Advocate Search Group utilizes a “one-point-of-contact” approach when engaged in a search with our client universities with Academic Medicine and Health Science programs (Nursing, Allied Health, Medical, Public Health, Pharmacy, Dentistry…). One consultant oversees the entire search, from beginning to end, and is always available to the client and candidates throughout the life-cycle of the project. The consultant manages a team of two to six recruiters, researchers and sourcers to develop a pool of 3-6 highly qualified candidates for each search.
Our retained search process includes the exact same steps and rigor you will find at any large search firm, without many of the common pain points. We move swiftly and knowledgeably through our process, ensuring your satisfaction and the exact right placement for your Health Science programs.
Holding Launch Meetings – These meetings often include key stakeholders, members of the senior administrative team, Chief Human Resources Officer, peers, and subordinates. To ensure a successful outcome, Advocate Search Group will spend a considerable amount of upfront time with its clients, interviewing the key stakeholders about the role, getting to know the culture of the institution, learning the makeup and bench strength of the existing team and identifying which competencies and styles will be most successful for the placement. These meetings enable Advocate Search Group to gather important information about the requirements of the role. Stakeholder investment requires a time commitment on the part of the client and Advocate Search Group – both parties must be willing to engage.
Creating Position & Candidate Specifications – After the Launch Meetings are completed, Advocate Search Group drafts a description of the position, detailing the reporting relationships, responsibilities, and objectives. The candidate specification details core competencies, preferred experience, and soft skills — the personal qualities that are sought in the ideal candidate. The document serves as a touchstone, defining all the requirements of the role, preventing searches from veering off course. Once the client approves the document, it is used as a marketing tool with candidates. The creation of a credible and compelling marketing document is critical for selling the opportunity. Advocate Search Group’s team has decades of experience crafting persuasive position descriptions for your executive leadership positions. Every position description is tailored for individual clients and includes key information from the Launch Meetings phase.
Search Roadmap – Based on the information shared with us, Advocate Search Group will create a suggested “roadmap” for the search, which will include target profiles and institutions that are most likely to yield successful candidates. Universities and colleges that are off-limits are also delineated — out of which Advocate Search Group will not recruit. The Roadmap will be shared with and approved by the client before outreach begins so that there is universal agreement on where we should focus our efforts. A strong commitment to diversity is embedded in every search we conduct.
Research and Candidate Development – Because Advocate Search Group limits the number of engagements, we take on at any one time, we are in a unique position to move much more nimbly than most of our competitors. Leveraging the information gathered from the first three steps in our search process, the search team conducts original research to identify and profile ideal candidates. Advocate Search Group will also query our own Health Sciences database of 255,000 educators and administrators and engage our 42,857 social media followers (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) to yield prospective candidates. The search team contacts prospective candidates to determine whether they meet the primary requirements of the role and gather details on the candidate’s motivations — what it would take for that candidate to make a move to a new university. Three weeks into the Research and Candidate Development phase, we will have a Calibration Call to share developing profiles with you and get your reaction. This allows us to course-correct early if needed. We will also share honest and unfiltered market feedback with clients so that you always know exactly what we know.
Candidate Presentation – Whenever possible we pre-reference candidates. We take great care not to jeopardize a candidate’s confidentiality when we verify past performance and essential soft skills. Those candidates that are not a fit are closed out. Working closely with the client, the list is refined to a slate of 3 to 6 strong contenders for the client to interview. Candidates can be presented as a “group” or on an individual rolling basis as they are vetted – based on client preference. For those candidates we present to the client, we prepare a written Candidate Profile, a report that details the candidate’s education, career history, presentations, honors, and awards as well as an analysis and appraisal of the candidate strengths and weaknesses and appropriateness for the position. The report also highlights any key motivators, issues, and deal-making details essential to closing the candidate
Progress Calls – Frequent 2-way communication is critical in a true partnership. Advocate Search Group requires that the client commits to weekly or bi-weekly calls to keep active candidates engaged and the search process generally on target.
Mid-point Review – Unlike most firms which only seek feedback at the conclusion of the search, Advocate Search Group also asks each of our clients to give us a Mid-point Review, to help us understand how we can better serve them and to ensure that we are not just meeting, but exceeding, expectations.
Scheduling Client and Candidate Interviews – Client interviews of the candidates scheduled to winnow selection down to the two or three finalists. Those that are eliminated, are closed out.
Checking References – As a finalist(s) candidate emerges, formal referencing begins, supplemented by the early-stage referencing mentioned above. The search team makes every effort to ensure discretion and confidentiality. Background checks and degree verifications are performed. Truly informative referencing is one of our hallmarks, and it is only possible because of the deep roots Advocate Search Group has in the Health Sciences higher education communities. We are able to get at the heart of what a candidate is like to work with, what motivates him/her, what the possibilities are, and what the risks are. Our final Reference Reports are above all else credible and factual – our reputation depends on it.
Extending the Offer – We will work closely with our client and the candidate to set and manage appropriate offer expectations and assist with all facets of a candidate’s decision-making process (relocation/housing, spousal/family concerns, opportunities for the future, etc.).
Placement Follow-through – Research tells us that the candidate’s first 60 days are the most critical for long-term success, and a wrong step can quickly become a major roadblock. Once our placements are on board, Advocate Search Group will have regular check-ins with the client and the candidate in an effort to provide unvarnished feedback and act as a helpful onboarding and cultural advisor.
Advocate Search Group’s search process is based on years of listening to what is important to our clients and our candidates, refining each step over the course of over one thousand successful university Health Sciences searches. Our processes are time-tested, proven, and ensures 100% success. That’s one of the reasons our clients keep coming back.