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Who does the heavy lifting in corporate America? You do.

Who does the heavy lifting in corporate America? You Chad Oakley
Chief Executive Officer at Charles Aris Inc.

About 10 years ago, shortly after I had left Bain & Company and was ramping up my executive search practice here at Charles Aris Inc., I was in Atlanta meeting with one of my clients – the Executive Vice President of Strategy & Corporate Development for a market-leading $10 billion company. When I walked into the EVP’s spacious office, he was seated at his desk, working feverishly on his computer, and I couldn’t help but notice that on his screen was a relatively complex Excel model.

“Hey, look at you,” I joked, “dusting off the old Excel skills?”

I never expected to see a direct report to the CEO for a company that has tens of thousands of employees waist deep in an Excel model. The EVP chuckled at my response.

“Surprising, huh?”

And then he really surprised me.

“Truth is, Chad, I’m in Excel at least four to five hours a week – and sometimes four to five hours a day when we’re closing in on a deal,” he said. “When we’re buying a company, we can’t afford to leave the details to junior analysts. I’ve got to know the ins and outs of a deal better than anyone in the organization. Sure, I might rely on junior staff to help me with some of the due diligence, but I’m the quarterback, and the quarterback has to know everything.”

I was shocked. Didn’t executives graduate from building models and PowerPoint decks and start playing a quality-control role around the Director or VP level, much less the EVP level?

Fast-forward a decade, after hundreds upon hundreds of discussions with former consultants who are now in corporate America, and I have learned the following: The best never hang up their cleats.

The most successful performers – those who climb the career ladder fastest – are still doing the heavy lifting themselves. They still run their own models (at least all the important ones) and they still build out their PowerPoint decks (at least the “million-dollar slides”).

Do they use junior staff? Yes, but selectively – and partly because they care about the next generation of leaders at their company and they enjoy coaching and mentoring. In short, the best do their work as though they own the company themselves, and they don’t leave anything to chance.

I have another compelling example to share. At this point, roughly one-third of Charles Aris clients are private equity firms, and those firms often engage us on a search for a “Chief of Staff to the CEO” or a “Head of Transformation” for one of their portfolio companies. Regardless of the title, the roles are similar and the desired profile is always the same: The P.E. firm wants a former strategy consultant who has since moved into corporate America, and who has a track record of [insert generic phrase such as “making it happen” or “moving the needle” or “pushing the company to its full potential”] by rolling up their sleeves. And then they all say what they do not want: an ivory-tower thinker who likes to delegate the real work to junior staff.

The inspiration for this article was a conversation I had with a candidate just this past week. He expressed concerns to me about the true seniority of a position for which he is interviewing, as the role only has one direct report.

“I want to make sure that this isn’t a glorified analyst position,” he said.

I fully understand his concerns, for as a principal in consulting he’s used to having teams of four to six consultants reporting to him. Thirty minutes later, I shared his thoughts with my client – but already knew the response I was going to hear because I’ve heard it so many times before.

“Chad, our group doesn’t have a bunch of junior staff running around. I’m an SVP and I still build models and slide decks, and so does my boss,” the hiring authority said. “If this candidate doesn’t care to do that work anymore, then unfortunately this probably won’t be a great fit.”

Now I’m guessing that some of you aren’t loving this message; you were hoping that the heavy lifting eventually goes away. But I do have good news: There’s no better joy in business than being the person who knows all the answers. You become the go-to person, the trusted adviser, the expert. And best of all, you become indispensable.

So … my advice? Keep those sleeves rolled up. Don’t ever lose your sense of curiosity. Relish the details. Your career will thank you!

Lastly, know that I’m in this with you. Our annual Strategy Consulting Compensation Study that we release every January? Well, it’s a beast. In the end, it’s 900-plus data points displayed throughout 12 tight slides, but it takes tens of hours to produce. And who builds the model and creates all the slides? Yup, it’s me.

Original Source: USA - Charles Aris Inc.

It’s our job to care about your job

It’s our job to care about your jobby Joe Metts
Marketing Intern at Charles Aris Inc.

Open, honest and candid communication serves as the backbone of successful business partnerships. Many of us live in a world where little can be accomplished without two or more parties actively collaborating to produce results.

At Charles Aris Inc., we’re no different. There are three primary parties in every talent search we conduct: our client, our candidates and our executive search consultants. Each search is different, but those primary parties can bring 20 or 200 or 2,000 people into the equation, creating an environment where effective communication is not only desired but is a necessity.

At Charles Aris, we strive to live The 22, our set of principles which define who we are as an organization and what we guarantee to everyone with whom we do business. A common thread among many of these principles is that we strive to do right by our people – clients, candidates and Charles Aris team members alike. We want to ensure that whoever you may be, you know that we care and act accordingly.

Sure, we want to open and close executive searches efficiently. More importantly, however, we want our placements to be the right fit for our clients – and vice versa. Ultimately, we aim to create the best situation possible for all involved.

We present to our clients only those candidates who are qualified, available and interested, and we target those who are sincerely ready to take the next step in their careers. Our quality is directly attributable to a handful of our guiding principles:

• Principle No. 1: We’re open, honest and candid – We believe that integrity is earned, never granted. As we work to establish lasting relationships around the world, we guarantee transparency and the truth as we move through each search. If we hit a roadblock, you will know. If there is a hole we need to fill, we will ask. If you’re the perfect match, we will present you as such. We understand that the time of our clients, candidates and team members is extremely valuable, and as such should never be wasted.

• Principle No. 9: We care about each other – Charles Aris has established a culture where credit is rightfully given. Each member of our team adds unique value to our firm, and we pride ourselves on internal and external collaboration. Our ability to strategically function as a unit enables us to create the best results possible for our clients and candidates. Because we care for each other, we can better care for you.

