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Onboarding Experts Series: David Lord

Podcast with David Lord; improving the executive search

David LordDavid Lord

"If you are going to use a recruiter, pick the right type and the right individual or firm and be prepared to manage your recruiting partner. David Lord is one of the world's experts on recruiters." -- David Lord. Onboarding, p. 62

Welcome to a special Inside Recruiting Channel edition of Total Picture Radio, with Peter Clayton reporting. When George Bradt and Mary Vonnegut set out to write Onboarding: How to Get Your New Employees Up to Speed in Half the Time , they invited a select group of experts to share their knowledge in the onboarding process. In this special series here on Total Picture Radio, we'll be interviewing, in depth, the individuals chosen by the authors to contribute their experience, expertise, and perspective.

The Experts Series — Onboarding is sponsored by PrimeGenesis. Founded in 2002, PrimeGenesis' mission is singular: use executive onboarding and facilitated transition acceleration to help new leaders and their teams deliver sustainable, Better Results Faster. Based in Stamford, Ct. PrimeGenesis is led by senior operating executives and organizational development specialists with deep and varied business experience.

David Lord has been independently tracking the performance of executive search consultants for more than 20 years, first as a journalist and since 1995 as a consultant to large corporations on the selection and engagement of search firms. This is the third Guest Expert podcast in the series. David contributed to Chapter 4 of Onboarding; "Create a Powerful Slate of Potential Candidates."

Please Note: We've tried to schedule the interviews in this series sequentially, as presented in the book. Because of scheduling conflicts, that will not always be possible.

Questions for David Lord

  • What is the state of the executive search industry in the midst of this recession? (ESIX)
  • How has technology and social networks like Linkedin changed the role of the executive recruiter?
  • Your contribution to Onboarding covers Eight Prescriptions for Employers using Outside Search Firms starting with "Focus on the Real Business Case for managing a search activity. Could you expand on that?
  • Second on your list is avoid being driven by reducing search fees. That must be really difficult in this environment. I think there's a mentality that exists today which says your a hero if you cut costs - regardless of the long-term consequences of these actions.
  • Third: Get senior management buy in. Seems obvious. What are the disconnects?
  • The old saw "what gets measured gets done" companies get so caught up in assessments, evaluations, scorecards, metrics: how do you go about effectively tracking the outcomes of search engagements? What do you measure that really matters in this arena?
  • You recommend using engagement letters with fixed fees. Why a fixed fee approach?
  • You also recommend separating the oversight of retained search from contingency recruiting. Why?
  • What didn't I ask that you would like to share with the audience?

David Lord Biography

David Lord founded ESIS in response to requests from corporations for better information about executive recruiters and best practices in working with them. Since then he has helped more than 100 Fortune 500 corporations improve executive search effectiveness.

David is a frequently quoted writer and speaker on issues in executive recruiting and serves as a moderator, panelist and presenter at executive search industry conferences worldwide.

He is facilitator of the Executive Search Information Exchange, a research and discussion group for heads of executive recruiting from leading corporations. Additionally, David is founder of the Executive Search Academy, a two-day course in best practices held twice a year in New York.

David is former Editor at Kennedy Information, publishers of Executive Recruiter News and The Directory of Executive Recruiters, as well as a member of the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruitment.

David holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from The College of William & Mary.

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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