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Celebrating Our 25th Anniversary

We have reached a very exciting milestone here at Abeln, Magy, Underberg & Associates: We are proud to be celebrating 25 years in business!

The idea to establish the firm came about in 1996. Then business partners at Career Dynamics (a career management consulting firm), Ken and Mary Abeln and I reassessed how we wanted to spend our time. Our goal: a smaller firm - allowing us to work more directly with clients, be more accessible and be deeply involved with each project. We have remained a small, yet prominent, executive recruiting team, which allows us to completely invest in each search we take on. 

Feeling fortunate each day

It is a privilege to have helped so many great organizations find the right people for their leadership teams!  And we look forward to helping many more! 

  • Clients: Thank you for letting us serve you. 
  • Coworkers: Thank you for being a part of this amazing team (and putting up with me). 
  • Supporters (referral sources, external consultants): Thank you for the ways in which you endorse and support us. 

What 25 years of executive recruiting has taught us

As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations, we have collated 25 excerpts from our past blog posts. The list, “What 25 years of executive recruiting has taught us,” represents some of the lessons we have learned and observations we have made over the years. It covers topics such as employee engagement, ethics, executive recruiting, interview considerations, trends and more. The first ten excerpts are listed below. (We will provide the remaining 15 throughout October.)  We hope you enjoy the list and find it useful!    

Best wishes,  

David Magy

What 25 years of executive recruiting has taught us 

  1. Search firms you are considering working with should be open to answering questions about search ethics. Search ethics topics include: off-limits, conflicting searches; dual processing of candidates; confidentiality; and reference and credential checking.  
  2. When you see what you would like in a candidate, make the decision to pursue them. If a candidate is talking with us as a search firm (and you as the prospective employer), they will take the next call as well. Waiting weeks to make a decision is no longer an option.  As we are known to say, “calendars kill candidates.”  
  3. Do not be afraid to hire ahead of need. If you have multiple similar openings, consider talent-scouting, assuring you have a consistent presence in the (recruiting) marketplace. Don’t wait for turnover or the approval of an additional headcount. Make the move when talent is presented.   
  4. While there are certainly short-term issues that need to be considered when developing succession planning programs, the best and most successful programs start with business objectives. Most organizations have some sort of annual strategic planning session or process. This is the time to incorporate succession planning practices.
  5. Recruiting is branding. So is retention. Create an "extreme" employee value proposition - the answer to the question, “why do I want to work here?”
  6. According to most studies, a significant portion of employee motivation comes from (1) recognition, (2) praise and (3) feedback.
  7. If any Internal politics exist at an organization, these should be reconciled before initiating a leadership search.
  8. While we need people with the right experience as candidates, the successful person for our clients will fit them culturally.  
  9. Interview questions should be behaviorally based - examining past and present behaviors: Past Performance (or behavior) in the same or similar work is the single most reliable predictor of future performance (or behavior) in a given job.
  10. Two conversations that should be had towards the beginning of an initial discussion with a candidate. Compensation: After letting the candidate know the salary, salary range and/or other elements of the compensation package of a role, are they still interested in learning more? Location: If the successful candidate will be required to attend the company location for all or any amount of time, are they open to that location and time spent traveling? If these two topics are not addressed, time and energy might be lost on both sides.