Executive Search as a Science,
by Nicholas Meyler
I think Executive Search is a field of study with somewhat contradictory parts to it — for instance, that there is an emphasis on thoroughness, diligence, exhaustiveness, finding ALL possible solutions, etc.; but, there is also a high emphasis on intuitionistic processes, like deciding which candidate to call, guessing who might be most interested, anticipating what objections a client might have to a specific candidate, etc.
So, I see it as both an Art and a Science. Nonetheless, my predilection is to cultivate and enhance my skills at that aspect of Search which can be formulated in some sort of scientific terms, algorithmically, if you will.
I consider Eratosthenes to be the first great mathematician/scientist obsessed with the idea of “Search”. In Eratosthenes’ case, his quest was for Prime Numbers, using a technique called “Sieve Theory”…. Basically, Eratosthenes used matrix theory, focusing on different sizes and dimensions of matrices (long before matrices were even invented), which could then be ‘screened’ by template-like, formulaic, sieves. This is a foreshadowing, I think, of the “Big Data” concept of Search, wherein exhaustive analysis of enormous numbers of possible candidates is required to find the Ultimately “Best” one.
I firmly believe that the new and recent trends towards a “Big Data” approach to recruitment (despite possible false complaints of ‘spam’, etc.) is part of the solution to the inevitable quest to find the very best candidate for a given position. In terms of computer-theory, this is called a “Brute-force algorithm” (in other words, it is a process relying upon massive data-sets and the ability of computers to calculate extremely complex results in milliseconds). This approach definitely works, and there is no question about that. However, I feel that what the Search Industry is really striving towards is more of an “intuitionistic” / AI (artificial intelligence) process which actually shortens the calculative tree by “pruning off” fruitless branches.
Is this not Obvious?
Euclid pointed out that the shortest distance between two points (such as point Q [quest or question] and point A [answer]) is always a straight line — which is always true (axiomatically) in any Planar geometry (Non-Euclidean Geometries [Riemannian/Gaussian or Hyperboloid/Parabaloid] being excluded for this discussion, although my very first Retained Search placement, 25 years ago, was a PhD student in the field of Differential Geometry).
So, what am I saying? I’m not entirely sure, yet. However, the Deed of Search must be done, and “’tis best ’twere done quickly.”
At present, I have a number of exciting searches across the USA for senior-level Additive Manufacturing Engineers with 3D printing experience, and at least a MS degree. Strong skills in CAD and Materials Science, as well as Manufacturing, are critical. Digital Manufacturing experience is a MUST for these positions. If interested, or curious, please contact me!
Nicholas Meyler is a member of the Association of 3D printing and can be reached at www.wdsearch.com.