Blaise Pascal, Candidate Parades, and Your Next Hire

Blaise Pascal, Candidate Parades, and Your Next Hire

Category : 2017

What do 17th century mathematician Blaise Pascal and your next executive search have in common? Probability. Pascal created a perfect analogy for an effective search process when he stated:

Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter.

Pascal knew that time and targeted effort are required early in any process to separate a desired outcome from the world of random possibilities, to the narrow scope of a desired result.

  • The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found it may cost up to five times a wrong hire’s annual salary to replace the person. The higher the position and the longer the tenure, the more it costs to refill a role.
  • A U.S. based manufacturing company reported to PWC that turnover in one executive role, after just two years, cost the firm $2.5 million.

While considering a large candidate pool and executing an extensive search process sounds like a solid strategy for finding the best talent, this strategy carries significant risk:

  • The time required to narrow a search from a large candidate pool to one person creates a needlessly long process during which in-demand leaders lose interest and take other positions.
  • Extended searches require that senior leaders invest large amounts of time away from other priorities.
  • As a team reviews many candidates, differentiation is lost in the sea of options.
  • An extended search process makes a company look administrative-heavy and difficult to work with-damaging the brand.

Choosing a boutique executive search firm ensures the investment made by a hiring company is focused on quickly reviewing and narrowing the number of potential candidates, so executive interviewing time is invested in the highly-qualified few, not a parade of potentials. A high quality boutique firm like Leapfrog Executive Search will invest deeply – before beginning the search – in understanding the business, the unique culture, and the key people in the process, aggressively driving the search to a timely completion. Often this means we present fewer, but more targeted . . . and ultimately, more successful candidates.

Peter Drucker once commented, “Of all the decisions an executive makes, none are as important as the decision about people because they ultimately determine the performance capacity of the organization.” Talent investments determine your company’s future. Engaging a firm like Leapfrog Executive Search ensures your investment is applied to finding the best fit in the most efficient way. Your attention stays focused on engaging the right talent and growing your business, not on a parade of second tier candidates.