Vision and Values

Footer Wave

At NorthWind, we believe a successful search is one in which a partnership between an actively engaged client and experienced professionals exists.

We begin by listening to the issues, concerns, and details that are important to the stakeholders. We then apply the knowledge gained to launch a highly focused research process and map the entire market. After identifying potential candidates, we provide detailed market feedback, expertly manage the interview process, and ensure the final negotiations culminate in a successful hire.

We then go above and beyond by remaining connected with the candidate through the critical first year of employment. Our ultimate goal is to assure success.

Our nimble structure, expertise, quality practices, and strong relationships help ensure that, through every step of the process, we never lose sight of what a client values.

“We’ve all found in our research studies that the signature of mediocrity is not an unwillingness to change; the signature of mediocrity is chronic inconsistency.” – Jim Collins

Phase 1: <span>Active Listening</span>

Phase 1: Active Listening

This is the most important phase of the search process. If we don’t understand exactly what qualities you seek in a candidate, the search will not produce the desired results. This is why NorthWind Partners concentrates on listening first.
  1. Assemble the right project team to conduct a thorough needs analysis with the NorthWind Project Blueprint to obtain all the information required to complete a professional search, which includes strategizing on how to attract candidates from your competitors and in both the core and adjacent markets. Acquire any relevant corporate material to include CIM, marketing deck, etc.
  2. Consult with you on industry compensation standards and construct a compensation model. It is our priority to share with you what the market bears throughout the project. Unrealistic compensation expectations yield undesired results.
  3. Utilizing the Project Blueprint and the NorthWind Research Overview (an internal research framework), build a profile of the ideal candidate (in conjunction with any existing internal corporate materials) against which we screen potential candidates, which often includes a client’s top-performing employees or internal referrals as part of the screening process. Prepare a written Position Specification detailing the ideal profile and devise the appropriate strategy for presenting the opportunity to candidates. Obtain your approval and sign-off.
  4. Build the NorthWind Scorecard against which we align a candidate’s technical capabilities and relevant career experiences with the expected outcome desired by the Client for the role. This Scorecard outlines an executive’s competencies, as they align with the mission and expected outcomes, through four invasive stages of interviewing. The client gets to define scorecard. The client determines what a job holder must accomplish. The client sets competencies consistent with their expectations on outcome. Prepare a written document detailing the Non-Negotiable Parameters, extracted during the needs analysis, that candidates will be expected to complete. Obtain your approval and sign-off.
  5. If you are struggling to define optimal cultural and/or leadership qualities that are proven to resonate with the organization, we recommend the relevant hiring executives conduct a PERFECT FIT exercise. This card-based tool provides a unique framework in which to evaluate cultural & leadership “fit” that significantly mitigates risks associated with executive hires. It produces a rich understanding of the specific cultural and leadership challenges of a client and the relevant executive need, which enables NorthWind to identify candidates beyond alignment of technical competencies and into leadership competencies & cultural compatibility.
Top Wave
Phase 2: <span>Market Diligence, Screening, & Evaluation*</span>

Phase 2: Market Diligence, Screening, & Evaluation*

This is where NorthWind Partners’ years of experience provide unmatched value. We have the experienced resources and unique ability to identify and engage the top talent across Business Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing/Industrials, and Technology.
  1. Launch marketplace research and analysis through the filters of both the Project Blueprint and Candidate Scorecard. Examine direct and indirect competitors as well as identify alternate companies in adjacencies that employ candidates possessing the skills and experience sought. Our goal is to be thorough in evaluating the marketplace, to leave no target unexamined.
  2. Begin populating and continuously updating Clockwork, a transparent, cloud-based platform, which is fully accessible to you and reveals all diligence and analysis being conducted on candidates for a project. You can enter comments on each candidate in real time and at your discretion to ensure constant alignment.
  3. Conduct a first calibration with you to discuss findings and reposition strategy and/or tactics if necessary.
  4. Re-engage with you to review the long list of targeted companies and candidates.
  5. Conduct comprehensive interviews with candidates that have passed the initial screening process to ascertain alignment of interest as well as to reaffirm “attitude” and “aptitude” qualification with the opportunity in the three critical areas that our proprietary tools evaluate:
    1. Technical Fit
    2. Leadership Fit
    3. Cultural Fit
  6. Conduct in-person interviews with candidates who pass the entire screening process, receive positive feedback from mandatory “Pre-Candidacy” Referencing, which requires the candidate to proffer one or more credible references before he/she can be considered for candidacy, and complete the Scorecard.
  7. Submit comprehensive NorthWind Candidate Reports of candidates who have successfully passed the entire evaluative process.
Footer Wave
Phase 3: <span>Client Interviews</span>

