What is 12M Recruiting, and what is your main service?

12M is a consulting firm with expertise in executive and leadership hiring.  We are engaged most often by mission-aligned organizations to support thoughtful, intentional, and inclusive searches for a specific leadership opening.  As part of each search, we help define not just the position but also a hiring strategy and forward-thinking vision for the role, all of which are embedded in our custom-designed, informative, and truly exceptional opportunity statements.

What else do you do?

Sometimes we're engaged to conduct a needs assessment, usually related to roles and responsibilities, systems and processes, or vision and strategy within the context of a specific department or leadership team.  Sometimes we provide background consulting to a management team or board related to one or more of those aforementioned areas.

How do you earn revenue?

We are hired by organizations.  Individuals or candidates do not pay us.

Do you represent candidates?

No.  We are not a placement firm or staffing agency.  We do not represent individual candidates.

Do you find candidates?

No, with an asterisk.  We don't head hunt, target, or poach.  We don't promise a candidate pool that doesn't exist.  However, when we support an executive search, we spend a great deal of time and resources to advertise the position, spread the word, leverage referral sources, and contact industry professionals.  Thus, we believe, and we have dozens of past successes to demonstrate, that our process finds and uncovers a divese pool of potential candidates that are mission-aligned and highly qualified.  But at the end of the day, we invite people to apply, and only those that do get passed on to the hiring team.

Wait.  Your name is 12M Recruiting.  I'm a candidate: Will you find me my next job?  I'm an employer: Will you find me someone to fill my job opening?

No and no.  We believe that the word "recruiting" has gotten stretched by the industry in both directions.  In response to employer requests, if you're just looking for someone to "fill" a job, then we're the wrong firm.  We are not head hunters, but we will work tremendously hard to help spread the word about your opportunity.  In response to candidate requests, pushing out résumés is not our business model.  We approach recruitment from the standpoint of helping employers invite a diverse set of mission-aligned candidates to apply for unique and strategic positions, and then helping to support a first-class hiring process to ensure that the best possible hiring decision is made.

I'm a candidate working with an agency, placement firm, or private recruiter.  Can they submit an anonymous application on my behalf?

No  All prospective candidates must submit their own application, with all identifying information fully revealed.  We do not accept anonymous applications or résumés with employment histories withheld.  However, prospective candidates can connect with us confidentially to put themselves on our radar.  And all applications submitted to us are shared only with the hiring team of the client that is running that particular search.

I'm an employer working with one or more contigency placement firms?  What happens if one of their candidates submits an application?  Do you pay a portion of their fee?

No.  We charge a fixed fee for running a search on your behalf.  We do the same amount of work, regardless of whether the candidate came from internal to your organization, from one of our internal databases, from a third-party recruiter source, or from a link off a job board.  If you have signed on with a placement firm, that contractual obligation is between you and that other firm.  The searches that we support require all candidates to submit a full application through our system, and then go through the same evaluation process from start to finish.  If this is not the process you desire, then we are not the right firm for you.

Do you withhold applications from your clients?  Do you decide which candidates advance to the next round?

No and no.  Our clients receive every qualified application that is submitted by the deadline.  After each stage in the process, our clients decide which candidates to advance to the next round.

So what does your involvement in a hiring endeavor look like?

Fundamentally, we are consultants that support executive searches, which typically last between three and twelve months.  We advise our clients on the decisions they have to make, and we perform an immense amount of work on behalf of those clients.  But ultimately those decisions rest with our clients, and all work comes at the direction of our clients.  Major components of our work usually include items from the following list.  However, each project is different, and each client asks us to support a particular search in a unique way.

  • Guiding clients through all phases of an executive search process, from start to finish
  • Conducting a needs assessment
  • Writing and developing a mission-aligned opportunity statement
  • Processing and reviewing applications
  • Contacting references after receiving written approval from an applicant
  • Providing updates and information to candidates throughout the process
  • Developing and observing performance tasks
  • Planning the logistics of each round
  • Serving as a helpful intermediary during key moments of the search

What are your core values when supporting an executive search?

Our core values are diversity, intentionality, and longevity.  We believe that a leadership search requires a commitment to inviting and welcoming a diverse set of applicants.  Then, a search must at every phase be intentional: each task and step requires thoughtful execution, and all parts of the search methodology should be equitable and inclusive--so that everyone involved trusts the process and supports the ultimate decision.  From our experience, when a commitment is made to both diversity and intentionality, the end result is usually leadership longevity: a mission-aligned executive who remains with the organization for many years, often elevating to even greater roles.

What is your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity?

As stated above, DEI is a fundamental part of our core values.  More specifically:

Diversity in the candidate pool and the search committee

Every search should make its best effort to attract a diverse candidate pool, both in terms of the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds of applicants, but also in terms of the professional experiences of applicants.  A diverse candidate pool can catalyze better decision-making from the hiring team and increase support for the ultimate hiring decision, by demonstrating to all parties that the hiring process considered a diverse set of ideas, approaches, experiences, viewpoints, and most importantly candidates.  We also believe that the search committee, if one is being used, should not only be a reflection of the diversity of an organization's workforce, but it should place diverse and underrepresented voices into roles of leadership and power.

