I would like to share an experience I had at the beginning of my career in the Search Industry. The Search Firm I had joined was part of a bigger group of companies which offered all kinds of HR-related services. I had spent the first day on the job by saying hello to everyone, getting introduced. I was a newbie if there ever was one.
On my second day, I was to attend a client meeting with a consultant in one of the other companies in the group. Only to listen, observe and learn, or so I thought. But, when introducing me to the client, the consultant, to my surprise, said, “This is Bob Olin from our Executive Search Firm. Why don't you Bob give a short presentation about your Search Services? I am sure this would interest the client.”
Outwards, I was smiling, but inside I thought “You moron, this is my second day on the job. I know nothing about nothing”. As I walked towards the end of the table to hold my presentation, I was so nervous I thought my knees were going to give in. But I knew that having a presentation down on your shaking knees in front of a client is not the best way to start a career as a head hunter, so I pulled myself together and held my presentation.
It was a fast and very short run-through of the Executive Search process, which I, by chance, had learned by heart just the evening before from my training material - could not have taken more than two minutes. Yet, by the look on their faces, I had somehow managed to do well. I again was still so nervous that I had to focus on stopping my hands and knees from shaking when walking back to my chair.
Later, back in my room, I realised I now felt both thrilled and excited, not nervous at all. I also realised I had made the right choice in joining the Search Firm. I now knew I was going to learn, to manage and to like it. And I did. Many years later and hundreds of assignments later, I had developed into a top-level Research Manager and found myself standing in front of billion-dollar company CEO’s who were asking for my opinion and advice.
Thirty years and 1 000 assignments later, I could still remember my first client presentation, and how much I would have liked to have a book to look things up from then - before the client meeting - but there were no books.
Therefore, I wanted to write a book about Executive Search where anyone can go "look things up", to share what I had experienced and learned in Executive Search. That is how the book How to recognise excellence in Executive Search came to be. I wrote this book for all clients, in-house recruiting professionals, candidates, search consultants – for everyone interested in Executive Search. My goal was to benefit as many as possible, but how well I have succeeded in my endeavor is for the reader to decide.
First, of course, check me out. Does the guy who wrote this article look like he knows what he is talking about? The best way to do this is to first check out the content of my homepage, where you are right now.