At a recent Global Conference for our network, we approached firm owners with the idea to “pledge to work internationally” to take advantage of the fact that they were in a worldwide network that allowed them a unique advantage over other independent firms by giving them local partners on the ground all over the world. These partners know the language, culture, and are able to provide boutique service to your firm and clients without you sacrificing your business. Many times, it is the extremely rare searches that client’s offer that will keep you respected with their company if you, by some miracle, are able to fill. If you can handle that, why would you not be able to handle all their other searches?
Here is a great example of a member working globally to fill that impossible search. A member, Phillip, in the Midwest region, was approached by his client for a Financial Director. Easy enough, that was a high level search at a 125,000 salary but not too hard to take on independently. Oh, this position is based in Congo, Africa. One more thing, they need to be able to speak French!
Phillip immediately knew that this was a purple squirrel kind of search, but decided to not turn it down before he reached out to his network to see if by some chance, there was this candidate sitting in someone’s ATS or someone would be willing to take on the hunt with him. After a call to the membership, Philip was thrilled to discover that he had a fantastic trading partner available to him in South Africa, and this partner was willing to work this search, even though he knew it would be a hard one.
After one full year, these two gentlemen were able to say they successfully pulled off the longest placement that either of them had ever worked on! At close to the one year mark from when the search began, their candidate started their first day and the payoff was worth it. Not only did they split over a 30,000 fee, but they were able to achieve full satisfaction from the client who had known this was an absolutely impossible search to complete. Not only that, but they had also been able to present more than one candidate to the client, showing their hard work and never relenting diligence.
If the idea of international placements seem daunting to you as a small firm, just remember you are not alone through the process, and the payoff will reward you in the end!