We offer “Search done Smart” by setting employers and the right candidates up for success through a high-touch, hands-on approach and a customized process. Deep research, creative candidate selection, effective leveraging of networks and connections, and thorough, thoughtful communication form the backbone of our work.


Comprehensive Executive Search – Smart Hiring, Done Right

Smart Phase I

Jump in. We begin by setting up meetings with key stakeholders, including board members, search committee members, your marketing team, HR, and others as appropriate, taking careful and copious notes about the organization, its successes, and challenges – for the position and for the organization as a whole. What worked last time? What didn’t? We review the position description and make recommendations. We review the job posting (if you choose to have one) and make recommendations on most effective places to post. We talk about and help you achieve a realistic compensation package. If you do not have a search committee, we help you build one, determining who should be on it and why.

Set the process and search timeline. A well-orchestrated search can take three months to complete, but it can take longer or be done more quickly depending on the market, your timeline, and/or the candidate pool. Fast doesn’t always mean good, so we are careful to ensure that your process is right for you. There is no one-size-fits-all executive search process. We follow best practices in field, while understanding that not every organization is the same; we tailor your search to fit you. We have experience across many industries, so we know good process and timing and advise accordingly. We set realistic expectations. We want you to to do this right. The first time.

Research, research, research. We read—from annual reports, to your strategic plan, to the position descriptions, to media and marketing collateral. We meet with all key stakeholders so we get to truly know your organization, what makes you different and who will be the best fit for you.

Smart Phase II

Leverage current contacts, connections, networks. Tap into new ones. We leverage your key contacts, but we also leverage our own nation-wide network. We pride ourselves on creative thinking; sometimes going out of industry will help you find dynamic individuals with the right skill sets and personality. For example, we network with bankers and physicians in order to find lawyers and nonprofit leaders. Everyone is connected, and you never know who knows someone who will fit.

Keep it real. Honesty and transparency are important words for us. We do local, regional, and national searches as necessary. But not all organizations want or can afford a national search (with the cost of relocation and salary that typically goes with a candidate from out of state). If you want no stone unturned, you will get it. If you prefer to search locally, we will. And we’ll give you our thoughts on what, in our experience, works best. Our goal is always to make a successful long term partnership for you and your candidate. And we always ensure that the sourcing meets the needs of the position. So we are neither too broad nor too narrow. But let’s be real. There’s no sense in searching for a candidate in California if you can’t pay to relocate them. And what about trailing spouses? In those cases, we try to help the families of the candidates too, so that everyone has a good experience––thus increasing the likelihood that the candidates will “stick” with the job (and be happy!). We’ll have the tough, real conversations so you don’t have to.

For us, it’s personal. Your search is our search. We won’t force candidates on you or pretend we know everything. And we don’t sugar coat tough messages from candidates. We listen and lead. We don’t tell and direct.

Smart Phase III

Interviewing, recommending, connecting. We will make actual recommendations to you from a pool of candidates. We will provide summaries of skill sets and only present you with those candidates we believe are a potential match. And then we help with the interviews, suggesting the best ways to conduct them, offering a list of questions to ask and best practices. After all, candidates are interviewing employers just as much as you are interviewing them. The entire process matters—every step of the way.

Smart Phase IV

Sealing the deal. We pre-qualify candidates’ compensation to ensure that this final phase goes as smoothly as possible. When you know what a candidate is looking for in terms of compensation before getting to this stage of the game, the process is much easier. By the time you offer someone a job, you should know his or her answer. We handle the making of the offer; we broker the deal, and we help with any transition challenges, counseling candidates and companies to ensure the fit lasts. Then we check back in to make sure all is going well—at the three-month point, six-month, and 12-month. We are here for you every step of the way.

Unbundled Services
  • Search process mapping only
  • Candidate sourcing only
  • Candidate interviewing and assessment only
Our Fees

You may be wondering what it costs to work with us. When it comes to our fee structure, here we are a-typical too. Though our work is exclusive and retained, we offer many types of fee arrangements for our clients based on industry standards and the work at hand. Recruitment with us is a highly-tailored process in every way.

And if you are wondering why we only work on retainer, or why we don’t work in collaboration (or competition) with other recruiters it’s because we believe that hiring is too important to do any way but the Smart Way. Want to Learn more? Give us a call.

For Candidates

Whether you’re new to this market or have been here for years, the hiring process can be challenging for even the most experienced executives.

At SGES, we have reviewed thousands of resumes and interviewed hundreds of candidates. Working across industries, we’ve helped numerous organizations, placing candidates at many levels. We know the hiring process–what works and what doesn’t. Need a little help or some honest advice? We’ve got it.*

SGES offers the following consultation services for candidates:

  • Resume review
  • Job search mapping and networking strategies
  • Interview skills coaching
  • Compensation negotiation assistance

All consultation services offered on an hourly basis. Contact Jessica Smart for more information.

*Please note that we cannot work with active candidates for any of our current search engagements.

The Smart Group Executive Search

ph: 207-572-0067
PO Box 11267 Portland, ME 04104

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