Jil Dasher & Chris Benz, Managing Directors
It is often said that employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. It suggests that employer branding and reputation is intrinsically connected to the quality of a company’s leadership team.
When a company is looking to upgrade or make changes at the leadership team level, a well-thought-out and professionally executed recruitment strategy is critical to ensure the best C-suite candidates are identified and selected. These critical placements of leadership talent can literally make or break the employer’s reputation and business productivity. This is where the Corsica Advantage often tips the scales toward favorable outcomes.
In an exclusive interview with Business Management Review, Chris Benz and Jil Dasher, managing directors with Corsica Partners, discuss how their team of former operating executives drive a disciplined and comprehensive search process to deliver consistent outcomes for their clients.
CORSICA PARTNERS WAS FOUNDED ON THE PREMISE THAT THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR RELEVANT EXECUTIVE EXPERIENCE. HOW DO YOU USE THIS EXPERIENCE PROFILE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPACE?
Dasher: Our superpower is that our search partners come to Corsica Partners and the executive search industry with real-world experience having run businesses, managed P&Ls, grown teams, or led commercial organizations with front-line operating skills that give us keen insights into ideal executive candidate profilesrequired to achieve the best outcome for any given search.
We truly understand the challenge for executives and organizations to attract, hire and retain top talent as they scale their organizations. Having sat on the other side of the recruiting table as clients of search services, we have lived through the challenges and lost opportunity costs when a search firm simply doesn’t perform.
Our holistic understanding has driven us to apply an appropriate sense of urgency in our executive search work while providing our clients with a transparent, relatable approach that leverages a disciplined cadence to ensure an efficient and effective process to drive meaningful outcomes.
AS YOU INTERACT WITH LEADING V/C AND P/E BACKED COMPANIES, WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES THEY FACE IN RECRUITING EXECUTIVES, AND HOW DO YOU SOLVE FOR THEM?
Benz: Keeping our finger on the market’s pulse with the ever-changing landscape of executive search allows us to stay abreast of the needs and challenges of leading companies and investors. Many organizations struggle to engage passive candidates in a meaningful way and then execute an efficient, timely, well-communicated process that culminates in a successful outcome.
Candidate experience is not a buzzword in our firm. It literally is our ethos. A truly meaningful and positive candidate experience requires a deep commitment to building and nurturing relationships that dive deeper than matching a candidate’s professional accomplishments to an open position. Taking the time to deeply understand and care about an executive’s situation, motivation and aspirations allows us to facilitate a thoughtful experience that results in an optimal outcome for all involved.
Time is another key factor; often, our client’s biggest challenge is not having the internal bandwidth that is required to execute a successful search. We leverage our professional networks and extensive original research to uncover the candidates who are the best fit. From there, we quickly dive into the market with personalized, thoughtful outreach to bring each passive candidate into the conversation, ultimately delivering a very targeted, highly scrutinized shortlist for our clients to engage and vet.
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR COMMITMENT TO BE TRUSTED ADVISORS FIRST AND FOREMOST.
Dasher: When we speak about trusting the Corsica process, it is about our commitment to being trusted advisors who are dedicated and responsive to our candidates and clients, with unmatched integrity at the core of delivering continuous successful outcomes. It is important that every candidate in the process has a positive experience with the brand we are representing.
To become trusted advisors, we commit to engaging in a holistic understanding of our clients, their businesses, the key stakeholders, and the desired outcomes to frame precisely what is required.
Our Corsica Advantage discovery process signals the start of each engagement, and it ensures a fast start to searches and facilitates our ability to serve as trusted brand ambassadors. We take great satisfaction in our ability to express our client’s story authentically and compellingly to drive positive market awareness and candidate recognition.
COULD YOU SHARE HOW YOU ENABLE CLIENTS TO OVERCOME HURDLES AND ATTAIN DESIRED OUTCOMES?
Benz: The best candidates are seldom looking for their next role. They are successful, proven professionals who, time and again, deliver extraordinary results. These discerning executives and sought-after individuals are very selective. They are not easily persuaded, nor are they quick to respond to typical recruiting techniques. Instead, they prefer to rely on trusted advisors. Advisors with the credibility to gain their attention, as well as the insight to competently articulate the business and personal value of a new opportunity.
Our experience as former operating executives gives us a unique advantage and perspective to combine experience-based insights and an informed perspective to deliver an unparalleled recruiting and coaching experience for our clients.
We complement our DNA with a disciplined process that includes ensuring all Corsica team members working with a client are fully briefed on the company profile, the culture, process preferences, and team dynamics. No one operates in isolation, and everyone is measured on the client’s success in landing and keeping the best candidates.
We have developed a highly successful and referenceable founder and CEO succession planning practice. We have PE and VC firms that rely on us to help them navigate the most challenging of searches – the pursuit of attracting talent for the top job to optimize their investment thesis. And our agile RPO model is leveraged to help scale key functions or build complete leadership teams for tech customers in a hyper-growth cycle.
All Corsicans are top-level, mission-driven, inclusive professionals who thrive in helping to shape the future of our client companies through successful human capital campaigns
Finally, as a global boutique, we offer our clients access to the best, most desirable candidates in every region, with very few restrictions on candidates or target companies. We know from experience that nimble, agile, experienced executive search professionals with minimal restrictions to access A player candidates are key to pursue and deliver the best choice for clients.
WHAT ARE CORSICA PARTNERS’ DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS THAT GIVE IT A COMPETITIVE EDGE?
Dasher: I believe our commitment to an exceptional experience for both our clients and candidates truly differentiates Corsica Partners. We do this through focus on three key areas: People, Process, and Persistence.
Once we’ve identified candidates from our extensive database, original research, and professional networks, we carefully curate targets with personalized outreach. From the deep discovery sessions with clients to the disciplined reporting cadence, our process highlights our dedication to transparency and communication throughout a search. By utilizing a multichannel approach to outreach and unwavering persistence, we are often able to uncover and engage talent that other firms simply don’t have the tenacity to reach.
We take great pride in how we represent our clients in the marketplace. All Corsicans are top-level, mission-driven, inclusive professionals who thrive in helping to shape the future of our client companies through successful human capital campaigns.
Benz: I would add, our Corsica family fosters an environment of collaboration, and we believe that we go further and faster, together. We don’t simply express core values; we live them. For example, everyone in the firm is trained and certified in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) recruiting best practices. We leverage diverse industry and functional expertise across the team to deliver a better outcome for our clients. We are also very proud of the fact that eighty percent of our search work is the result of client and candidate referrals, the highest form of compliment.
All relationships matter. And we make winning the trust of clients and candidates, a personal commitment.