• Advise on compensation issues and comparative salary data
  • Conduct site visit and complete Stakeholder interviews/briefings to understand organizational culture and identify challenges and opportunities
  • Complete Position Description & Candidate Specifications and finalize Project Strategy & Plan informed by Stakeholder interviews
  • Develop Search Timeline, including outlining internal players/process for vetting candidates


  • Completed Stakeholder Briefings
  • Recruitment Profile (Job Description/Candidate Specifications)
  • Search Strategy/Research Plan
  • Project Timeline


Outreach and Candidate Development

  • Develop and submit for approval a plan and budget for outreach activities, including any recommended job postings or announcements
  • Conduct original research and outreach efforts (both sourcing and candidate development) to targeted individuals and organizations
  • Receive and screen all resumes, regardless of source (posting, research, referral, etc.)
  • Manage communication with and tracking of applicants
  • Write and deliver a weekly Status Report which provides a snap shot of the prospect pipeline and basic career information on Candidates
  • Conduct regular updates with appropriate hiring executives or Search Committee


  • Recommendations & Proposed Budget for Postings
  • Weekly Status Reports
  • Summary Candidate Info
  • Regular Check Ins with Hiring Manager/Search Committee


Candidate Evaluation

  • Interview and evaluate all potential candidates in face-to-face or Skype interviews
  • Present Candidate Report (including resume and analysis) on each recommended candidate
  • Review of all potential Candidates with Hiring Manager or Search Committee to select a group of Preferred Candidates to invite for interviews
  • Facilitate preliminary and final selection interviews with Preferred Candidates
  • Develop and distribute evaluation tools such as Scoring Matrix, Forced Ranking, Sample Questions, Critical Success Factors, etc. as needed
  • Lead discussion and facilitate feedback that leads to selection of Final Candidate(s)
  • Advise on structure of Offer for Selected Candidate


  • Candidate Reports (Career History, Compensation, Strengths & Weaknesses)
  • Slate of Vetted, Semi-Finalist Candidates
  • Summary Comparison of Relative Strengths & Weaknesses of all
  • Semi-Finalists
  • Possible Interview Questions/Evaluation Tools for Search Committee to use in Interviews


Close Out

  • Complete thorough reference checks and, if desired, commercial background/security screening on Final Candidate(s)
  • Negotiate and close Candidate on terms of Offer
  • Send personal letter to all Candidates, Prospects, and References to advise on outcome of search
  • Advise on transition plan
  • Check in formally with Candidate and Executive Team throughout the first year


  • Finalized Offer Letter and Negotiation of Terms
  • Thorough Professional Reference Checking
  • Background/Security Screening (if desired)
  • Transition Plan with timeline and individual accountabilities
  • Six-month success guarantee


How long will this search take?

While it’s impossible to say for sure, an executive leadership search generally takes 5 to 6 months from start to signed offer of employment with the successful candidate, without any unusual challenges.  Of course, the length of time a candidate needs to transition from their current employment and/or relocate varies from candidate to candidate and can add a bit of time to the process. Curiously though, the variable that most impacts the length of a search is the availability of the Search Committee to meet, interview, and evaluate candidates.

What if we identify potential candidates on our own?

All referrals/introductions should be turned over to your search team so that all candidates go through a consistent and equitable evaluation process.  Identifying potential candidates is an important, but not nearly the only, step of a retained search process.  Vetting, evaluating, managing, stewarding, and referencing are all labor intensive processes that require some specific skills and tools. So once you’ve selected us as your search partners, we would ask that you turn over the heavy lifting of candidate management to us – regardless the source of that candidate.

Do you offer any fee accomodations?

One of the pricing innovations implemented by KCESG is an uncoupling of the search fee from the hired candidate’s compensation. Rather than the standard “one third of the hired candidate’s compensation” – which means an organization paying an executive $300,000 in salary would pay twice as much in fees as an organization paying $150,000 even though the work required is almost identical – we charge a flat project fee that is indexed to an organization’s annual revenue budget.

Do you offer a la carte or unbundled search services?

We do not. We work with clients on a retained fee basis only. And because we offer a performance guarantee as part of our standard search agreement, we do not outsource portions of the search process to others. The project fee assumes a certain level of commitment/involvement from the Search Committee, but also that we will provide leadership and direction for the whole process.