their extra 50, 60 million things are going well, they're making money, they've got a nice company, but then when they lose their, um, disadvantage or small business category, they've got to compete. And we call for open programs by the partnering of going after it directly. And that's when it gets, that's a much, a different ball game. And most of the CEOs will admit, they've never done that. Speaker 2 00:15:30 You know, these are on people that came out of a large tier one and started business. Typically there'll be a lot of them started the business. They would technology folks, engineers. It came in the federal contracting phase because 40% of all the business on that goes to federal government has to go to a small business. So the large integrators, you know, they've got to use small businesses or these folks prospered by bringing great technology and doing good work, but then their business becomes 30, 40 million and then had a, you know, they don't have a lot of confidence in how to hire who to hire. This is all new to them. It's all new. So I take it from there. I say, look, this is all new challenges for you. My job is be sure you don't make a hiring mistake. And by the way, I have 20, 21 years of experience in the federal contracts. I've seen what works and doesn't work. You know, I counseled other CEOs that you can speak to and my role is to help you build your company. And the other thing I said, look, you know, well, if we believe in your organization, we also be willing to take equity as is Paul is in lieu of our cash fee or as part of, or I see. So, you know, I'm more interested in building and making and making placements and getting one or two fees that interests me anymore. Speaker 2 00:16:54 What interests me is helping, helping you build. And that's, that's really what motivates and that's, and that's, what's kept me fresh in this business because it's challenging. I'm not just filling a job, I'm helping build a company Speaker 1 00:17:07 Well, and as the market changes, what the things that maybe it takes to build a company could change over time, over 21 years. Right? Um, so trust and competence. There's interesting characteristics there that you're asking sort of the cards you're playing, asking them to rely on you. Um, a lot of executives I known, especially small businesses were, had some subject. You said had some subject matter expertise that maybe they won their first contract with that's their core competence. That's where they got started at a certain size. They're doing delivery in that core area of core competence, right? They're doing a contract delivery, uh, and they write proposals and you know, they do a lot of things. One of the things that they have to do as they grow is delegate responsibility to others. If they're bringing in an executive, if they think they need an executive level person to now's the time to bring somebody in to add something particular to the organization, they might have a really hard time give doing, giving up some control, giving up authority, giving not micromanaging, whatever they do. It's really important for your candidates, that they be trusted, that they're allowed to come in and do what they do. Well, how do you help them get on the same page? They're not used to giving over control. It's their, it's their baby. They want it done their way. And you know that they can't win that way. Long-term they can't grow that way. Long-term, they've got to bring someone else and let them do what they do. Well, how do you help them get on the same page, Speaker 2 00:18:42 Matt magic question. And, and to say that the trust issue is in there as an understatement because, um, that, that is a major issue. The up until the point that we may come into the company, you know, they have a team, they build from scratch and the close knit. And there's a trust as in the issue. And the CEO is actively involved. I mean, they are involved in everything. So they, you know, they know what's going on, bring in someone at a senior level and to offer the same kind of trucks, happy to do that. Right. Maybe you don't know, you don't know the person, you just meeting them for the first time and you're going to give them a big part of your future. Um, that's, that's, that's the hardest thing in the world yet, if you want to grow that, that means you have to take risks and you have to invest. Speaker 2 00:19:36 Okay. So when you talk about risk, how do you mitigate risks? It's like investing, right? Yeah. One way to mitigate a risk is to use a professional like myself, who does this for a living and, and help you think through all the issues that one needs to think through, to be sure that leads you to the right executive and the right hire. And our process helps you do that. And we talk that through along the way. Now I can tell you over the years, what I've done, as far as screening the people I want to work with, um, I'll tell us if I'll tell CEO it's very competitive out there. The people you're looking for are employee. You know, I'm going to help you bring some good people at the table. And let me tell you what I need. And this gets to the trust issue. Speaker 2 00:20:27 I need you not only to step up to what the compensation is going to be on base salary, based on not what you want to pay based on what the market tells you. And I'm going to tell you that through the search, um, you have to put together an incentive plan that helps people meet objectives for the business. And you have to compensate if they meet those objectives, right? It can't be wishy washy, right? And you have to have a real equity plan because the top people in this market today, because it's flying the man, you're going to take a risk on a small business and want to know if there's a liquidity event down the road that they're going to be rewarded. That there'll be coverage. That call me and I'll talk to the CEO on. And they'll say, well, we're thinking about equity. What's your incentive plan. All, we haven't really put the center plan in place yet. Right. And my response to that is, I don't know if I can help you. Right, Speaker 1 00:21:25 Right. Speaker 2 00:21:26 Because I won't be able to attract the caliber person that I want to attract that you want to attract. So I started to walk away from business, which really that's not natural for me. But I also understand that if I take on a client that doesn't have the right organization to accommodate the kind of people I'm going to bring into them, we're not going to have a six Speaker 1 00:21:51 Year old be successful. Right. