Example of Typical Approach and Methodology

Before Customized to Fit Your Needs


  • Planning the Search Process
    • We begin our work in support of your search by clarifying and providing advice about issues of process, timetable, committee structure, and committee charge.
    • Our experience in a variety of searches in business and institutions gives us a good sense of the “best practices” in conducting a search, and we will recommend these strategies to your organization and your search committee. However, we are also pleased to work with search committees to explore alternative approaches that better suit the needs of the institution.
  • Understanding Your Institution
    • We will meet with you, and all others whom you wish to involve in the search process, to hear a range of views about business and institutional issues, the position, and the qualifications essential in order to find the successful candidate.
    • We will review any relevant documents including planning reports, budgets, organizational charts, and accreditation reports.
    • We will explore with you all critical institutional issues, particularly those bearing on institutional direction and priorities.
  • Developing the Position Description
    • We will work collaboratively with your company or search committee to develop a position description. The position description will include a statement of qualifications for the position,  preliminary selection criteria, and a profile of your company or institution.  The document will serve as a reference throughout the search regarding the criteria upon which candidates should be evaluated. This description is an important recruiting tool which gives prospective candidates a better understanding of both the position and the company or institution. 


  •  Developing and Recruiting a Diverse Candidate Pool
    • We will actively seek out individuals with superior qualifications and encourage them to become candidates.
    • Recruiting efforts will include identifying the best companies within your industry and the placement of announcements in traditional national outlets.
    • We will place calls to individuals who are well-positioned to serve as sources. These individuals usually include leaders of national associations and institutions, representatives of groups focused on particular constituencies, and other public, private, and non-profit organizations with which we have established links.  Although we have found that mass mailings are generally not an effective tool in identifying candidates, we can assist the search committee in devising a targeted mailing list.
  • Developing and Recruiting a Diverse Candidate Pool
    • We have a solid track record of providing candidate pools in which women and people of color are well-represented. We believe that these special recruiting and outreach efforts are worthwhile, desirable and quite productive.
    • We are actively involved in professional associations that bring us in contact with emerging leaders in business and  higher education. We are regularly invited to give presentations and workshops on professional development issues which gives us the opportunity to learn about prospective candidates and observe them firsthand.
  • Managing Information in Support of the Search
    • In our experience, managing information--an essential aspect of any search--is typically best handled on a partnership basis with the company and client institution.
    • Throughout the search process, we will assist the search committee in developing accurate information systems to track the status of candidates. We recommend the use of a database system that tracks the arrival and status of all candidate applications and nominations.  This database can be used to generate current logs of all prospective, active and inactive candidates as well as to generate communications to inform each candidate of his/her status from the beginning to the end of the entire process.
    • Additionally, we will prepare all correspondence needed with nominees and candidates throughout the search for transmittal by either the client institution or Beech Hill Group.


  • Evaluating Candidates
    • We will assist the search committee in developing selection criteria that are tied directly to the position description. Selection criteria are used to create a rating sheet that is used in evaluating each candidate's qualifications.
    • We are flexible regarding the involvement of the committee in the initial screening of the full pool of candidates. The consultant and/or committee will personally read and evaluate all candidate files, treating all candidates equally and evaluating them by the same standards and methods.  Committee members are invited to participate in the initial screening and evaluation, but consultant evaluations will be provided in any case.
    • Committee members evaluate candidates on a three-point grading scale of A (excellent; retain), B (incomplete; request more information), or C (poor; eliminate). The ratings are summarized allowing the committee to eliminate unsuitable candidates and maintain promising ones.
  • Interviewing and Referencing
    • We will work directly with the search committee to conduct preliminary candidate interviews. For business clients we will present four to six top level candidates. For our higher education clients, six to twelve candidates are invited for interviews.
    • Following the preliminary interviews, the candidate pool is further narrowed to a small number of finalists, usually 3-5, at which time we will work collaboratively with the company or committee to conduct reference checks on the remaining candidates.
    • In conducting the reference checks, it is our practice to speak directly with individuals who are now, or who have been in the recent past, in good positions to observe and evaluate the candidate's performance.
    • These references and evaluations are combined to provide frank, objective appraisals. Such detailed and intensive investigations are reserved only for those individuals to whom the search committee plans to give the most serious consideration.


  • Coordinating the Final Selection Process
    • We work with the company or search committee in evaluating and selecting those candidates who, on the basis of the committee’s evaluations, appear to best meet the requirements of the position description. We assist the committee in fulfilling its specific charge, typically is to provide a list of unranked candidates with full commentary assessing each individual's strengths and weaknesses.
    • Depending upon the previously agreed upon schedule for the search, we help arrange the details of interviews with finalists.
    • We arrange for additional background information to be gathered for finalists, including verification of degrees, review of credit history, and criminal records.
    • We are also available to assist in finalizing the terms and conditions of employment of the final candidate, if requested to do so.
    • Finally, all candidates are swiftly informed about the outcome of the search


  • Quality
    • Recognized excellence
    • Observe the highest professional and ethical standards
    • Client focus and commitment to quality on every engagement
  • Guarantee
    • If the appointed person leaves the position within 12 months of his or her appointment for any reason, other than personal reasons, the Beech Hill Group will conduct a replacement search without fee.
  • Off Limits
    • In accordance with membership guidelines of the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC), unless Beech Hill Group receives prior approval to do so, we will not recruit anyone directly reporting to the position for which a search has been contracted, or from the client’s institution for a period of one year from the date a contract is signed

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