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Executive Recruitment

Search Process Methodology

The ELS Group's approach to all executive searches is disciplined and comprehensive. We spend quality time with our clients getting to know their organizations, and creating, through a collaborative process, a profile of the ideal candidate. We employ a ten step process that emphasizes in-depth reference checking of candidates along with a thoughtful analysis of the appropriate fit of the client and the candidate. Many of our clients and past candidates are part of our extended network. Thus, they share our goal of working to strengthen the talent pool of higher education leadership and help us to identify those individuals who are ready to assume the role of upper and mid-level leadership. They know our capacity to match the individual to the job is exceptional and that our searches attract the best possible candidates.

1. Search Approach

  • We meet with the hiring authority, and college constituent groups to understand the culture of the organization and to understand the attributes needed for the position.
  • ELS consultants spend considerable time at the outset of the search learning about the college and helping the Search Committee to shape and define concrete objectives for the position.

 2. Announcement Brochure

  • We work collaboratively with the client to shape the job description that outlines not only the duties, required professional experience, reporting relationships, but also the challenges the candidate will face once selected.
  • This announcement guides the application assessment, the Search Committee’s selection criteria, and is the ethical and legal blueprint for the selection process.
  • We assist with the organization, wording, design, and distribution of the announcement brochure.

3. Talent Search

  • We cast a wide net to assemble a diverse pool of candidates, who possess the talent and experience to succeed in this position through, advertising media, national databases, our proprietary database, and associations.
  • Through the use of our national network and sophisticated software capabilities, we mail personalized letters signed by the hiring authority to hundreds of prospective candidates throughout the United States.
  • We have a reputation for building the large pools of experienced leaders from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

 4. Screening

  • ELS consultants manage the pool of applicants in accordance with the client’s policies and procedures.
  • We are willing to preview the applications and categorize them into three tiers.

 5. Interview Process

  • ELS consultants participate in the interviewing process at every level lending advice as needed, communicate  progress to the hiring authority, and provide any necessary guidance.
  • We provide customer service to candidates who are selected to be interviewed.
  • We work closely with the candidates in each round up to and including the final selection by providing them with information regarding the organization, answering personal questions, and affirming the candidates’ intentions regarding the position.

6. Background/Reference Checks

  • ELS consultants contact many individuals, who are or have been supervisors, direct reports, and peers in the candidate’s last two positions.
  • Background inquires are made with the Department of Justice, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and credit agencies.
  • A comprehensive written report of the findings is presented to the hiring authority or representative.

7. Candidate’s Self Assessment


We recommend that each finalist take a 45 minute on-line self assessment questionnaire, The Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ). This assessment is used to identify the candidate’s preferred leadership and communication styles.  It is a proven technique designed and reviewed by the Assessment Technology Group (ATG), a consultant firm affiliated with the ELS Group.  ATG specializes in a scientific approach to identifying candidates for positions that are most compatible with their skills and personality. A very thorough written report on the management styles of each finalist is presented to the hiring authority before the final interview.


8. Final Interview

  • ELS Consultants remain active through the final phase of the search, and assist the Administration in making well-informed decisions.
  • We stay in close contact with the finalists to address their questions and concerns.
  • We provide support for college representatives visits to the finalists’ work sites.
  • We assist with scheduling public forums, interview schedules, and candidate visits.


9. Negotiations

  • The ELS principal consultant will facilitate negotiations between the hiring authority and the selectee if desired.

10. Close Out

    • All applicants are informed of the status of their applications.
    • Transitional training and assistance is available with our highly experienced educational leaders.

submit your resume Looking for leadership position in a public education institution? ELS casts a wide net to assemble a pool that has both depth and breadth of experience needed to succeed in leadership positions.

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