The Pillar Search Process

Red Carpet Service: Pillar firmly believes that personal attention is key to a great result in hiring.  Pillar’s CEO, Cindy Joyce, will meet with you (and staff and board members, as appropriate) to learn about what makes your organization’s culture unique, identify the experience and qualities that will set the successful candidate apart, and determine the best strategy for marketing the opportunity.  Regular check-in calls will be scheduled to ensure open communication and collaboration every step of the way.


Clear & Competitive Pricing:  As a boutique executive search firm, Pillar is able to offer pricing that is tailored to your needs.  Preferred rates are offered to returning clients and those wishing to engage in multiple searches.  


Timing for Your Search: Timing is crucial, both to ensure that you have leadership in place and because the market for talent is so competitive. As a boutique firm, Pillar works with a very limited number of clients at any one time to ensure that your search receives the absolute highest level of care and attention.  The result: fewer candidates lost to other opportunities that come up in a lengthy search and jobs filled successfully in less time so that you and your organization can get back to doing what you do best!


Top-Notch Marketing Materials: Following the in-person meetings, Pillar will create a compelling job abstract.  This document will feature an overview of your organization, job expectations and responsibilities, the qualifications and background required of the ideal candidate, and what success will look like. This helps to guide the search process as well as to attract the best and the brightest candidates for your search.


Leveraging Relationships: Pillar offers an extensive and very current national network of some of the most talented and influential leaders in their area of expertise.  Looking to hire an Executive Director?  Need to find a new Director of Development?  Hiring a board member or someone for the C-Suite?  Need to fill a more junior but no less essential role?  Rest assured, Pillar has you covered.


Customized Research: With an extensive network, Pillar will customize a list of target candidates for your search, including both active job seekers and those who may not be looking but are the ideal fit for your opportunity.


Candidate Identification: Unlike other firms that rely on placing hundreds of phone calls to potential candidates found in a stale database, Pillar is a cutting-edge executive search firm, and uses an innovative direct marketing approach to active contacts in a dynamic, fresh network. Your opportunity will be shared via personalized email outreach to potential candidates first. This creates a buzz about the position, allows us to flush out interest in the position before speaking with potential candidates.  This approach tends to generate a higher number of professional referrals and qualified candidates. Prior placements who were identified using this innovative approach have shared that while they receive calls from top executive search firms and recruiters all the time, THIS was the message they responded to!


A “Less is More” Approach to Job Postings: Job postings work, but can be costly, time consuming, and over-reliance on them runs the risk of excluding passive job seekers or those not looking at all. Pillar will work with you to determine the most judicious plan for job postings to ensure that your job ads will generate the highest return on your investment, using the most effective nonprofit job search sites if yours is a search for a philanthropic organization or nonprofit, and for startups we will pinpoint the sites the top candidates use.


Multiple Interactions with Candidates: Pillar will do an initial telephone interview with candidates to determine fit and suitability. Those selected will then be interviewed in-depth prior to being presented to a client. If selected for an in-person interview with the client, a follow-up in person interview will also occur to ensure that any outstanding questions or concerns are addressed. This allows clients to be assured that each candidate they meet has been completely vetted.


Presentation of Candidates:  Pillar will meet with you for a confidential review of potential, high-caliber candidates. Prior to the meeting, resumes will be shared with the hiring manager, search committee, or board of directors. During that meeting, an overview of the candidates’ professional achievements and career trajectory will be reviewed, along with other key factors such as personality, culture fit, and salary requirements.


Interviews: Pillar will work with the client and candidates to schedule interviews and create the agenda for those meetings. Following the interview, Pillar will gather feedback from both candidates and clients and report back in a timely fashion.  Should you have interviewers on the agenda who are new to interviews or may want a refresher on how to best interview, Pillar will work with those individuals to discuss best practices, share tips, and help formulate customized interview questions.


In-Depth Reference Checks: Once the final candidate(s) are identified, Pillar will work with the client and candidate(s) to identify a list of appropriate professional references who have first-hand knowledge of candidate’s skills and abilities. Pillar will then provide a written overview of each reference to the client.


Extending the Offer: When the selected candidate is identified, Pillar continues to play a critical role, and will be flexible based on client practices and preferences. This can include working with you to structure the offer, extending the offer, serving as the intermediary during negotiations, and working with both parties to answer any questions.


On-Boarding: Once the offer is accepted, Pillar will work with the candidate during his or her resignation, offering counsel should a counter-offer arise, and ensure that a smooth transition occurs prior to their start date.


100% Guaranteed Search Success: Our commitment to our clients and placements extends well beyond the search. With the placement now on board, we will do the following to ensure that both parties are happy:

  • One-, three- and six-month check in calls to both the hiring manager and the placement
  • A one-year guarantee on all placements. In the event that a placement does not work out within one year, Pillar will conduct a replacement search for the same role.
  • Pillar will never recruit a placement, and will not recruit other candidates employed by the client for two years following the successful completion of a search.


Satisfied Clients and Candidates:  We could tell you why you should consider hiring Pillar if you want to hire the best executive search firm, or tell you why we are the best headhunter for nonprofits searches, find the best executives in philanthropy, and can ramp up hiring for your startup, but we’ll let our clients and candidates share their thoughts on why Pillar is the best professional search firm.  Read what our clients have to say on Pillar’s Praise and Accolades page!


Contact Pillar  today to learn more about hiring the best executive search firm for your open position!