Jason Hanold, CEO and managing partner at Hanold Associates HR Executive Search, recently spoke with the online publication CEOChitChat. He discussed industry best practices, formulas for success, and his vision for his company’s future.
Hanold Associates has built up a diverse client base that includes some of today’s marquee international brands. Over the firm’s years of operation, clients have included the online marketplace eBay, outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia, Vail Resorts, and recently, the martial arts-focused promotion company UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The company continues to concentrate on helping such corporations fill crucial top-level human resources executive positions.
It Utilizes a Transparent Process That Builds Trust
Hanold Associates focuses on serving the interests of both corporate clients and job candidates in a thoughtful, intentional way. The firm concentrates on executive search strategies and recruiting with particular respect to human resources. In order to provide this type of high-level service, transparency is essential to the process.
The team spends considerable time and effort getting to know candidates, each of whom has his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and values. The entry process involves active listening in conversation with each candidate.
This helps the team fully understand the types of workplace environments that will best mesh with each individual’s skills, preferences, and temperament. Achieving the right fit within each organization’s culture is of central importance to the Hanold Associates team.
Team members also make sure to provide accurate, unbiased, and unfiltered advice to each client firm regarding the best fit for any particular position.
Thanks to these values of transparency, individual attention, and candid professional assessments, the Hanold Associates team has won the trust and repeat business of numerous corporate customers. Top-flight candidates often learn of the company’s work through recommendations from previous satisfied candidates as well.
It Emphasizes Relationship-Building before Transaction-Making
Hanold Associates team members want to find the best fit possible for the range of executive positions available. They also genuinely look forward to seeing their candidates succeed and thrive in their new positions.
Creating an accurate and thorough assessment of a candidate’s skills, strengths, and challenges in order to match him or her with the right organizational culture is not an easy task. It requires dedication, patience, and high-level communication abilities. Asked how his staff work to develop a 360-degree portrait of a candidate, Jason Hanold noted that it all begins with relationship-building.
For his team, the process involves helping the candidate answer in a way that reflects actual preferences, talents, and concerns. It is not helpful to simply repeat conventional wisdom or tell an interviewer what the candidate thinks he or she wants to hear.
Its Team Members Are Genuinely Interested
Mr. Hanold’s team often begins by asking seldom-heard questions. What was a candidate’s early life like? Who had a strong influence on him or her? What was the world like when the candidate was growing up, or just starting out in the workforce?
These questions can open up entirely new avenues of discussion, revealing much more about a candidate than his or her prepared answers would do. In fact, by being sincerely interested early on in an interview, an interviewer can often draw the candidate in to a genuine conversation, rather than merely running through a routine set of yes or no questions.
It Provides Support for Transformation
A wide range of corporate clients seeks to hire Hanold Associates. The common denominator is the fact that they tend to be undergoing a transition or transformation of one kind or another.
Mr. Hanold points out that the concept of “transformation” can mean different things to different companies. For example, one client company might be expanding its staff, scaling up production, or seeking out new markets.
Other clients may turn to Hanold Associates because of necessary restructuring in response to some level of dysfunction or inefficiency. Such a client will have realized that hiring a new HR executive search firm can serve as a catalyst. This can lead to thoroughgoing change that will give the organization the best chance of future success.
It Turns Recruiting into an Art
Hanold Associates centers its initial recruiting efforts using what its CEO defines as an “artful” approach. The first communication with a potential candidate is an email. It seeks precise information about the reason for the contact, the name and location of the potential employer, and the nature of the position under discussion.
Email has largely replaced phone conversation as the preliminary contact point with potential candidates. Most professionals have gravitated to the former as a more effective communication and time-management tool.
And in many instances, Hanold Associates will reach out to well-established HR professionals. This facilitates contacts among potential new candidates.
It Works in the True Best Interests of Clients
Pressed for comment about why a potential client should choose to work with his firm, Jason Hanold emphasized his team’s reputation among other top-level HR recruiters. It is known as being a transparent, easy-to-work-with, client-focused company that places human relationships at the center of any transaction.
He believes that his team members’ work reflects their constant concern not only to close a deal, but to enhance the lives of every client firm and job candidate they interact with, their genuine interest in their clients and candidates, and their desire to help these partners to achieve the best possible results.