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:21:53 And they can hire people. They can fill jobs all day long, but they're not going to get the creme creme de LA creme. Right. So it's, and that's, that's the trust issue of giving equity away giving my company, Okay, well, Speaker 1 00:22:11 I have a conflict resolution background, and there's some belief that people in that field resolve differences and get on the same page. But sometimes that's not the right outcome. And there's reasons why sometimes you shouldn't get on the same page. So I've had fun as I've designed the pro the podcast. And it's going to be part of my coaching program. Maybe sometimes you have to have a respectful way to respectfully disagree. See if you can protect a relationship, let's not trash a relationship on the way out. And maybe there's a way to use differences constructively. It might not be the same thing as being on the same page, but maybe you can use differences constructively and move forward for the good of the organization. But getting on the same page is not the be all and end all of every of every time. There's a difference. Speaker 2 00:22:56 I agree with you. I agree with you. So varied relationships, my friends who have businesses, this is about relationships and trust and doing what you say you're going to do, Speaker 1 00:23:06 Being reliable. That's right. That's right. So I called the podcast. I see what you mean because all of us in life, it's personal life work life doesn't matter. We have these moments where we see, I live an aha moment and I go, oh, I see what you mean. You're doing some education of the, of the client, right? Um, sometimes it, they don't want to hear it and you might not be successful for them. So you, you might have to turn business away. What do you leave them with? As a thought, keep the door open, help them think through something that you know, they're going to face. And maybe they'll come back to you in six months or a year and say, all right, Evan. Yeah. I hit the wall. I see what you mean. We helped me now. How do you, how do you sort of leave it to try to help them out as you leaving? Speaker 2 00:23:56 No, I give them the advice. I just, I just mentioned, I said, look, you know, attract towns in this market. These are the things you have to do. ABC Santa plan equity and all that. Um, you know, I would say to them, look, you know, if you really want to be competitive, going out to the best talent retain search, who should be ultimate competitive advantage in the market. If you bet someone who knows Moffitt has a network and does this for a living is a CEO. You're not recruiting for 11 year. Right, exactly. Right. This is what we do for a living. Right. Um, if you get to a point where you're not getting the right kinds of people through your network or through contingency firms or indeed, or whatever you want to use, um, you know, I mean, no, no, no. I can tell you what happens. Speaker 2 00:24:47 In many cases, companies, they don't want to pay a retainer. I don't want to pay a retainer is what if you don't fill the job. Right. So I get a retainer and then I work in the search and also the job, what happens is on my business. I ended up a, not spending a lot of time wasting my time. I get one payment. Yeah. Right. I don't get, I'm not no repeat business. And it's a lose, lose all around. Right. So if you don't want to pay retainer, that's fine. I understand that. But in this day and age, that's foolish because the best investment you can make is in people. And that's the only investment, right? Especially if you're a small business and you're hiring a head of operations or head of business development or CFO, um, you want the best, right? So why are we doing this? Why wouldn't you give yourself the best chance to see the best people? And what's, what's the search fee. It's nothing compared to the return. You'll get from hiring the right people. Speaker 1 00:25:51 Well, and here's the truth. If they win, they're going to grow. So at some point they start out like my brother and I used to say, you can't afford, we were, we were startups. You can't afford to turn until you can't afford to not have one. You can't afford an accountant until you can't afford to not have one. Speaker 1 00:26:11 So I think that what you do that way, but here's why, here's what I think happens. At some point, you're going to have to bring on some more senior people. Like you said, operations, finance, HR it. But then it's not just at that level. The C level, if I have you under retainer and I invest in the relationship with you, I'm going to believe that you'll get to know my company. Yes. Because I'm going to win something and I might need to bring an account manager into a big, a big new account project managers, program managers, right? The more, you know, the company, the more you are ahead of the curve with them. Speaker 1 00:26:48 Cause it's, it's, what's it. Once someone has said, Hey, we need