Phase 3: Client Interviews

By this phase, NorthWind Partners has significantly increased the potential for success by understanding your needs and screening candidates against that criteria as well as through a technical and behavioral assessment process. During the interview process, NorthWind conducts detailed evaluations with the following tools:
  • HireSelect Assessments (for all approved long list candidates) – a SaaS solution that enables organizations to better manage their most important asset — their human capital — by providing state-of-the-art assessment tools, featuring aptitude, personality, and skills tests, to increase the effectiveness of the employee selection & retention process.
  • TTI Executive Insight Assessments (for subsequently approved short list candidates) – this analytics-based tool offer clients a greater understanding of human behavior and motivation, leading to enhanced performance and outcome. TTI seeks to identify how executives approach problems and challenges, as well as interpersonal communication styles. This, in turn, will help them learn to influence others & make not only personal improvements, but boost the success of those under their guidance.
  • The NorthWind Flash Analysis – Multiple sciences progressively reveal more of the entire person — what they do, how they do it, and why they do the things they do. We combined the STARS model, Culture Graph, and TTI TriMetrix DNA Reports (DNA Job Report, DNA Gap Report, DNA Coaching Report) to form our Flash Analysis, which transcends addressing technical and cognitive abilities. It measures both the presence and absence of behavior, and acceptance and avoidance using a data pool of millions of individuals collected over several decades. This level of analysis has been tremendously valuable in helping mitigate the risk of a sub-optimal or failed hire after the “honeymoon phase” is over.

We highly recommend conducting both assessments for any candidate moving to the offer stage.

  1. Arrange and coordinate the initial interview between you and the candidate.
  2. Prepare the candidate for the initial interview including briefing them on the agenda, your priorities, expectations, and any relevant documentation you may want to share.
  3. Prepare you for the initial interview drawing attention to the candidate’s goals and motivators.
  4. Debrief with the candidate following the interview and capture their initial thoughts and concerns. Share those in detail with you through the NorthWind Interview Debrief
  5. Debrief with you and discuss preliminary conclusions. Professionally release any candidates not selected to continue.
  6. Arrange and coordinate second interviews and discuss areas of concern.
  7. Debrief with both you and the candidates following the second interviews. Professionally release any candidates not selected.
  8. In addition to the pre-candidacy references completed, conduct formal reference checks that validate the scorecards with NorthWind Scorecard References and provide written summaries.
Top Wave
Phase 4: <span>Negotiations</span>

Phase 4: Negotiations

Our experience managing delicate negotiations will add tremendous value and help you avoid costly pitfalls. Our goal is to create a win-win outcome for both you and the candidate.
  1. Verify earnings in great detail through the NorthWind Comprehensive Compensation Form and negotiate a mutually agreeable compensation package.
  2. Confirm educational verification, credit & criminal history, motor vehicle records, drug testing and other appropriate background checks.
  3. Directly communicate offer of employment to the candidate to help ensure acceptance.
  4. Coach the candidate through counteroffer issues and resignation.
  5. Confirm the start date and obtain written confirmation from the candidate.
Footer Wave
Phase 5: <span>Follow Through</span>

Phase 5: Follow Through

The period between acceptance of an offer and the start date is a critical time for a new employee and it’s important they remain connected to the new company during the transition phase. This is also when NorthWind Partners conducts a post search debriefing protocol to evaluate the completed search and results.
  1. Onboarding – Remain in contact with you and the candidate through the start date and initial employment up to 12 months after hire, which is the most critical period of guaranteeing longevity. Experience has shown that this is a vulnerable time for candidates in transition and we work to keep them connected and comfortable with their decision.
  2. Conduct a NorthWind Project Post-Mortem review with you to ensure the project was completed to your satisfaction and assess all negative and positive aspects of the engagement to refine our engagement and ensure future success in the relationship.
  3. If acceptable, request a reference letter and permission to use your name for reference purposes.