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Our Executive Search Process

At GatenbySanderson, we have the experience and commitment to build sustained capacity in our clients’ organisations. Often, we work with the most challenged organisations, where the solutions require a holistic approach to achieve cultural change.

This is delivered through our rigorous approach to recruitment and selection which, as outlined in table below, is designed around a robust and logical process. We work in close partnership with our clients, helping to identify their initial needs, attracting and searching out the best candidates, undertaking comprehensive screening, assessment and selection and delivering post appointment support.

Our methods are tried, tested and most of all effective. That’s why over 70% of our clients come back to us again.


Research is a search methodology used to identify prospective candidates currently in the market for a specific role. This involves extensive networking with known contacts - together with well placed new sources - to ensure that the right candidates are approached. In addition, desk top research is carried out to supplement this process so as to further ensure that the marketplace has been covered and the very best talent identified.

Service Process

Identifying the need

  • Skills audit
  • Review terms and conditions of employment
    – Advice regarding market expectations on salaries, job titles, conditions of employment and tiers
  • Prepare job description and person specification
  • Recruitment strategy assistance
  • Salary surveys
  • Scope and identify requirements for Interim assistance v full-time recruitment
  • Organisational structure review


  • Research
    – Identifying prospective candidates currently in the market
  • Database mining
    – Searching our extensive database for suitable candidates
  • Internal Talent Pool
  • External Talent Pool
    – Identifying any suitable candidates from other sectors

Attracting candidates

  • Recruitment branding
    – Develop a recruitment brand to ensure you are placed as an employer of choice
  • Develop candidate information
    – Information pack production service or recruitment website development
  • Advertising
    – Advise on media selection, positioning, timing and cost
  • Copywriting and creative design
  • Microsite development
  • Recruitment website hosting

Post appointment

  • Process quality and perception review
  • Organisation quality and perception review
  • In post support
    – Induction, mentoring, transition coaching


  • Response management and initial screening
    – Professional handling of candidate information, sift against criteria and take initial soundings
  • Candidate expense management
    – Receipt, processing and payment of candidate expenses
  • Interview
    – Interview and preparation of candidate profiles
  • Short list
    – Proposing short list with feedback, advising any unsuccessful applicants and responding to any queries
  • Assessment Centres
    Please see separate assessment chart
  • GS Sector, function and client assessment norms
    – Assess short listed candidates against norms
  • Technical assessment
    – Expert technical assessment of the short listed candidates
  • References
    – Reference taking on short listed candidates
  • Right to work checks
    – Check short listed candidates against required right to work criteria
  • Final Panel
    – Arrange and attend final panel
  • Decision support
    – Consultation on selection of the successful candidate
  • Convey decisions
    – Advising successful and unsuccessful applicants and responding to queries
  • Overall process management
  • Member training
    – Training for members on the recruitment process and final panel

If you would like to learn more about how GatenbySanderson can help you, contact us on Leeds 0113 205 6071, London 020 7426 3960 or Birmingham 0121 644 5700.