An executive search firm’s database is a business asset and a key element in the recruiting process. But for a firm committed to reach beyond its database on every new assignment, capturing candidate data faster and easier has led to better business results.
For Bob Gershberg, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Wray Executive Search, each new client engagement is an opportunity to demonstrate the firm’s deep experience in the restaurant, hospitality, retail and consumer markets as well as its ability to find exceptional candidates who aren’t already part of its extensive candidate database.
Driving great results for clients, he says, requires equal parts market knowledge and access to great known candidates, and a view to the up-and-comers and emerging market leaders who can deliver big results and drive change.
A search firm’s database could inhibit original research if its content is allowed to drive the recruiting process. Rather, Gershberg says, it’s an important tool that has to be continually refreshed by the addition of new client profiles and key insights about clients’ competitors, their markets and distinct operating cultures.
With Invenias, Gershberg affirms, Wray Executive Search is getting the most from its candidate database while multiplying its value to the firm because of the seamless way it enables consultants and researchers to expand its content.
“We had tried other search software products over the years, but not successfully,” Gershberg says. “I’m not sure whether it was a lack of adoption because the software interface wasn’t intuitive, or something else. But we really never got what we needed from other software systems, so we were forced to use Excel spreadsheets.”
Gershberg and his colleague, executive vice president and partner David Ulrich, had met Invenias team member Ashton Moran and were immediately struck by the Invenias view of how technology can help search firms with knowledge management. Moran also brought a view to the frustrations many search firms were experiencing with legacy search software providers, and how Invenias was designed to solve them and make the user interface seamless within firms.
“We met Ashton and we really hit it off with him,” Gershberg recalls. “We were looking at another software system but we got reconnected with Ash. We were looking at how we as a group of search professionals could utilize a central database, and after doing our homework, it was immediately clear that Invenias was better than any alternative software,” he adds.
Invenias has helped Wray Executive Search get its entire team synched up on search assignments and made it far easier to import new candidate records.
“When Invenias came up, we jumped in and we have been pleased. It integrates so well with Microsoft Outlook, and since many of us were very Outlook dependent, it became easy to gain user adoption across our firm.”
The internal changes Invenias has brought about have all been very positive. “It has been a great way of tracking the assignments we’re working on and for each of us to know what the others in our firm are doing,” Gershberg says. “Everything we need is right there at a glance on one screen relative to a candidate or relative to an assignment. It’s a lot of data, but it’s so easy to manage with Invenias,” he says.
Ulrich says that as an everyday user of Invenias, he appreciates its seamless integration of search assignment data with his emails, calendar, important documents and related tasks.
“I find Invenias very easy to use. What I also really like about Invenias is that we can now categorize a lot of the candidates in our database. Before we made the switch to Invenias, there were a fair amount of duplicates in our database,”
Ulrich says. “Now, we have a cleaner database and we can categorize candidates by business segment, specialty areas, geography and more. We can now identify candidates better and faster with Invenias.”
Ulrich adds that since the firm does a lot of original research to supplement the candidate profiles already in its database, using Invenias to quickly and easily import new candidate information makes the search process far more efficient. “It’s very easy to put new candidates into our database from publicly available sources,” Ulrich says. Ulrich and Gershberg agree that Invenias has been a wise investment that has enabled their team to be more productive.
“This tool now enables us to have a greater breadth of access to people and contacts, both clients and prospective clients but also candidates,” Ulrich says.
For Gershberg, the addition of Invenias not only improves how information flows within his firm, but it also represents an important new asset as he looks to grow the overall value of his enterprise.
“We are in a relationship business. Obviously, just because we have a client relationship doesn’t mean we’re always going to win their business,” Gershberg says. “I think we, as a group, are always focused on our value proposition for our clients. The tools we use help us support that commitment, and Invenias helps make that real for our clients.”