Karla Mihm & Associates
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Our Search Process
Karla Mihm & Associates accepts only a limited number of executive searches for a select group of companies, thus assuring that our clients receive maximum attention and full market access. Our approach has been refined over more than 10 years of experience and guarantees the best results for our clients. Each search strategy is customized, addressing the specific needs of the individual client. Our thorough, systematic search process is typically divided into the following phases:

Defining Your Needs

We spend time with the company stakeholders to understand the business model, the culture, the competitive market, the position and together develop the key selection criteria for the ideal candidate.

Position Specification

From our in-depth conversations and materials provided by the client, we develop a written position specification. This document must be well-written and compelling, explaining the company, the responsibilities and challenges of the position, as well as the qualifications for the ideal candidate – including experience, core competencies, personal style and education. Upon client approval, this document will be used in the marketplace with our sources and prospective candidates.

Search Strategy

We develop a search strategy with our client – covering targeted industries, companies, positions and geographies. We use all of our resources to develop a deep and appropriate candidate pool, including industry sources, past candidates, internal database and market research. We also develop and agree together on a list of key qualifiers – the 4 to 5 key characteristics the candidate must possess to be considered a candidate for the search.

Candidate Identification, Evaluation and Phone Interview

The search strategy is essential to developing our search road map – listing targeted companies and the sources/prospects within those organizations. We employ a disciplined and systematic contact process to ensure these targeted individuals are contacted, educated about the company and opportunity, determine an individual’s qualifications and then assess interest level. We provide our clients with weekly or bi-weekly status reports showing our contacts and including a prospective candidate’s bio and reaction to the opportunity. Working together in an interactive process, we can hone in on the candidates who meet your criteria and those who do not.

Personal Interview

Once we determine that a prospect meets the candidate profile, Karla Mihm & Associates will thoroughly evaluate his/her qualifications via an in-depth personal interview. Candidates are assessed vis-à-vis the key qualifiers previously identified. The most outstanding candidates will be presented to the client. A comprehensive written assessment will be sent to the client detailing the candidates’ individual strengths and weaknesses with respect to the position. The client will then personally interview the candidate. We will rank all candidates against the key qualifies and compare candidates on these items.

Assisting in the Negotiation of Final Offer and Terms

At this critical juncture of the search, Karla Mihm & Associates will be actively involved in the negotiation process. Both clients and candidates have a lot at stake, and negotiating a win-win outcome is key to a lasting relationship. Our goal is to guide both parties through sensitive compensation issues while keeping the process smooth, candid, and positive.

Conducting In-Depth Reference Check on the Finalist

A 360 ° reference check will be performed and a detailed report will be prepared on the finalist. When conducting our references, we co-structure our conversations along the “key qualifiers.”

Post-Search Follow-Up with our Client and the Successful Candidate

In order to assure a smooth integration of the selected candidate into the client’s organization, Karla Mihm & Associates will maintain on-going communications with both parties during the initial few months of their employment.