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.


Phase 1: Active Listening

Active listening is the most important part 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 concentrates on listening first.

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  • We begin by conducting a thorough technical, cultural, and behavioral profiling to obtain all the information required to complete a professional engagement. This includes strategizing on how to attract candidates from your top competitors.
  • Together, we build a profile of the ideal candidate. Using this in conjunction with any existing internal corporate materials, we screen potential candidates. On request, we can interview your top-performing employees as part of the screening process. Finally, we prepare a written document detailing the ideal profile and a strategy for presenting the opportunity to candidates. We then obtain your approval and sign-off.
  • We 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.
  • A project team is assembled and marketplace research is launched. Throughout this process, we examine direct and indirect competitors and identify alternate companies that employ candidates possessing the skills and experience you seek.
  • Following marketplace research, we submit the list of targeted companies and candidates for your review and approval, and obtain your sign-off.

Phase 2: The Search

Here is where NorthWind’s years of experience provide unmatched value. We have the resources as well as the unique ability to identify and engage top talent across the government and aerospace/defense marketplaces.

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We begin by conducting comprehensive telephone interviews with candidates using behavioral based questions to ascertain three crucial qualifying factors:

  • Do they have the appropriate background?
  • Are they willing to change jobs for the right opportunity?
  • Do their goals in making a career move align with yours?
  • We can conduct face-to-face interviews with potential candidates or interview them via video conferencing.
  • Next, we present you with a short list of highly qualified candidates who have successfully passed the screening process.
  • Finally, we provide the resumes and summaries from qualifying interviews with selected candidates.

Phase 3: Comprehensive Interviewing

In this step you determine if we have a match. By this point NorthWind has significantly increased the potential for success by understanding your needs, by screening candidates against the aforementioned criteria as well as through a Performance Oriented Prediction method, and by presenting you with detailed profiles of those candidates who best match your requirements.

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  • We arrange and coordinate the initial interview between you and the candidate. This interview may be by telephone, or it may be conducted face-to-face or via videoconferencing at your direction.
  • We carefully prepare the candidate for the initial interview including briefing them on the agenda, your priorities, and your expectations.
  • We prepare you for the initial interview, drawing attention to the candidate’s particular goals and aspirations.
  • Following the interview, we debrief with the candidate and capture their initial thoughts and concerns.
  • We then debrief with you and discuss preliminary conclusions. We professionally release any candidates not selected to continue in the process.
  • A short time later, we arrange and coordinate second interviews and discuss particular areas of concern.
  • Again, we debrief with both you and the candidates following the second interviews. We professionally release any candidates not selected to continue in the process.
  • We then conduct data-driven executive characteristic and behavioral assessments, which prove invaluable to evaluating all final candidates before moving to an offer stage with a finalist.
  • Finally, we conduct professional reference checks and provide written summaries of those interviews.

Phase 4: Negotiations

Experience makes all the difference. Our many years of expertly managing delicate negotiations adds tremendous value while helping you avoid costly pitfalls. Our goal is to create a win-win outcome for both you and your candidate of choice.

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  • We begin by verifying earnings; we then negotiate a win-win compensation package.
  • If desired, we provide educational verification, check the candidate’s credit history, investigate motor vehicle records, handle drug testing, and conduct other appropriate background checks.
  • Following this intensive verification process, we communicate a verbal offer of employment to the candidate of choice to help ensure acceptance.
  • Afterward, we consult with the candidate in order to resolve resignation and counteroffer issues.
  • We confirm the start date and obtain written confirmation from the candidate.
  • Finally, we provide an executive assessment debriefing to offer insight into strengths as well as areas of caution to ensure the executive will have the best chance for success in the new role and culture.

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 their transition phase. This is also when NorthWind conducts our post search debriefing protocol to evaluate the completed search and results.

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  • Onboarding – We 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.
  • We conduct a conclusion interview/post project review with you to ensure the project was completed to your satisfaction and also assess all negative and positive aspects of the engagement to ensure future success in the relationship.
  • If acceptable, we request a reference letter and permission to use your name for reference purposes.

Phase 6: Search and Selection Process + Client Partnership = Practically Guaranteed Success

This equation has proven itself successful time and time again. At NorthWind, a successful search is a partnership between a motivated and involved client and experienced search professionals. We begin by listening, after which we apply the knowledge we have gained to launch the research process. Upon identifying potential candidates, we manage the interview process and ensure the final negotiations culminate in a successful hire. By doing what we do best, NorthWind allows you to concentrate on your business – which is what you do best – while we recruit your leaders for the future.

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