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Search Firms: What should you know now?

By Jason List posted 04-23-2019 10:39


Search Firms: What should you know now?


This past week, I had the pleasure of hosting a panel with Daniel Parker, Vice President & Managing Director of Parker Executive Search and Kyle Bowlsby, Founder & Principle of Bowlsby Sports Advisors while attending the 3rdannual NACMA Veterans Summit in Denver, Colorado.


Our panel topic was officially, “Navigating Your Career Path: Learning how to build the skill set, network and results-oriented approach to advance your career. Gain real-time insights into how search firms evaluate candidates, how they assist in the process, and how your career track links with the desired outcomes.”


First, I would like to take another opportunity to thank both Daniel and Kyle for making the trek to Denver and sharing their time and insights into this area of our industry. There are a lot of unknowns, rumors and misinformation centered around search firms in our business and these guys were ready to answer any question thrown at them. Here are some key takeaways:


  • Reach out! Search firms are trying to recruit and place the most talented people in our industry, but it is impossible for them to know every senior leader at every school across the country.


  • Think logically when you reach out. Don’t be the person who only calls a search firm when a new AD chair opens up. Stay in touch with relevant business reasons, and develop a genuine peer-to-peer relationship with your contacts at the firms.


  • Start preparing now. It is never too early to start putting your portfolio together.


  • Broaden your knowledge and skill sets. Being an AD is the most comprehensive position in our industry. You need an understanding of not just what is happening within your bubbles, but on your campus, in your state and nationally across all areas.


  • Know yourself. Every AD job in the country is different with different advantages, challenges and needs. Make sure the job you are pursuing fits your skills, experiences, background and styles.


Doubtful, this post shared any earth-shattering information, but hopefully it did make those of you who aspire to one day sit in “The Chair” think about where you currently are in your position with search firms.