Everyone knows the children’s story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The moral of the story—the importance of keeping a sustainable and healthy balance that doesn’t go too far in either extreme—is often applied in our approach to search engagements at Townsend.

The Goldilocks Approach in Action

We were recently working to place an executive at a middle-market, private-equity-sponsored portfolio company with whom we’d already placed close to a dozen professionals in varying leadership roles. This is a successful, long-standing client relationship that we’ve consistently delivered on.

We were able to quickly introduce our first candidate, and the client unanimously agreed this was their pick—the candidate shared a mutual enthusiasm.

We’ve worked with this client for several years, and they place a great deal of faith in us. Understanding the gravity of such a role, it’s our duty to counsel and ensure they’re making the right decision.

Now, if this scenario arose with any other search firm, they would probably praise the client for finding their match and quickly move the offer along—it’s a win-win-win for all involved, right?

Instead, the Townsend team—practicing the Goldilocks approach—strongly recommended the client take their time and meet with additional candidates before making a final decision.

Why? Because our primary concern is making sure the placements we conduct have the highest likelihood of long-term success. Even if a hiring team thinks they’re ready to move forward, we have to make sure they don’t get swept up in the moment and make a hiring decision they might regret.

We purposefully tapped the brakes to give everyone time to process the hire, suggested at least one subsequent meeting to reaffirm the fit and recommended they meet a second candidate we felt strongly about to ensure they’d done some level of diligence in the market.

On the other extreme, a hiring team that moves too slowly in deliberating their selection risks diminishing any initial excitement the candidates might have had about the opportunity, resulting in them moving on to greener, more decisive pastures.

To achieve the best outcome, search is all about that steady balance between finding a great candidate and keeping the correct cadence, while on the other extreme cautioning against moving too fast.

The Townsend Difference

It’s by acting solely in the best interest of the deal itself that the “Goldilocks Zone” reveals itself. If your organization is ready, get in touch with any of us on the Townsend Search team and experience The Journey to placing top executive talent.