Especially during times of disruption—and we’ve all seen plenty of those since 2020—companies need capable human capital leaders in all organizational talent functions. Proven interpersonal and leadership skills, combined with vision and courage, are the ingredients those talent leaders need to help companies drive competitive advantage and build strong performance cultures. But while such leaders are increasingly challenging to find and attract, i4cp has a leg-up in this arena.
“Our i4cp HR executive search firm specializes in recruiting diverse and high-performing human capital leaders who will make an impact for your organization,” reads the i4cp website. And we mean it—under the leadership of chief talent officer and vice president of executive search Jennifer Deutsch, i4cp’s boutique service has built a reputation among top companies for professionalism, personal attention, and top-caliber placements.
Bringing to i4cp a successful track record with two international executive search firms, along with experience running in-house search functions, Deutsch has a well-honed understanding of corporate operations and the critical interactions of internal business functions. She also has a results-driven passion for excellence in executive search.
“My approach is to add value as a trusted advisor by understanding clients’ needs,” Deutsch says. “I partner with the companies that retain us, make it a point to understand their business goals and objectives, give them an insider’s view of the outside talent world, and apply an entire career’s worth of perspective and judgement to help them hire the best talent for their specific needs.”
Services meet varied organizational challenges
Many of the companies served by Deutsch, aided by executive search directors Hayley Stanton and Andrew Short, are i4cp members. However, services are available to any interested organization, and the team’s expertise extends well beyond traditional search and placement.
“Because companies have varied needs, we offer multiple services,” says Deutsch. Along with retained executive search, other areas of specialty include talent planning and mapping and corporate and market intelligence.
“i4cp’s executive search services focus primarily on C-suite positions and those that extend two levels below,” Deutsch explains. “I say ‘primarily’ because there can be variation in titles and levels of seniority. Further, some companies have asked us to build out entire human capital function teams (people analytics, total rewards, learning and development, talent acquisition, HR technology, etc.) and we’ve done that regardless of the levels involved. We’ve done entire team liftouts, too. So our focus is executive-level, but we are committed to helping our client companies meet their challenges, and we can do that in many ways.”
In particular, the executive search team has built a strong practice in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space. Deutsch says that often means applying expertise to fill positions that fall outside of human capital functions, but where placement of a diverse leader candidate fits the client’s objective.
Talent planning and mapping
Helping client companies consider their options and create stronger talent strategies are a couple of the objectives underlying the executive search team’s talent planning and mapping services. In addition, says Deutsch, clients may not be ready to undertake a search, but want to better understand the talent landscape within their industries or geographic areas. Or they may need help developing or updating organizational talent strategies.
Further, companies that have internal executive search functions may be too busy or too limited to devote time to specialized research and extensive candidate sourcing. Or those firms may not want a search publicized, and need help finding external candidates confidentially.
Corporate and market intelligence
“We also help client companies that want to know what other organizations or competitors are doing in the talent space, how those companies are organized (organizational charts) or provide other filters to give them a better business understanding,” Deutsch explains. “For example, that could include views into select companies in an industry, specific competitors, or regional organizations—including bios of company leaders and the duties they handle. We provide market or organization-specific intelligence of all sorts.”
With exclusive access to i4cp’s extensive professional networks and member high-performance companies, the executive search team has visibility into top-level candidates worldwide. All are thoroughly vetted, and Deutsch personally meets with each candidate. Screening includes behavior-based interviewing and assessments to confirm leadership capabilities, interpersonal skills, and experience. She is committed to personal involvement in each placement, and that level of attention continues well beyond the successful match of candidate and client company. Follow-up with both new hire and client company continues at least through the first year to ensure that both are on track for the best outcomes.
One additional special touch exclusive to i4cp’s executive search is inclusion of an Accelerating Transitions course for executives with each placement. The training, an i4cp/Rob Cross Connected Commons collaboration is designed to drive agility, retention, assimilation, and speed to proficiency following leadership transitions.
“It’s going to be a very tight market”
What advice does a seasoned executive search leader have for organizations struggling to find the best talent leadership in volatile and constantly evolving business environments?
“This year, all the rules have changed,” Deutsch says. “There is a huge talent mindset shift. People have newfound resolve and strength, and that requires new resolve and flexibility from employers. There is a war for talent now, and I think we’ll see more companies battling each other for top candidates as time goes on. It’s going to be a very tight market.
“In those circumstances, a good search consultant can be invaluable to your business. They will be able to give you market intelligence that you would not otherwise have, and the breadth of contacts and talent they maintain will enable them to bring you the A players that your company needs to be a performance leader.”
The i4cp HR executive search team is ready to help diversify and strengthen the capabilities of your HR team. Contact us to talk your sourcing or talent mapping needs.
Carol Morrison is a senior research analyst at i4cp