Equity in the assessment process

An assessment process should be equitable, by applying the same methodology to all candidates, regardless not only of their racial ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds, but also of their professional backgrounds.  While this methodology need not, and should not, be rote, linear, or one-size-fits-all, it must be equitably applied using a consistent set of metrics and criteria, so that evaluation biases are minimized if not eliminated.

Inclusivity in the application call

An application call must be inclusive, by giving all potential applicants a sufficient amount of information about, and context for, the position, so that no group of applicants is at a disadvantage.  In particular, qualified applicants should not be discouraged from applying or less likely to advance in the process simply because they were not known to the hiring team or did not have sufficient inside information about the position or organization.

How will an employer or a candidate see tangible evidence of your commitment to DEI?

  • We never forward internal resumes from a known stable of contacts for a quick hire.
  • We don't represent or place candidates.
  • We develop opportunity statements that are true invitations to apply.  We provide more information in our opportunity statements than do most executive recruiting firms, because we believe nontraditional candidates deserve as much insight and clarity as possible.
  • We invest heavily in public advertising across a broad set of public job boards, to catalyze applications from candidates with diverse sets of experiences and backgrounds.
  • Each of our searches requires a unique application submission, so that all applicants are on equal standing from the beginning.
  • We distribute to our clients all applications that were completed on-time.  We never filter out segments of the applicant pool from our clients.
  • We don't work on commission or a percentage of the final salary.  Our fee is fixed in advance of each search.  We don't get paid a dollar more based on a particular hiring decision or salary offer, so that we have no incentive whatsoever to encourage the hiring of elite or overqualified candidates.
  • We have no stake in the hiring outcome.  Some clients hire zero, one, or even two or more of the applicants from a search.  Some clients hire external candidates, and some hire internal candidates.  We have no incentive to steer or influence the ultimate hiring decision.
  • We don't make decisions on which applicants to move from one round to the next.  All decisions are made by our clients.
  • Over half the searches we have supported have brought an element of diversity to the leadership team.
  • In the vast majority of searches that we have supported, the hired candidate was someone that was not known to us previously.

What are the shortcomings of your methodology?

Perhaps the biggest shortcoming is part of our core strength.  We do not make any hiring decisions during the process, and we don't represent candidates.  Rather, we view our role as defenders of process.  Thus, while we remain steadfastly committed to our methodology and to principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the end hiring result is ultimately a function of the applicants who apply and the choices our clients make.  We don't keep a stable of exclusive candidates that we're coaching to get hired.  And by the same token, we don't force or even entice a client to advance one particular candidate or groups of candidates.  We believe that diversity is a positive value in a hiring search, but at the end of the day, we make recommendations and offer guidance that both clients and candidates can accept or reject.

Do you have an interest in hearing from executives or aspiring executives in search of their next opportunity?

Absolutely.  We always welcome hearing from someone who is looking to make a transition or aspires to new leadership roles.  However, to be clear we do not represent candidates, we don't prepare or coach individuals, and we don't push out résumés like staffing agencies or contingency firms do.  Thus, if someone is looking for help finding a job, that is not a service that we offer.  We are not recruiting people into a proprietary stable of professionals.  Granted, we do maintain a large database, and we invite people known to us to apply for the executive searches that we're supporting.  However, those individuals will have no greater or lesser chance of getting the job than would a candidate that was not known to us previously.  And all candidates must submit a full application to each job application, no matter how well we know them or how many times they've applied in the past.

Do you offer a guarantee if a hire does not work out in the first six months or year?

No.  All decisions are made by the employer and the candidate.  We have no say in selecting applicants to advance, choosing the hired candidate, negotiating the offer terms, or managing the employment relationship.  A guarantee like this is relevant for contingency or placement service, in which an employer brings someone on-board based on a recommendation from an agency.  We are heavily engaged throughout an executive search from start to finish, but at the end of day we are not the decision-makers.

I applied to a position for which you were running the search, but I did not get the job. Will you keep my information on file? Will I have to submit another full application in the future?

Yes, and yes.  We always keep candidate information on file and reach out to invite people to apply for future opportunities, should we see a potential alignment.  But in the end, it's just that--a potential alignment.  Each employer ultimately make the decisions on their actual applicant pool, and we never crossover applications from one search to the next.  Thus, if you are interested in another opportunity, you will need to fill out a separate application that captures your personal information as of the moment you apply.  We acknowledge that this may feel like repetitive work, but in the end, it's not.  We are not advocating for candidates, and each search that we support is for a specific leadership role.  If you are looking to cast a wide and broad net, you are better off using a candidate service or job match board.

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