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| 2 minutes read

The Importance of The Search Kick Off

One of the most important stages of our recruitment process is the project kick off meeting. This is our chance for us to really get under the skin of our clients and not only understand the experience and skillsets required but also the unique cultural nuances of their company (typically still smaller and earlier stage).

Now often the key decision makers (C-suite) in our clients are super busy as they're juggling day to day business operations, fundraising initiatives, and international travel to industry events. As a result, spending an hour or two for a “kick off” meeting to discuss the intricacies of the role is not at the top of their priority list.

However, we insist on this vital step. As a business leader, the more time you invest at the start of the process, the more time you'll save throughout the process and ultimately the better outcome you'll have!

Nobody wants snippets of information drip feeding each week - this not only delays momentum but also causes confusion and the search going off track. Time is money!

You wouldn't neglect this stage in other walks of life. Imagine you're looking to have an extension built on your house (topical as I have a family of builders!). You've spent several weeks getting quotes, crunching numbers, arguing over the design you want, and finally you've put a sizeable deposit down with the building firm you have chosen and it's time for the work to begin. 

Now in this case, would you just let the builders crack on with a “rough idea” of what you're looking for? Or would you want to make sure they know exactly what you want including your must haves and areas you can compromise on and clear realistic expectations on timelines? 

Well it's the same with engaging on a retained search. 

More often than not, we're headhunting candidates who aren't actively looking so we need to nail our sell of your company. The very best candidates want a deep understanding of the company strategy and the unique benefits of your culture. How can we do this effectively without a proper kick off?

Some important tips: 

Face to face is best 

Nothing beats visiting your HQ when it comes to getting a true sense of your company and the people that make it special! 

Have all your key decision makers involved

Even if you have the ultimate say, if there will be other stakeholders involved then they should also be involved. I always think back to a great battery client of ours in the Netherlands who gathered their hiring committee together (including Executive Chairman) and we came away with the all the important collective perspectives.

Clearly defined interview process 

Not only is the kick off meeting about what you want, but also a chance to solidify what the interview process will look like (how many stages, who will participate from your side, video or face to face?) but also the expected timelines for this. Nobody wants an interview process that takes weeks and weeks, nor do they want a slapdash process with no thought gone into it!

It's important to give this critical stage the time it deserves because ultimately it will pay off in the long run! 

I lead the Energy Storage practice at Hyperion Executive Search, helping startup and scaleup clients to hire great senior talent. If you're looking to start your next hiring process, then get in touch today at


c-suite, hiring, talent, batteries, cleantech, climate tech, energy storage