Frequently Asked Questions
Below are questions that have been asked by previous clients over our extensive history. Please browse for your question. If you do not see your question, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.
Deffet Group, Inc. is a management consulting firm specializing in succession planning and executive search within the health and human services professions. We partner with mission driven non-for-profit organizations nationwide and attract exceptional candidates for middle and senior management positions.
We have over 25 years of experience providing executive search services and have witnessed firsthand the dramatic impact that a carefully selected leader can have on an organization.
We work exclusively within the not-for-profit sector because we have found that working with values based mission driven organizations results in longer lasting and more gratifying relationships. Our firm specializes in aging services and has had a heavy focus in this area throughout our 25 plus year history.
We measure success in terms of projects completed and length of tenure and are highly successful by both measurement standards. Our firm completes 90% of the projects that we undertake. We understand that the searches we are invited to conduct are not luxury positions that an organization can choose not to fill. Most healthcare organizations operate 24/7/365 and have a high sense of urgency when it comes to having leadership positions filled at all levels.
Our success rate of meeting/exceeding the guarantee period is also 90%. The reality is that on rare occasion a finalist candidate may not work out long-term. In these cases we have been instrumental in reactivating the project and have been able to utilize much of our previous contact base to quickly surface a replacement candidate.
Higher level positions, involving a search committee, multiple participants and interviews, and a longer departure notice tend to require additional time. We suggest that our clients anticipate a four to six month window from initiating the search through the new hire being on board.
Often, a management level search can take as little as 90 days. 60 days to conduct the research, interview candidates, and finalize negotiations with the finalist. The remaining 30 days would be the notice that a candidate would need until s/he were available to start the new position.
Given the scope of higher level positions and the broad number of constituents a new leader will impact, we conduct personal interviews with Board members, senior management, and key staff and line positions.
We believe strongly in the value of creating an objective description of the ideal candidate for a position. Through a detailed process, we work with an organization to define the position specifications. The Position Specification contains background on the organization and its mission, as well as both quantitative and qualitative descriptions of the ideal candidate. It is used throughout the search process as a means of conducting an initial evaluation of potential candidates and, eventually, as a means of evaluating finalist candidates against one another.
We combine the results of those interviews with our industry knowledge and present a draft version of the Position Specification, for additional input, review, and approval. The final version is used throughout the search.
We have extensive experience in assisting a variety of faith based and institutional not-for-profit organizations and given the not-for-profit nature of an organization, we carefully articulate in the Position Specification, and incorporate in the search process the organization’s expectations regarding the finalist candidate’s values. These values also become an important part of our conversations as we get to know an individual who may become a submission.
A finalist candidate resulting from 500 industry contacts will be better qualified than a finalist candidate that would result from 30 contacts. A “finalist candidate” from one firm may not make another firm’s short list. Keep in mind that the fees charged by firms vary only slightly regardless of the quality of service, but the lost opportunity of a marginal hire can exponentially offset any savings in fees.
In addition to making direct contacts utilizing our proprietary database, we utilize Linkedin, various internet job sites, and LeadingAge (National and State association) websites. We also utilize email and direct mail outreach to targeted network sources.
More often the finalist candidate is surfaced as a result from a direct research contact. This continues to be the single most effective means of cultivating interest with individuals who are not on the radar screen because they aren’t actively looking to make a change.
We assist in preparing interview questions specific to the concerns of the leadership team. We encourage the client to evaluate candidates equally and have found that a consistent format of questions is very beneficial in assessing one candidate against another.
You will have a specific point of contact with consistency in communication and delivery of quality service. We provide a regular report of our activity on your behalf. The report indicates what sources have been tapped, how many presentations have been made, and what the response has been to those presentations. A more detailed summary may contain the name, title, organization, and results of each contact. Not only will this provide you with an accountability mechanism, but this is also a real market survey regarding your opportunity. For example, what objections continually resurface? Are they relevant to location, industry, culture, potential, compensation, etc.
We conduct in-depth references on the finalist candidate addressing any concerns or issues that may have surfaced throughout the course of the interview process. Our firm is often complimented for the depth and thorough format that we use and like many, we consider references to be approximately 33% of the hiring decision. In addition, we also conduct criminal background checks, credit checks, social media checks, and education verifications.
We provide an outside perspective in the negotiation stage by sharing recommendations regarding structure of the compensation package needed to attract the finalist candidate. We are in a position to work out details, which can often have a tremendous impact on the final acceptance or rejection of the offer.
We provide a draft onboarding plan that we circulate among the leadership (outgoing CEO, incoming CEO, Search Committee, etc.) and communicate on an ongoing basis throughout the transition period and well beyond the start date of the new executive. Oftentimes we can serve as a liaison to facilitate communication regarding a question or concern before it becomes an issue and see this as a very important part of our role. We also provide, at no additional charge, CEO coaching services throughout the first year of employment. The coaching relationship provides an opportunity for the CEO to explore how to adapt his or her leadership gifts and style to the unique mission and culture of the organization. It also allows the CEO to explore and strengthen competencies that will increase effectiveness.