• Principle No. 13: We’re carefrontational – Our firm is purposely designed to minimize internal competition among team members, which frees us to genuinely support each other’s successes. Constructive conflict is vital to the long-term success of every individual and the firm, while silent dissent only erodes that success. We also genuinely care for our clients as we work to add value and optimize cultural fit for their organizations, all while placing candidates in the right opportunities for themselves, their families and their future. We focus on the individuals integrally involved in every talent transaction so that we can better take care of our partners on both sides of that equation.

As we continue to grow and develop as a firm, we understand that preserving our reputation for honest, high-quality work is the only way that we will continue to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Whether you’re a current or future client, a placement or potential candidate, a team member or future intern, Charles Aris Inc. is excited to get to know you on a personal level – and to help you achieve your objectives. We care, and we’ll prove it.

Original Source: USA - Charles Aris Inc.

Charles Aris Inc. adds ENGAGE Talent tools to its recruiting intelligence suite

Charles Aris Inc. adds ENGAGE Talent tools to its recruiting intelligence suiteCharles Aris Inc. is proud to announce its selection of ENGAGE Talent, a sourcing platform that combines big data and predictive analytics, as the executive search firm continues to enhance its recruitment services for client organizations.

Built to deliver timely business intelligence and greater sourcing efficiency, ENGAGE software tools will enable the Charles Aris search team to quickly identify and place qualified, available and interested candidates in mission-critical roles. With more than 100 million passive candidates and eight million professionals “likely to engage” on a weekly basis, ENGAGE joins Charles Aris at the forefront of innovation in recruiting.

“This premium platform complements and, in many ways, has the potential to dramatically improve our strong suite of recruiting research tools,” said Brian Styers, Charles Aris Inc.’s senior director of knowledge management. “Our team of executive search consultants will use the predictive availability signals in ENGAGE to further refine our 14-Step Priority Search Process for the sake of clients and candidates alike.”

That alignment across organizations has impressed Charles Aris chief operating officer Allen Oakley from the start.

“What I like most about our interactions with the ENGAGE team and platform is their approach to partnership,” Oakley said. “They want to hear the voice of their consumers. ENGAGE leaders’ personal introduction of new product releases, along with proactive gathering of user feedback, speaks volumes about their commitment to ensure that partnerships start strong and stay strong as each organization evolves.”

Styers sees great value in that collaborative approach.

“The ENGAGE team is remarkably responsive. They’ve developed an innovative tool that only grows more effective as they incorporate input from our professional researchers and recruiters,” Styers said. “I’m excited about what this technology can do for our clients and candidates in the marketplace.”

ENGAGE Talent CEO and founder Joseph Hanna is optimistic about the partnership’s prospective impact.

“We are extremely honored to have been selected by Charles Aris,” Hanna said. “Partnering with a premier search firm with almost 50 years of history in the space is a strong testament to the innovations we are delivering, and to their ability to adopt and influence leading-edge technologies.”

To learn more about this partnership or product, call Brian Styers at 336-378-1818 or email him.

Original Source: USA - Charles Aris Inc.

Charles Aris Inc. adds expertise in education, aerospace and autos

Charles ArisExecutive search firm Charles Aris Inc. has added three new practice leaders to its growing business development team, diversifying its recruitment capabilities in the Automotive, Aerospace & Defense, and Education spaces.


Rick NoelRick Noel has joined the Charles Aris team as a practice leader focused on placing executives in the automotive industry.

Rick joined the Greensboro-based firm with 31 years of experience in engineering, operations, quality and project management – including 17 years in the automotive industry. His track record is strong: Rick previously worked with organizations such as Johnson Controls and Magna International, and spent 14 years in the industrial engineered products arena while serving in global senior leadership roles with companies such as Danaher and Actuant Corporation.

To learn more, call Rick Noel at 336-378-1818 x9137 or email him at [email protected].

Blair BassBlair Bass has joined the Charles Aris team as an engineering and operations practice leader focused on placing executives in the aerospace and defense industries.

Blair holds senior leadership experience in business management / operations consulting. He has used his diverse background in customer service, business development, project management, IT development and deployment, operations management, inventory management, finance and sales to increase efficiency and improve profitability across functional areas.

Prior to joining Charles Aris Inc., Blair served as vice president operations in a Fortune 100 organization. Blair has also served as principal / vice president of a global consulting firm, leading its North American Aerospace & Defense practice. He has led innovation and operational improvement efforts for a wide range of multibillion-dollar and multinational corporations while focusing on leadership development and employee engagement initiatives.

To learn more, call Blair Bass at 336-378-1818 x9157 or email him at [email protected].

Susan SchurmanSusan Schurman has joined the Charles Aris team as a private equity practice leader focused on placing executives in the education space.

Susan is a strategic thought leader with proven success in cultivating high-achieving dynamic teams. Prior to joining Charles Aris Inc., she worked in many facets of corporate training and education including recruiting and developing sales and leadership teams in both retail and direct sales markets globally. Having successfully built mission-critical teams for brands including May Company and Limited Brands, Susan moved into the corporate direct sales management world, working with Avon Products to create a standardized national recruiting and training program for its salesforce of more than 500,000.

Susan continued to expand her expertise in corporate training and development as the national director of sales and marketing for Motives Cosmetics, where her international teams in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada showed unprecedented sales growth.

To learn more, call Susan Schurman at 336-378-1818 x9159 or email her at [email protected].

  • Ashlee Wagner has promoted from senior associate recruiter to associate practice leader. Ashlee places elite strategy consultants in a variety of industries and functions.
  • Alissa Hornbuckle has promoted from associate recruiter to senior associate recruiter. Alissa places senior leaders in an array of industries and functions.
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