• 650 N. Dearborn St., Suite 300 Chicago, IL 60654
  • 312 654 2900

Our Process & Approach

Gaines International’s Executive Search Services and Process

Headquartered in Chicago, Gaines International follows a proven executive search and recruitment process that is tailored to suit our client’s unique needs and requirements. We obtain a complete understanding of your firm’s inner workings and company culture then deliver top candidates who can excel and lead within it. We specialize in executive and management searches for the building and design industry, with a primary focus on architecture, interiors/interior design, engineering, real estate, and construction.

Our process:

Step 1 : Office Visit and Interview

Our first step is to hold an in-depth discussion with our client’s key executives or partners in order to gain knowledge about the company and the position they seek to fill. We want to thoroughly understand what will be required of the right candidate, the responsibilities of the position and how this person will fit within your organization.

During the initial consultation, we meet with key people to establish criteria for the hiring initiative and gather the following:
– Details of the position
– Information on organizational structure
– Overall strategic plan and mission
– Company history and compelling anecdotes
– Understanding of company culture and vision
– Marketing collateral and information to sell company and location

Step 2 : Establish a Clear Position Description

Working directly with the client, we draft a position specification that describes the nature of the opportunity, the ideal candidate, and a description of your company. This knowledge allows us to be more informed and motivational when discussing the opportunity with interested candidates and sources.

Step 3 : Search Kickoff Meeting

Once specifications of the position have been established, we leverage our experience, relationships and systematic research to develop a comprehensive search plan.

We work with our client to create a list of organizations and individuals with the required experience and achievement records, thereby defining a network of probable prospects. This process enables us to present candidates who are the most qualified for the position.

The purpose of the search kickoff meeting is to:
– Identify target companies
– Determine candidate profile
– Establish resources
– Define geographical scope

Step 4 : Research and Identify Prospects: Candidate Development

We then cast a large (but targeted) net to prospects and sources by leveraging the following resources:
– Long-standing, interdisciplinary relationships
– Database retrieval
– Internet research
– New name generation
– Industry organizations and alumni associations

Through candidate development and evaluation, these prospects become candidates.

Candidates identified through extensive sourcing are then screened. After in-depth interviews the field is narrowed to a selection of exceptionally qualified and interested candidates whom we recommend for formal consideration.

Step 5 : Candidate Deliverables

We then present the following information on the recommended candidates:
– Resume
– Interview reports
– Portfolio and work samples (if applicable)
– Project list (if applicable)

Step 6 : Interviews and Follow-Up

We will schedule and coordinate the interview(s) and make travel arrangements if necessary.

Post interview(s):  We will elicit feedback from both parties and gather pertinent questions.

Step 7 : Offer Preparation and Information Gathering

Once a top candidate has been selected, we consult with the client on preparation of an offer.  We conduct reference conversations about the final candidate with previous supervisors, subordinates, peers and appropriate external associates, and then report their results back to you.

Step 8 : The Offer, Negotiations and Transition

In a joint effort between our team and the client, we help to determine what is needed in terms of position, resource commitments, growth opportunities and financial incentives in order to hire the most desired candidate.

We discuss the following with the candidate:

– Current salary and benefits package
– Timing
– Prior references
– Relocation issues (real estate/moving costs, visit area with spouse or significant other, schools, doctors, etc.)
– Counteroffer discussion

We make it our goal to establish a mutually acceptable offer and, if necessary, assist our client with:

– Drafting an offer letter
– Extending the offer
– Assisting negotiations
– Establishing candidate start date

Step 9 : Final Follow-Up

Within the first 6 months of the successful candidate’s employment, we follow up with both the client and candidate to discuss and assess the integration of the new hire within your organization.

This discussion is an excellent time to reinforce the decision by both parties and to identify any misunderstandings or misconceptions that may have developed during the hiring process.

Our Process & Approach
  • “If you are a potential client on the fence about whether to work with Gaines or not, I would say ‘you won’t regret it’.  Gaines will deliver for you.”

    - Walker Parking Consultants Engineers, Vice President of Human Resources
  • ‘…a reliable source of information and an extraordinary ambassador for both the company trying to recruit talent or the individual looking for a new opportunity.”

    - Gensler, Executive Director & Managing Principal
  • “…Gaines delivered to an exceptional level driving efficient and effective searches that left all candidates with a true feeling of value and respect.”

    - DFS Hong Kong Limited, President Store Operations