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Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I budget for an executive search?

Our standard fee is 25% of the selected candidate’s targeted total cash compensation within the first year of employment. Our fee includes the sourcing, interviewing, in-depth assessment, and a psychometric profiling of each presented candidate. In addition, our fee also includes a post-hire assimilation process as well as a final assessment at least 90 days after the start date. This provides us with an objective review of what is working well, as well as opportunities to better ensure the new leader’s success going forward.

How does Kinsley Sarn identify and qualify candidates?

Contrary to long standing industry myths, proprietary databases are no longer a differentiator. Advancements in technology as well as access to more readily available candidate information prove that it is not enough to merely have access to the right talent. To provide exceptional service, it is vital to have the processes necessary to engage and fully assess potential candidates. 

We differentiate ourselves in the investment of skilled resources and time to develop a detailed candidate profile and then methodically assess each potential candidate’s fit. This ensures our clients only see candidates who are a “perfect fit”. Depending on the complexity of the position, our clients can expect to be able to interview final candidates within 45 days, with most searches closed within 90 to 120 days.

Describe your executive search process.

Our executive search process consists of six phases: assessment and analysis; candidate profile design; candidate targeting and identification; candidate interview and assessment; offer and placement; and new employee transition support. In our role as a trusted extension of our clients, we:

  • Only have our senior executives conduct the search, not junior associates.
  • Utilize proprietary tools to assess the fit and qualifications of all potential candidates prior to client review, saving client time and money.
  • Leverage our assessment skills to confirm the competence and fit of our candidates.
  • Include assimilation services to help the successful candidate make a quick and effective transition.
  • Include a follow-up assessment after a minimum of 90 days to highlight key areas of strength, as well as opportunities for improvement and/or extra attention to ensure goal alignment.
  • Provide an industry leading guarantee for each placement for a period of 12 months.

How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?

With over 45 percent of placed executives failing in their new roles, it is critical to partner with a firm that offers a different result. At Kinsley Sarn, we invest the time to understand your culture, short- and long-term objectives, and traits of your successful leaders to ensure we identify the perfect fit. We are an extension of your team who is intimately involved in each stage of the process — vetting candidates, interviewing finalists, developing the assessments — and then facilitating the assimilation process to better ensure the placed candidate’s success.

Throughout the search process, we provide biweekly progress reports along with regular meetings to ensure alignment and to identify opportunities for improvement. As a result of our experience, proven processes, and detailed involvement in every aspect of the search, we are confident in each presented candidate and are therefore able to provide an industry leading guarantee on our placements. We manage our capacity very carefully to ensure we can offer all our clients the personalized level of service and direct access they expect.

How long has Kinsley Sarn been in business and where do you specialize?

We launched our executive search firm in 2005. Our partners possess diverse corporate backgrounds in Human Resources, Finance, General Management, Sales, Marketing, Business Development, and Operations. Our prior work experiences span multiple industries, cultures, and geographies. With hands-on experience in most functions, and having supported business and functional leaders as HR partners, our expertise is in partnering with our clients to craft a detailed candidate profile and then quickly develop a slate of highly qualified candidates. Although we are based in Indianapolis, we conduct searches throughout the U.S. as well as globally.

What is the guarantee offered by Kinsley Sarn?

If our candidate does not perform satisfactorily and ceases to be employed in any capacity within one year of his/her commencement of employment, we will search for a replacement to fill the original position. The replacement search will commence once we are notified of the termination of the candidate and the reasons for such termination.

How are candidates evaluated and “fit” determined?

The candidate profile we develop in partnership with our client is used as the benchmark to assess the fit and qualifications of all potential candidates. Candidates matching the criteria then complete a validated predictive behavior instrument, participate in an in-depth performance history interview, and authorize us to conduct detailed background and reference checks. This three-step process enables us to confidently predict if the candidate is a potential fit for the client and the target position.

Who specifically will be conducting the candidate interviews and developing the assessment report?

Every search has the direct leadership of Rick Kinsley or Jon Sarn from the initiation through assimilation. One or both will interview each prospective candidate, conduct the psychometric profile, and then develop the final assessment which they will review with the client. Once the search is complete, Rick or Jon will be responsible for delivering New Employee Transition services as described below.

What, if any, support do you include after the hire to ensure fit?

Kinsley Sarn includes the following additional services for each retained search placement: 

  • Critical Success Profile (CSP): using the candidate profile as a foundational document, we conduct additional interviews to prepare a CSP that can provide the new leader with valuable information to accelerate their assimilation and integration.
  • New Leader Assimilation Workshop: This works to support the new hire’s success by assisting with their transition into the organization and team, as well as develop a full understanding of the key deliverables and objectives they will be expected to deliver.
  • Executive Assessment: After approximately 60 to 90 days in the new role, 360-degree feedback is gathered via oral interviews with appropriate respondents. This provides the leader with early feedback on their progress as they assimilate to their position and organizational culture.

If the successful candidate isn’t working out, how would you address such an issue?

Through the use of the CSP and the Executive Assessment, we believe that any potential issues would be identified with specific actions to address. If the candidate continued to miss the mark, we would meet with the client to understand the issues and work with the candidate to create a development plan. If our candidate continues to underperform and ceases to be employed in any capacity within one year of his/her commencement of employment, we will search for a replacement to fill the original position for no additional fee. Please see our Guarantee for full details.

Which locations does Kinsley Sarn Executive Search serve?

While we are based in Indianapolis, many of our clients are located elsewhere. Our ability is not restricted by geography as we have successfully completed searches throughout the U.S. as well as globally.

What types of executive search services do you provide?

In addition to our executive assessment and outplacement services, we provide retained search services for our clients. Unlike contingent search, our retained search provides a detailed and well-researched review of each candidate, ensuring that your company finds the perfect fit. Please visit our Executive Services page for more information.

What types of executive roles do you recruit?

Leveraging our background as former corporate executives with multiple industry experiences, we possess the ability to recruit most executive positions. Our expertise includes partnering with our clients to craft a detailed candidate profile and then quickly develop a slate of highly qualified candidates, whether they are in finance, operations, sales and marketing, human resources, supply chain, business management, or IT. Please see a sampling of positions filled here.

What is the difference between retained search and contingency search? 

Both retained and contingent firms have their advantages as well as disadvantages. Being a retained executive search firm, we deeply understand the value retained search services provide. To gain a more in-depth understanding of the difference between retained search and contingent search, view our Competitive Comparison chart.

What is your executive placement success rate?

Over the last five years, we have a 99% completion rate and a 98% retention of placed candidates.

How long does the executive placement process typically take?

Depending on the complexity of the position, our clients can expect to be able to start interviewing qualified candidates within 45 days, with over 90% of our searches closed within 90 to 120 days.

What do you evaluate in your candidate profile assessment? 

Each candidate is evaluated against the candidate profile that is defined in part by our team, as well as the client, to ensure the client is presented only with candidates who meet their specific needs. Each profile is based on the hard and soft skills, experience, education, and other defining features — both good and bad — of the ideal candidate, as well as current gaps within the company. Using this profile, we evaluate and eliminate candidates before presenting them to the client for final assessment.

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