Executive search

Search Methodology

Affex Executive Search provides complete executive search services since this is our core business. We follow a process which is totally results-oriented, a process which draws upon the experience, abilities and professionalism of our seasoned executive team. We offer tailor-made services to corporations and public organizations which – more often than not – encounter human resource needs in fiscally-challenging environments.

The RIGOUR of our search process enables us to always find the right candidate for our client – within Canada or internationally. RESULTS of our search process always exceed or – as a minimum – meet the expectations of our clients and this is the raison d’être of our 1-year GUARANTEE.

The approach is normally a 5-stage process :

  1. Client Needs and Candidate Profile

    Critical to a successful search is a solid understanding of our client’s organization, environment, management objectives, leadership style and desired outcomes.
    In the development of an Ideal Candidate Profile outlining the required professional competencies and qualifications and the desired personal characteristics of candidates, we will sometimes recommend a creative consultative process. Developed by our President, Mr. Jean Leroux, it is based on the widely accepted US Centre for Creative Leadership model and adapted to our Canadian business context.

    Translation costs for the Ideal Candidate Profile and the summary of the document are completely covered by Affex Executive Search and are not passed on to the client.

  2. Search Strategy and Timetable

    A specific Search Strategy is outlined and a strategic search map prepared. It includes the selection criteria, appropriate sources of potential candidates, a compensation and benefits fact sheet, an advertising strategy and budget where applicable and a search timetable. The map is presented in written form to the client for review. A professional search, as a rule of thumb, takes from 6 to 8 weeks, from start of search to hire.

  3. Candidate Search

    Our approach is targeted to the client’s needs, systematic and thorough. It attempts to satisfy all rules of fairness and public scrutiny. It relies on the logic established in the Search Strategy, our comprehensive candidate database and a wide network of professional contacts. The full-time Research Director and the Project Manager work in close collaboration in the same office. It is not unusual for a search to involve 250 or 300 or more direct, proactive contacts. The Project Manager does not delegate the work to other partners or to the Research Director. He is in direct contact with candidates and the client on a continuous basis.

    If the Search Strategy includes soliciting applicants through newspaper or web site advertising, Affex Executive Search will work with the client to ensure appropriate wording and placement of ads. We will design, write and place all advertisements and notices. All responses will be handled by Affex Executive Search.

    Translation costs for the advertisements will be completely assumed by Affex Executive Search and will not be passed on to the client.

    Once qualified, potential candidates are identified and screened, they are contacted for an initial assessment. These confidential, in-depth preliminary interviews allow us to obtain a thorough understanding of their experience, accomplishments, level of interest, and potential “fit” with the client. From our initial list, some 5-10 will emerge as strong candidates with the interest and proven management talent required for initial consideration – the “Long List”.

    Regular updates will be provided to the client Lead Manager, at all stages of the process. The Manager’s active input is encouraged throughout. Any potential internal candidates are treated with the utmost tact and integrity.

  4. Presentation of candidates to clients & Candidate selection

    Once the preliminary interviews with candidates are complete, the “Long List” of qualified candidates will be presented to the client Lead Manager. A complete report is presented including resumes of the ‘Long list’, recap of experience and qualifications and general observations on candidates.

    When necessary, Affex Executive Search will translate the report in both official languages at its own cost and will not pass on the cost to the client.

    Four to five candidates are normally selected to form the “Short list” and proceed to the final stage of the search process.

    Once a “Short list” of candidates has been identified, interviews are scheduled promptly. We assist with the interviewing process in many ways. This usually involves coordinating the logistics of the interviews (we encourage holding interviews in our board room in Ottawa or Gatineau); preparation of the interview questions (in both languages when necessary), attending the interviews as observer, coaching on the process, debriefing and discussion. Each candidate is debriefed immediately following the interview and kept informed of the process at all stages.

    Affex Executive Search also develops a full-scale, targeted rating system for each set of interviews, for the benefit of Selection Committee members.

    Once all interviews are complete, a full discussion and analysis on candidates presented is held.

    We sometimes recommend that an independent psychometric assessment be conducted on the finalist before an offer is extended. This type of evaluation may offer additional insight into a candidate’s traits, abilities, skills and interests. Affex Executive Search will be pleased to assist with a choice of recommended psychologists and firms specializing in such assessments.

  5. Reference checks and Contract Negotiations

    At this point Affex Executive Search maintains a consultative role but will assist in all facets related to reference audits, the job offer and contract negotiations, ensuring the mutually satisfactory conclusion of the selection process. We will conduct specific reference audits on behalf of the client if requested.

    Affex Executive Search will provide a confidential, written report on reference audits to the Lead Manager if requested, at no additional cost.


    Affex Executive Search follows up with the client on a regular basis and with the successful candidate, for one full year after hiring. We also offer a complete guarantee in the event that it becomes necessary to terminate the successful candidate for performance reasons within one year of hire, or if a candidate leaves on his or her own. We will redo the search at no cost but out-of-pocket expenses normally involved with such a search will be billed to the client.

    Our fees are competitive, and are quoted on a non-contingent flat fee basis. Fees are based on the expected time, scope, difficulty and research efforts required to complete the assignment.

    Additional Identical Search
    In the event that two identical searches were to be conducted simultaneously, the second of these searches would be billed at 50% of the initial fixed fee per search.