The old aphorism, “time is money,” is just as meaningful today as it was when Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase in 1748. And it is just one of several reasons that life science companies, including those focused in biotechnology, pharma, diagnostics, genomics, clinical services, medical devices, data analytics, and food sciences, hire executive search firms to recruit their executives, top leaders, and Board members.

Firms like Slone Partners are structured and resourced specifically to manage this process so that their client partners can focus their time and resources on conducting the important and meaningful work that they specialize in. And the economic uncertainties wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic only underscore the critical role played by executive search firms, as outlined in a new Hunt Scanlon research report. There are many factors that affect the calculus to hire executive search firms, but we focus below on the top six.

#1 Expertise

Slone Partners is in the business of delivering the talented leaders that build amazing organizations. For more than 20 years, our company has stood out among all executive search firms as a top performer in identifying and recruiting outstanding executives, top leaders, and Board members to position life sciences companies for continued growth and success. Building broad, deep, and diverse candidate pools by tapping our extraordinary networks and by seeking out individuals who may not even be considering a change is our expertise. From there, we work closely with your search committee to screen, interview, and then select and onboard the hire. The best executive search firms like Slone Partners have developed the internal operational capacities, external networks, and client-partner relationships needed to excel at their mission. They bring the best candidates to the table and help steer the process to the finish line.

#2 Saves Time and Money

Internally-managed executive candidate and Board searches can succeed, but HR departments can become overwhelmed if they are conducting several high-level searches simultaneously, slowing down the process and potentially resulting in the loss of highly-qualified candidates. Life science companies realize the value of top-level talent in a highly-competitive marketplace and the deleterious impacts of long-term vacant positions in the C-suite. Companies utilize the services of executive search firms to manage and facilitate the recruiting process, allowing them to focus their people and resources on research and product development, clinical testing, marketing, regulatory affairs and compliance, and FDA approvals, putting them in a more advantageous position to fulfill their mission, bring products to market, and accrue profits.

#3 Focused Interview Process

Once objectives and timelines are identified, executive search firms manage the executive leadership recruiting process to maximize efficiency and outcomes. That includes the preliminary work of casting the widest net possible to identify a large number of candidates, many of whom might not normally be considered. From there, executive search firms conduct a deep vetting of every candidate based on the criteria determined with the client. A group of candidates is then forwarded to the next round, where the client partner is consulted so as to determine the first group of interviewees. This funneling of candidates is directed by the executive search firms in consultation with their client partners so as to create a very focused and efficient interview process. The client partners choose the hire following a final round of interviews. At that point, Slone Partners assists with the onboarding process. As a service to its client partners throughout the U.S., Slone Partners has partnered with Fortify Leadership Group to offer transition coaching to each of its newly-placed executive leaders, an extremely valuable service that many other executive search firms do not offer.

#4 Access to the Most Talented Leaders

The best executive search firms like Slone Partners develop and maintain a virtual rolodex of thousands of qualified and accomplished leaders in their target industries. We are well acquainted with the talented leaders in our networks, and have corresponded with many of them to gain a nuanced understanding of their experience, skills, and ambitions. Some may be a great cultural fit for one company, but not for another. Through your engagement with Slone Partners, your organization gains an immediate connection to our network. As your executive search firm, we are able to quickly assess those candidates who may be the ideal leader for your organization and to initiate recruitment strategies to attract them before your competition does.

#5 Guidance for New Roles

Seasoned executive search firms are well positioned to guide their client partners through the complex process of creating new roles within their organizations. This guidance includes helping define responsibilities, reporting structures, and compensation arrangements. Executive search firms can also help their client partners craft detailed job descriptions to appeal to the widest pool of potential candidates. By using both traditional and non-traditional recruiting techniques, we can attract people outside traditional silos and networks, providing the client with an ample group of qualified candidates. Executive search firms are particularly adroit at providing guidance for the creation of new roles in the C-suite and elsewhere on the leadership team by drawing upon industry best practices and leveraging language and concepts contained in similar newly-created job outlines developed with other client partners.

#6 Confidentiality

Confidentiality surrounding executive leadership recruitment is critically important for both companies and potential candidates, and executive search firms are mindful of the need to keep the process discrete. The proprietary nature of our relationship with candidates whom we engage is protected by a commitment to confidentiality thereby assuring candidates that their standing with their current companies is not adversely impacted. Discretion throughout the process is essential also so as NOT to tip off an existing executive who is unaware that their company is dissatisfied with their performance and searching for a replacement. As one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, Slone Partners works closely with our client partners to ensure confidentiality throughout the process, from the initial strategic discussions through the candidate screening to the final interviews. Open positions are promoted in a carefully-designed way as to preclude conjecture about the hiring company, and all inquiries are kept confidential.

Securing the most talented leaders for your organization can be daunting, but executive search firms like Slone Partners can provide your team with the strategies, guidance, and support needed to achieve your desired results.