Frequently Asked Questions.
You may have a number of questions of how our firm operates, and the guarantees we offer. Therefore, we have compiled the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive on a daily basis and answered them here. However, if there is a question that is not here, please feel free to contact us and ask us personally, we’d love to hear from you.
Our search and consultation process consists of six distinct phases.
Here is a summary:
SCOPING During the scoping phase, we seek to gain a broad understanding of our client organization and its direction as well as a clear focus of the leader it seeks.
RESEARCH. In the research phase, we develop theories of where to find ideal candidates with the skills, philosophies, talents and experience the client seeks and create lists of organizations and experts who may be resources in identifying them.
NETWORKING. As a result of conversations with various individuals during the networking phase, we gain valuable information about the market and similar positions at other organizations, and develop a list of potential candidates.
IDENTIFICATION AND SCREENING. We conduct short conversations with potential candidates to discuss the opportunity and determine those individuals to interview extensively.
INTERVIEWING AND COMPREHENSIVE REFERENCING. We present a pool of candidates, with detailed written analysis of each person and a report of our extensive reference verification.
SELECTION AND NEGOTIATION. Since making a choice among many excellent individuals can be challenging, we support clients in making a decision by offering standards of evaluation and in negotiating compensation.
Throughout the search process, Boulware maintains regular telephone contact to report progress, and provides written status reports. Following the process, we follow-up at six and twelve month intervals to make sure that the placement is a successful one.
For a more detailed description of this six-phase process, Please visit our How We Work page
Answer: We work with a 90-day timeline on most of our searches, or about 13 weeks. At times the process takes a few weeks less, and sometimes the process takes longer. Factors as varied as stakeholder unavailability for interviews, client internal approval processes on position descriptions, changes in the strategic nature of the position itself, and constraints on the interest of potential candidates such as salary and benefit restrictions, or unfavorable publicity about the organization or the location can lengthen the time required to resolve the search process. We refer to our work as a Craft, because it is part Art, part Science. It is always unique, and always tailored to the specific needs of the client.
Answer: Our full-search guarantee protects you: if a Boulware Group hire should leave or be terminated for any professional reason within one year from the date of hire, we reopen the search and replace the person for no additional fee.
Answer: Although we function as a team and consciously seek and utilize input from all staff members, our leader is Christine Boulware. Chris is personally involved in every search, directing our research, stimulating our thought processes, consulting with the client and networking tirelessly every day. From time to time we outsource specific functions of the six phase search process, functions that can productively be performed by highly qualified search professionals working under contract with us. Examples of outsourced work include the writing of position descriptions based on detailed notes from our scoping interviews; research networking calls designed to develop an initial pool of qualified candidates for more intensive scrutiny; reference interviews held with finalists’ peers, subordinates, and supervisors; and background and criminal checks.
Answer: Our standard fee is 1/3 of the actual starting salary of the successful candidate, plus expenses.
We bill the fee in three monthly installments which are based on the estimated mid-point of the salary range anticipated for the position. Our fee would be adjusted at the end of the search to reflect the actual first-year’s cash compensation. We include in the initial invoice a one-time fee of $550 to cover routine administrative overhead expenses. We normally expect payment upon receipt of invoice.
Answer: Christine Boulware will interview you over the phone, and sometimes a personal visit will be required in order to assess your specific need.
We will develop and send to you a written Letter of Agreement in which our terms are specifically detailed. Your signed approval and return of a copy of this document begins the search process, which we then follow according to the six phases of our search methodology.
Answer: Although we have indeed advertised specific searches in any and all of these media, our most typical search is done without such advertisements. We have found that while some clients are legally required to publicly advertise their openings, and others expect such an approach and would be disappointed without it, in the vast majority of searches such advertisements are not productive of outstanding candidates for leadership positions. We are looking for leaders, for successful, highly accomplished achievers; for individuals already experiencing the rewards of top level performance in their respective fields. These potential candidates are rarely already engaged in a process of looking for different work, they are too busy accomplishing good things in their work life to be reading want ads or searching job boards. We understand leadership. And we find leaders in places where other search firms aren’t even looking for them.
Answer: Among our core values is diversity. Since 1990, we have worked to develop diverse candidate pools in every search we undertake. Always, we engage our clients in the process of learning about and evaluating candidates of diverse backgrounds and cultures. We never sacrifice quality for the sake of diversity, and in looking for leadership across boundaries we focus only on excellence. And the result? In over 60% of our 300-plus searches, our clients have selected as the final hire a professional from a diverse culture. Our mission is to find excellence in leadership wherever it may be found. This is not a matter of simply overlooking limiting boundaries — racial, cultural, ethnic, gender, economic, even, sometimes, professional– but of having a perspective on leadership that impels us to search across them for genuine leaders who will meet our clients’ real needs.