Friday, November 01, 2013

Executing a Successful Talent Acquisition Process

A Successful Recruiting Process

On Friday October 4, the CEO of an information security consulting firm called to ask for my help in finding a sales professional who could help this 20+ year old firm grow to the next level.  Recognizing that my time and expertise has value, the CEO asked me what I would need to get her search started. I didn't have to ask her for anything.

During this initial call on October 4, I worked closely with the CEO to not only understand what she was looking for in a candidate but to understand what kinds of hires she’d made in the past that worked and what kinds of hires did not work.  On this initial call, we agreed to a step-by-step executable process a candidate would go through once I found a worthy candidate. 
In other words, we built a process designed to result in success.  Most companies do not do this.

One more thing, the CEO made a few more calls on October 4, 2013.  She called on several of my references.  My references are in no way trained to help me win business.  To the contrary, my references are asked to tell anyone who calls them exactly who I am, what I do, how I do what I do, what I'm great at and what I'm not so great at.  

A CEO’s Words Match a CEO’s Actions

On Tuesday October 8, the engagement fee promised to me by the CEO on Friday October 4 arrived.  For me, this was the first step towards building trust with my CEO client.  She followed through on her words with appropriate actions.  Now it was my turn to follow through on my words with appropriate actions.

On Tuesday October 8, I wrote up a job description based on the detailed conversation I’d shared with the CEO on Friday October 4 and got the search rolling that day.

One week after October 8, I delivered one resume of a fully interviewed candidate to my CEO client.  Over the next couple of weeks, the phone and face-to-face interview process progressed at an intelligent pace with no breaks in communication at any time.

The CEO called on me several times during the search process to discuss possibilities, pros and cons of the candidate I’d presented and to talk through interview strategy.

It wasn’t a manipulative interview strategy that this CEO was searching for.  Rather, she wanted to be sure she was doing everything she could to ask the right questions to evaluate the sales candidate from multiple angles.  I partnered with the CEO to not only bring an appropriate candidate to her but to also help the CEO properly evaluate the candidate through every step of the interview process.

There was no incentive on my part here to place the wrong person.  It’s really simple.  If I placed the right person, my phone would ring again and again down the road once the sales person has sold future business. I’d be called on to find additional security consultants to join this stable but growing company’s staff. 

Helping other people to reach their goals and having the opportunity to build things with people I trust.  That’s the picture I saw.  Does it get any better than that professional speaking?

Success in 4 Weeks

I was hired to solve a problem.  The problem was that the CEO of this 20+ year successful consulting firm knows how to deliver outstanding security consulting services.  She does not know how to find outstanding sales talent.  

What was initially a problem for the CEO turned into an opportunity for me, the CEO and the sales professional when I introduced the two parties to one another.   After only sending one resume to my CEO client, on Thursday October 31, an offer was presented and the job was accepted. 

As is common in some professions, when a sales professional announces that they’re ready to move on, they’re instantly shown the door regardless of how much they’re loved or how well they've produced.  This was the case for the candidate I recruited.

The candidate for this information security professional services sales role started his new job today, Friday November 1, 2013.  Less than 31 days from start-to-finish to Success!


When you see jobs floating around on the Internet for many months or even a year or longer or even when you find jobs sitting on the Security Jobs page of, you can assume that there is something broken in the recruiting process.

If you’re still reading, you’ve just read a success story.  I’ll let you determine whether it is the recruiter’s process or the company’s lack of process that causes recruiting efforts to not work when jobs are open for month and months.

This is not the first time I’ve worked directly with a visionary CEO who has a problem to solve and I’ve turned the problem into a revenue generating opportunity with the first resume I’ve presented.

The point is that talent acquisition is a process, not an event.  Some people understand that a process to acquire talent has many moving parts.  They understand that acquiring talents is much different than acquiring computer monitors.  People have emotions, needs and expectations.  Computer monitors have no emotions, needs or expectations.

If your company is ready to put a proven process in place for identifying, attracting and acquiring talent, I’d like to help you.

Maybe you don't have budget to pay search fees.  That's okay with me.  You can hire me to help you build a talent acquisition process that produces wins.'s Security Recruiter Blog