Frequently asked questions by search firm clients

Questions Frequently Asked by Clients


Are you primarily a Minnesota focused search firm or do you conduct searches outside of Minnesota?
We are a Minneapolis founded and based search firm and have actually grown to become one of the top search firms founded in Minnesota. Most of our searches are completed right here in the greater Twin Cities metro area and within the state of Minnesota. We have an expanded geographic search capability and footprint developed since 2005 as we began helping a number of our Minneapolis and St. Paul clients with their expansion especially into East Coast/Atlantic Coast markets. We have a satellite office at the northern tip of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland that supports frequent Midwest-to-East search engagements. Our search team includes: MN based Sales Recruiters, MN based Executive Recruiters, MN based Recruiting Solutions Consultants, MD based Sales Recruiters, MD based Executive Recruiters and an MD based recruitment project team .

What do you do, and how do you do it?
We specialize in direct, “permanent” placement of sales and executive talent for our corporate clients. We rely on our extensive networks of executives and sales professionals and we maintain relationships with thousands of business professionals in the Minneapolis and St. Paul marketplace. Our candidates rely on our reputation, credibility, confidentiality and integrity, placing their trust in us as they confidentially explore career moves. While our candidates do not compensate us in any way, we have a strong reciprocal working trust with the high-caliber candidates we represent.

The key to our services is our “direct” recruiting methodology:

  • We do not post our searches on traditional Job Boards including Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice and other “big board” career resources. Our searches do not appear on Job Board Aggregators such as Our strength is our direct recruiting methodology powered by 20+ years of real professional relationships, a broad deep professional network and access with trust in the talent community.
  • We are not resume harvesters and processors. Instead, we take the labor-intensive route necessary to reach embedded talent. We directly recruit relevant, currently employed, successful professionals who meet the selection criteria of our clients. We work hard to identify prospective candidates and to compel and attract the game-changers.
  • We do not “sell” candidates. We position ourselves as critical talent analysts and take the position of a hiring manager
  • We are not dealing with job seeking applicants, and we are not in the business of selling an inventory of irrelevant or questionable performers. Our focus is on searching for and finding the right people. Direct recruiting vs. vetting job seeking applicants makes all the difference. It is a much more labor-intensive process on our end but it is the basis of our service differential and reputation for results.
  • All of our attention is devoted to our recruiting efforts and process support, not to selling our services.
  • About 90% of our business comes to us via executive referrals, recommendations and repeat clients. The other 10% is the result of new client inquiries.
  • We work exclusively, urgently and closely with our clients to hit hiring deadlines.
  • We work for, and in the best interests of, our clients.

Do you conduct pre-employment assessment of candidates? If so, what type of testing or assessments do you use?
Because many of our clients subscribe to their own pre-employment testing resources, we do not provide pre-employment testing unless specifically requested before engaging the search. We are prepared to recommend testing resources or provide testing including executive testing, sales aptitude testing and personality surveys for our clients.

We do conduct professional reference checks prior to offers being made as part of our search service package. Our Checkpoint Reference™ process is a unique, proprietary process developed to obtain directly relevant information from informed and unbiased supervisors, clients and colleagues.

What type of interview process do you go put candidates through? How many interviews do you conduct before submitting a candidate?
Our PinPoint Search™ methodology involves a thorough, best-practices-based vetting process in order to obtain an accurate perspective on the skill, experience, capability, performance history, career orientation, drive, and preparedness to meet our clients’ selection criteria. Our PinPoint Scorecard™ records the results of our vetting process and provides a reliable first-level assessment of  competency, capability, compatibility, commitment,  character, culture fit and compensation viability. We develop a full prospective candidate profile and decide to submit the candidate for client review or end conversations.

We employ a combined practical, situational and behavioral interview method.  By asking specific questions and eliciting responses to statements, we form a picture of skill, experience and demonstrated performance taken from relevant work situations. Screening takes place in both telephone interviews and face-to-face or video conference interviews with prospective candidates.

Is there a limit to how many candidates you will submit to a client?
We are capable of providing a broad pool of candidates in most searches and, unless contracted differently, we do not place a specific limit on the number of candidates we will submit.

What is your fee structure?
Fees are quoted based on the position, job requirements, selection criteria, compensation and our working relationship [retained, engaged, contingency].

What is the difference between the “retained” and “contingency” search models?
Refer to Fees and Working Relationships for an explanation of the difference.

What is your time frame from recruiting to an actual hire?
We will be able to estimate this for you in our first exploratory call or meeting with you. Our experience ranges from having the right candidate identified within minutes of receiving a search assignment to working for weeks to satisfy a “needle in the haystack’ requirement. The time frame from recruiting to an actual hire depends on a number of factors, including: talent pool scarcity, selection criteria, industry domain specificity, candidate identification timing, client response time, interview timing, number of interviews, candidate decision cycle and other process time variables. Identification of right-fit candidates can happen very quickly. We often have soon-to-become finalist candidates identified within 1-9 days of launching a search. In the unlikely event that candidate identification challenges occur, we inform our client early in the search process and recalibrate as needed.