a position filled, right. A PD there they're behind the curve. Right? Uh, the more, you know, accompany, the more you can be ahead of the growth curve with them, right. If I'm going to grow over time, I'm always going to need to hire. And I do need good people, not just with technical capability, but who fit the organization who work with each other who create a culture. I, who people want to come to work and work here every day or hire or call their friends and say, Hey, you've got something that's going to open up. You should, you should apply the more, you know them, the better you can do that. And you're not even, what'd you call before marriage, a marriage? What? Marriage? Yeah. You're like, you know, you're really like a, um, I don't know, the, the, the uncle or something who knows the family who knows from the inside out, the more, you know, from the inside out, the better you can operate. Speaker 2 00:27:49 Yeah. Well, my clients say to me, I want to retain you. I want you to get to know my company. I want you involved in strategy. I want you end of the curve. So a lot of the clients I'm working with now, having on retainer, they want me involved. I set up my practice to accommodate more positions. And just what I felt, for instance, we just picked up a solution architect position. One of my clients, I don't do that, but I have someone on my team that does that kind of work. So there they work in that account manager or program manager, capture manager. I've got people that know how to fill those positions. So I've, I've kind of set up my practice to accommodate what I know I'm going to need when I I'm brought into a company as a, as a, as a confidant. Speaker 2 00:28:36 And somebody helps them a very senior level with strategy and talent. Yeah. So, and that's, and that's, what's fun about our business and the clients that I represent. Um, we, we measure our success by how well an executive forms one year in the job, very straightforward, very straightforward. We have a 90% success rate. I had a 10 exactly. As a wheel per clients, recruit performing the job a hundred percent. Well, there's been situations that didn't work, but 90% now, if anyone's rational and thinking about that, she there's a recruiter out there that nine out of 10 people that is from places will succeed in that position. Why the heck would I even consider not what would I not use that? Speaker 1 00:29:35 Right. Speaker 2 00:29:36 When you have me, you ran businesses asking the executive, what's your hiring success rate over your career. It was here at 50, 50, 60, 40. I mean, you hear these? No, I'm usually right, but frequently I'm long will happen. You can run a small business by being 50 50 on the hiring. You have to be on your percent, which is impossible, but it might be not fair. Speaker 1 00:30:03 Well, it, so there's a lot of uncertainty in hiring. One of the ways that I suppose you help people and get them on the same page with you and then with the candidate is that you move some of that uncertainty. Now you're probably doing this through a lot of your professional judgment, right? Yep. Um, but that's where the trust and competence factors come in, that you mentioned earlier for someone who's hiring, hasn't used an executive search firm before knows what they are, but does it, has it used once, so it hasn't had the postal experience. What do you describe to remove some of the uncertainty about how, not just how you'll work, but how, how it will go for them? Speaker 2 00:30:43 Um, a couple of ways to approach that I've taken the attitude. I'm very flexible. You haven't used search for him for a new experience for you. I appreciate that. Okay. Why don't we do this? Why don't we, um, you know, fuse it separately based on, you know, Sandra pay salary and we go to a third, a third, a third is pretty traditional health profession. Um, why don't we work together on this? Why don't we take a small retainer? Okay. Maybe not the full return and put us on a retainer. And then why don't we start the search together? Let's put together a position spec let's, um, let's get into the marketplace and you'll see kind of how we work. I'll also see how the candidates are responding to your company. Reputation is so let's, let's do this together. Speaker 2 00:31:33 Yeah. You're not committing to a whole fee. You're not committing to give you a life. Wait, what you're doing is you're hiring a professional, like an attorney or a CFO, and you're hiring them on an outsource basis to help you with a project, with an issue. So we use into it and that's worked beautifully works for me, but Kelly, I don't want to represent a copy. I can trap talent too. And you don't want to spend a lot of money and I can even result. And you don't understand, you don't know what the, you don't know what to expect. Speaker 1 00:32:03 That's brilliant. Evan, that's experiential that puts them in a front seat with you. Yup. They get to see how you work. They get to see how the engagement works. Right. All right. Um, those are the kinds of insights I think, give people that aha moment. Now I see what he does. I see how he does it. Yeah. That's brilliant. Speaker 2 00:32:25 Yeah. Well assessing, it's just knowing the customer, you know, I have to know my clients, right. My clients are saying to me, I don't want to pay everything or I have this concern. I've got to work. I've got to work with you. I mean, I'm, I'm interested in talking about those issues of concern. Candidly. It's not the first time I heard this. Speaker 1 00:32:45 Yeah, sure, sure, sure. Speaker 2 00:32:47 I mean, this is what I do for work and I've been, I've been through it all. And also the other thing I did do is why don't you talk to some of my references. Yeah. Yeah. People that know