CEO candidates DO NOT like serious game-changing surprises with new jobs, especially those that surface AFTER they have accepted the position and relocated their family.
One rhetorical question I frequently hear: “The recruiter didn’t know or they chose not to tell me. No one on the board of management team disclosed it. How was I to know”?
Not to be glib, but you have to ask the tough questions. If you are kicked out of a search for being thorough, for asking questions that the hiring authority may not want to answer, then consider it a blessing. Not getting a potentially bad job is nothing to be upset about.
Another question I am frequently asked, one that is almost always a follow-up to the first: “What should I have done differently?”
While many recruiting organizations are transparent, some are not. As my Grandmother Jackson loved to say, “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is and you should be honest with yourself when you feel doubt.” In other words, if there is something bad lurking under the surface that has not been disclosed, no amount of hope or wishing for the best will make it go away, and that includes how much you want the job.
For the record, at JohnGSelf + Partners we research our clients through in-depth due diligence site visits. If we sense that there is an issue we will ask the direct questions and will disclose our findings. We cannot catch everything but over the years we have earned a reputation with our clients and candidates for our thoroughness. If we do find an underlying material issue that we want to insert into the Position Prospectus and the client resists, my response is always the same, “Given the high cost of executive turnover, don’t you think this will be the least embarrassing and least costly time for the candidate?”
If our Firm is not involved in the engagement, and as a candidate you are struggling to find real insights in the 12-page position summary most national firms provide, then here are three strategies to consider:
© 2021 John Gregory Self