Robert Struble, CEO, Directed


On Executive Search

We had one situation in a pitch where we expected to see a real search plan but did not, and ended up ruling the firm out immediately.  The partner apparently went to our web site and researched companies we had listed as partners — but it didn’t make sense for our position.  We talked about it afterwards. We said, “he must have been too busy to get ready for the pitch.”  What firms don’t seem to get is that we’re not stupid; we pay attention.

We get pitched by all size firms, and with Google and LinkedIn, the firm’s Rolodex is less of a differentiator.  A smaller firm can mean hands on service: “We’re smaller, more focused and not doing a thousand searches.  We’re doing yours and a few others.”

We ask, “how busy are you, and who’s going to work on this?”  Most firms try to give what they think is the right answer.  The great firms will say, “we actually don’t have the bandwidth right now.  Let me refer you to someone.”  The right answer is the truthful answer.

On Lochlin Partners

They’re good.  That’s why we stuck with them.  It’s about Pat Friel — he understands how to add value.  For example, I get calls from a fair amount of people I know who are looking at a career change—and need advice.  I’ll say, “I know a recruiter you might want to talk to.”  So I shoot Pat an email.  It’s how he responds and how enthusiastic he is that helps build relationships.