5 Guidelines for Conducting a Confidential Search

confidential search

Suppose you have a top-level executive on your team who is not performing up to expectations…

And, as the CEO, you have determined that the executive is unable to meet your company’s standard of performance and level of results needed to grow the company. The individual’s effort and desire are there, but at the end of the day, they are not succeeding in meeting their targets and results.

Often it is the sales leader who is not leading their team to the desired sales numbers, growth performance, net margin improvement and market share gain that was mutually set. The board is on you, the sales team is not meeting goals, your competition is gaining market share and your position is in jeopardy. What are you going to do?

Conducting a confidential search to replace the non-performing sales leader may be your best solution. Let me share an example of how M&A Executive Search conducted a confidential search for a VP Sales. We had a client reach out to us who was in the exact scenario as described above.

Here are the 5 Guidelines we employed to ensure confidentiality:

  1. Keep the decision to conduct a search to yourself and perhaps one other trusted advisor on your team – perhaps the CFO or the CHRO. While this may seem obvious, it is essential to ensure.
  2. Prepare a confidential profile for your company and the role – leave out industry, specifics of the team, market, product or service. Describe the position in broad terms. Omit the exact location but give a general idea of the company location, e. the Greater Twin Cities metro area.
  3. Keep the name of your company confidential when sourcing, pursuing, qualifying and interviewing candidates. Once we determine a fit and the hiring company agrees, we ask the candidate to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) to keep your company name private.
  4. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Once the hiring decision is made, it is key to communicate with your team, customers and the departing executive. Timing is critical. Schedule the separation meeting with the sales leader before you talk with your team and customers. Have the new executive start as soon after the termination meeting as possible. A few days or up to a week is optimal.
    • During that time communicate to your sales team, management team and all employees of the change. Then contact all your customers and inform them of the change and who the new sales leader will be. Next, notify all other stakeholders of the change – vendors, suppliers, joint partners or alliances.
  5. Arrange outplacement services in advance for the terminated executive and have them on hand after the separation meeting. Prepare a separation agreement and appropriate severance pay for the executive.

For help in navigating a confidential search for your company, utilizing a retained search, please contact Greg Albrecht or Chandler McCoy at galbrecht@maexecsearch.com or cmccoy@maexecsearch.com

For help in securing a confidential fit with interim, fractional or temporary expert talent, please contact Dave Magnani, at dmagnani@maexecsearch.com

For info about M&A Global Executive Search & Consulting, please see www.maexecsearch.com