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Beth Hair: The State of Executive Search in San Antonio


The San Antonio Business Journal (SABJ) reached out to a number of San Antonio-based staffing and executive search firms, including Aventine Hill, to better understand the state of the industry and its evolution. Their article is available at this link for paid subscribers.

After participating in the Q&A, it prompted me to think about how things have changed from when Aventine Hill started in 2009 to now. We are privileged to have helped many clients and candidates and are now ranked #3 on SABJ's newly published list of Executive Search firms here. This is our fourth year to make the list.

The Value of Diversity

SABJ’s question about diversity was a great place to start. At Aventine Hill, we have definitely seen more women promoted into senior leadership positions, especially in our target customers, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Chief Audit Executives (CAEs), and Chief Information Officers (CIOs). This is good for candidates and for Aventine Hill because more diverse hiring managers and company cultures bring value to the market and expand our network. 

Quality is Critical

Metrics are also discussed in the article. There are traditional metrics that search firms use to drive business and measure customer satisfaction. 

Aventine Hill’s focus has always been on quality. We call it “Uncompromising Quality”. Uncompromising Quality starts with the quality of our team and extends to the long-term relationship with our clients and our ability to help our clients be successful.

We measure quality in our Executive Search services through what we refer to as the “golden rule”. This means that every candidate we present to a client meets these three criteria:

  • The candidate meets at least 90% of the clients’ requirements for the role
  • The candidate is willing to accept an offer that is in the approved salary range for the role
  • The candidate is motivated to accept the position by more than just money.

The hiring manager can spend their time and energy on selecting truly the best candidate who fits their culture and not screening through applicants who don’t even meet the basics for the role.

The Future of Search Firms

We believe our focus on quality and delivering only highly qualified candidates allows us to continue to thrive as many companies develop internal talent acquisition processes built on the new online job search technologies.

We believe search models will positively evolve due to both technology and new forms of communication and networking — benefiting all.

  • We believe clients will continue to use external professional search services to better define their own needs and how to hire a particular type of role. They also gain insight into the local market talent pool, and identifying high-quality passive candidates who will bring value to our clients' organizations.
  • Candidates will continue to build relationships with search firms because the labor markets are more fluid than in the past. Being open to new opportunities at all times is required now to manage a successful career.

It has been so rewarding to help all of our clients and candidates since our inception in 2009. There is so much more to come!

Posted by Beth Hair
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