Gary McCracken and his team share a simple philosophy. The firm’s focus on quality and process is key, and its performance and potential is directly linked to its clients’ business success.
Like all good search consultants, Gary McCracken has an eye for exceptional talent. Whether it’s in engaging world-class candidates for key opportunities with client organizations – or his own – he’s learned that the right talent aligned to the right business outcomes can make all the difference.
For today’s Chief Executives, that’s a matter of surrounding themselves with the right team – each leader bringing experience and insight the others may not have, balancing the skills needed to make great things happen at the enterprise level.
The same can apparently be said for engaging the talent within a high-end boutique search business, if McCracken’s approach to evaluating potential executive search software for his firm is any indication.
The McCracken search team was finding that its contact database for managing its interactions with candidates and clients alike was getting old and slow and there was no technical support for it.
“So, the time had come where we knew we needed to make a change,” recalls McCracken Partner Paul Bruner, who previously worked on strategy and information systems projects with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Because of his familiarity with software systems and IT, Bruner was asked to lead the change process, backed by McCracken’s Head of Administration, Lee Davidson.
Bruner drew on considerable Andersen experience – going into a client company, analyzing its data and information needs, and selecting the best from a variety of customized software providers in the marketplace. He was precisely the person to help McCracken Executive Search navigate the landscape of software providers for the retained executive search business.
“When we started our process, it’s was hard to see the differences between systems,” Bruner said. “You look at the marketing, and on the surface, it would appear they all do the same thing,” he added. “But when you took a deeper dive, it was clear to see that some of them could quickly be eliminated because they had a core module to which the software suppliers had added a series of patchwork fixes and workarounds to update the systems to meet current needs.”
“When we found Invenias, it was the integration with Microsoft Outlook that first caught our eyes, Invenias sits seamlessly with Outlook. With other software providers, you continually have to flip between what you’re doing and their own user interface. But with Invenias integrated right into Outlook, our work to manage, create and react to information becomes really effortless.”
Bruner continued: “Invenias feels and operates like it’s brand new. It’s cloudbased. The seamless backup to the cloud and the flexibility of the system were really attractive to us. Invenias has proven to be an intuitive, easy-to-use, and flexible system.”
What’s more, Bruner and Davidson shared, the pricing of Invenias was very simple and very straightforward – something Bruner hasn’t always seen when evaluating software options. “Invenias treated us as a valued client with transparent pricing, despite the fact that that we wouldn’t qualify as a so-called ‘power user’ of any single technology.”
Davidson said the firm’s different users have had very positive but somewhat different interactions with Invenias that have had a very big impact on its productivity.
“Our head of research really loves Invenias. She can update candidate records so easily. She can link information from other web sites right into people’s individual files,” Davidson said. “The training was straightforward and overall a very positive experience. Customer support has been excellent and frankly, superior to anything we experienced before.”
She added that she can input more data into Invenias because “It’s a better tool for what I need to do. You can go take a look at that person on the internet, look at the company they’re employed by and send them an email, all right within the Invenias system – all of which is saved and updated immediately.”
As for Bruner, one of the firm’s client-facing partners, Invenias has helped create a more efficient information flow across the business. “There’s no question I have better information available to check the status of an assignment and to speak with candidates and clients,” Bruner said.
“There’s no doubt Invenias is heads and shoulders above what we had before.