me. I'll give you the name of two CEOs that I'm involved in. I'm on the chain of with giving them a call, see what they think. Yeah. So this whole federal contracting world is, is really fascinating. What's going on Daniel, but you've got thousands of federal contractors, literally thousands, and the owners are all facing the same issues. And it's a very limited town. Speaker 1 00:33:17 Is it, is it think of the seat suite? Is it limited across that for operations, for finance, for HR, for it, for customer experience, whatever the C innovation or is it limited more severely in area? Any areas Speaker 2 00:33:31 Think of it this way, the 80 20 rule, 20% of the people in your organization are the ones you can't live without when we're retained, we're asked to find the stars we live in the 20% that makes it more difficult. Okay. So there's 10 CFOs out of those 10 CFOs have identified to a really, really, those are the ones we want and maybe four or five and six would be acceptable. I, you know, saying as a CFO is never far, I, cause I can read a balance sheet, all about fit and culture and strategy and business acumen. So, um, Speaker 2 00:34:12 Yeah. And, and B, D D D is kind of whole motor down here. That'd be the function, right? Those are the people that have to have a cut customer intimacy. They have to identify the programs that we write in the RFP that that's where you, that's where you start to win business down here. Everyone wants the same people. So you bring someone like me and I give you that competitive edge. I can get to these people. I can talk to them. Then I can have the career discussions with them. Kind of see where they are. I just want to win. What's next for you. And maybe they say, well, you know, your clients sounds interesting. I'd be happy to talk to them. That's how this whole thing works. Very networky and soft issues. And being on top of the market and we follow the contracts every day, we know who's who who's doing, what, and that's what we bring to what, to, to our clients. Speaker 1 00:35:08 Well, it's been very interesting. Uh, I've enjoyed this conversation. Uh, some interesting things about ways you create a perspective shift for some people to help them see something differently. Um, the measures of effectiveness or measure success, success you used behavioral referencing is, is a really interesting way to sort of triangulate, uh, what you can learn about somebody to sharpen your time from talking to different people. Speaker 2 00:35:35 Exactly. Speaker 1 00:35:36 Very interesting ways that, Speaker 2 00:35:37 Uh, these kinds of things, you know, you could, you could use in other settings besides what you do, which is your, my hope for the podcast is give people some insights or some ideas of some things to try. So some interesting things you've done. You're a pro after 21 years, wouldn't take you 22. You're a prophet 21 years was that last year that I spent, I spent 20 years in the business before I, this is my second firm. I helped build the first weekend, a search firm in Philadelphia, back in 1980 were two guys. Um, we started this firm and we wouldn't do it contingency. We went around the Philadelphia based companies asking for a retainer. And then we got thrown out of a lot of offices, but our first kiss, our first client was Kraft foods. Barry Janick, the head of human resources that we try to regional sales jobs around the country. Speaker 2 00:36:33 And then you'd run ads use considering the jobs. And we said, why don't you take the retainer approach down to that level to 10? Or at that point was only at the very senior level, right? They gave us a check. They retained us and that's what launched our business. And when I left that business 21 years ago, uh, we were the 21st, the 20th largest search firm in the country. Wow. I mean, we have four offices. I mean, it was a great firm, had a lot of successes, a lot of big clients, but I got the form. I wanted to kind of do my own thing. And I really was intrigued by federal contract, but I think it's a great space. I also, I also saw that there was a supply and demand and the customer, which is a federal contract. They always spend money. Speaker 2 00:37:22 Isn't that cool? There's always money flowing. Yeah. There was a federal contract is always doing well. Yeah, but the talent, unless you work this market, you don't know this market. You can't go from the commercial world, the federal contracts, the whole different world. A lot of people don't, they don't appreciate companies. Don't appreciate that. They buy companies in federal. They hire people and they expect the same results they get from the commercial business. Where are the results you need this in six months? I think we want me to go to the IRS and tell them to release the program so you can meet your quarters. Yeah, Speaker 1 00:37:58 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. It doesn't work, Speaker 2 00:38:06 But it's a different role down here. So patients and process, and it's a hard business, but I saw that and that's why I wanted to jump in, you know, in my business, you need a specialty, you need something that differentiate yourself from all the other search guys and gals that don't run around. And that, that was my niche and it worked out. Good. Speaker 1 00:38:26 Congratulations. Thank you, sir. Good meeting you. Likewise. Thanks. Thank you bye-bye and that's how we see it. My friends want to thank everyone for joining us, send questions and suggestions through the app. Subscribe and give me a five star rating unless you can't. In which case, please tell me why and join me next week. We take another look at how to get on the same page and stay there unless we shouldn't.

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