We were recently engaged by a public company to lead a national search for its next General Counsel. We launched the search in October and had an offer and acceptance before New Years. Extraordinary and beyond what you can expect when you have critical hires for your law department? Not at all.
Here’s how we partnered with the company and achieved success. First, we met in person with executive leadership including the CEO to understand the precise scope of the role, management’s vision of the ideal candidate, and company culture. We explained that as a search partner, the company would be accessing our two decades of relationships, intimate knowledge of the best candidates, insights into their careers, what motivates them and ultimately who would be the best all around fit for the role and the company. (And who would be excited about the role and likely to accept an offer) We are very selective when evaluating candidates and we advised our client that we expected to present 4 -6 General Counsel candidates for their consideration at most.
Garnering and synthesizing the information and insights provided to us by the company, we launched our targeted search efforts and communicated with General Counsel that we knew and who we expected would be highly qualified and highly interested in the role. Over a short period of time we narrowed the field and ultimately presented only four General Counsel candidates to our client. After initial interviews, two candidates were viewed by the company as excellent fits in all respects. The executive management team deliberated and reached a consensus on their top candidate.
Detailed discussions about compensation occurred early in the search process with both the company and the candidate so that we were able to establish alignment between the compensation parameters set by the company and the compensation expectations of the candidate. In this way, we were able to understand the nuances of the compensation components and motivating factors. In conducting transparent and detailed conversations, we were able to navigate to a successful compensation package that met the requirements of both parties. An agreement that recognizes and motivates both parties’ values and needs sets the on-boarding transition up for success.
Your search for your next critical hire in your law department can and should be an engaging, dynamic, and energizing undertaking for you and members of your senior team. You can strive for success by:
- Engaging a trusted search partner with access to top legal talent and intimate knowledge and familiarity with that talent
- Establishing a clearly defined role, securing buy in from key stakeholders and imparting insight into your organization’s culture
- Establishing a transparent and streamlined process for you and your colleagues to meet and evaluate lawyer candidates
- Committing to a consensus building process focused on hiring the best talent who fits best with your organization
- Building on synergies, values and motivators to position for a successful on-boarding process