by Mitch Golob
When I started my research firm in the year 2000, the concept was simple: Provide a level of client service that was prevalent at executive search firms but was absent among name generation research providers. When I was at Heidrick & Struggles, I saw a lack of professionalism and a lack of quality of the results provided by “name gen” firms so I understood there to be a better way. I took a page out of the Heidrick & Struggles playbook to “own the work” we do, making sure our communications were frequent and clear, our research was accurate, and our results were guaranteed. That approach has served us well over the years. However, what we provided then and what we are able to develop for our clients now has evolved dramatically over time.
Yes, the core fundamentals of our offerings have remained constant. We verify via each and every name and all aspects of the data we provide with at least two independent sources at each company we target. But what used to be name, title, company, and location, now includes a great deal more information that we develop. Our clients have come to expect that we can confirm to whom these individuals report, understand their scopes of responsibility, obtain their direct reports, provide contact details including (but not limited to) direct dial and mobile numbers, business and personal emails, diversity status, language capabilities, and beyond. We’ve been proud to step up to our clients’ challenges to deliver this level of detail in the research we provide. In fact, we changed what we call this service – from Name Gen to Recruiting Research, focusing on the goal of providing research intelligence to our recruiter clients.
In this day and age of LinkedIn, anyone can put together a contact list of names. We understand that our clients are already using databases and platforms like LinkedIn to help them identify potential candidates. Our approach has been to develop our Recruiting Research service into a seamless offering that will fill in the gaps that come from simply pulling a name off of a website. Do you need to know how many direct reports that individual has? And the names and titles of those reports? Are you looking for someone who manages a P&L of at least $500 million in revenue? Do you need Mandarin speaking candidates only? We customize our research strategy to directly address your specific requests in order to provide the most targeted results. Frankly, your time is better spent on the phone screening qualified and interested candidates.
We are also quite proud of our ability to go beyond traditional “name gen” in the areas of competitive intelligence and organizational chart development. One of our large retail clients asked us to provide the structure of the merchandising function at their biggest competitor. We were able to map out the entire function, providing the reporting structure for multiple levels, and obtaining team size and the number of reports to each leader. The applications for our research now go well beyond filling a single position, but we can still address those needs with experience and professionalism too.
We have reimagined what name generation research can include over the last two decades and we look forward to innovating more recruiting solutions for our clients during the next two decades…!
Mitch Golob is the President and Founder of Corporate Navigators, leading the company since its inception. He is a public speaker and “recruiting research evangelist”, promoting the value of targeted candidate identification throughout the search industry.