Why The Candidate Experience Matters Beyond The Search Process

Executive search and executive recruitment is a business that’s all about people and relationships. I have met a lot of different people and personality types over the years and I’ve learned that every interaction I have with a candidate is important. Whether I have a position or a role that is a suitable match for them or not - I always keep the lines of communication open.


A few years ago, I met a candidate when I was conducting a search for a client, for anecdotal purposes let’s call him Bob. At the time, Bob was not a great fit for this role for a number of reasons - but I always leave my door open to these types of candidates. Sometimes a search will come across my desk a few months or years later that is a perfect opportunity and fit for the candidate.


Unfortunately, this was not the case for Bob and I, but we kept in touch. Every once in a while Bob would call seeking council, legal and professional career advice - and I always took his call. In executive search and executive recruitment, everyone always deserves time, courtesy and honesty. Eventually, Bob was placed in a General Counsel role by a different legal executive search firm, which was a great fit and opportunity for him.


A few weeks after he began his new role, Bob called me. Even though Early Cochran & Olson had not placed him in his new role - he wanted to check in. It turned out that Bob needed help building out and restructuring his legal department. After years of friendly advice, conversations and coaching - he knew Early Cochran & Olson were the experts who could assist him in further developing his new legal department.


There are many search firms and legal executive recruiters out there that don’t see the value in taking time to build meaningful relationships with candidates who are not in-process for a current search or role. In my view, the candidate experience expands beyond the search and recruitment cycle to the treatment of all candidates you interact and engage with, whether they are an active candidate or not.


What I’ve learned after many years in legal executive search and executive recruiting is that every relationship with every candidate matters. We are in the business of building relationships and this will always take priority over the number of clients we have, searches we work on or total contacts within our network.


As a legal executive search consultant and executive recruiter, I do not offer paid career coaching services to candidates or executives. I see it as a part of my contribution to the industry and responsibility to help candidates develop and reach their fullest potential. I love the work that I do, and I believe in paying it forward to your network in any way that you can. Whether directly or years later, a relationship built authentically on trust, advice and support is usually never overlooked.


To learn more about hiring senior legal talent for your corporate general counsel, please contact us.


About Corinne Cochran


Corinne Cochran began her career in executive search in 1983, specializing in the recruitment of senior lawyers for corporations and law firms. In 1994, she merged her firm with Bert Early Associates to form Early Cochran & Olson. After more than 30 years, Corinne remains passionate about the business and the people. Her extensive network, seasoned approach and well-honed intuition are proven to deliver top legal talent to Fortune 500 and privately-held clients. Corinne received her bachelor’s degree in English from The Principia College and has been a long-time volunteer and leader in a variety of community and civic activities.