Associate, Boards Practice

    • New York, NY

Position Summary

Spencer Stuart is seeking to recruit a Boards Practice Associate, ideally based in the New York or Philadelphia office. The Boards Associate will assist on searches across a range of industry sectors but have a strong focus on financial services clients. S/he will partner with and assist Consultants in all aspects of the Board search process including: drafting position specifications; developing search strategy; conducting market and candidate research; developing candidates; creating candidate reports and assessments; and referencing and creating reference reports.

Successful candidates for the Board Associate position will have strong project management ability, results orientation, rigorous attention to details, intellectual curiosity and enjoy the challenge of working internally with a variety of Consultants, and externally with diverse, senior-level executives and board members. Board Associates will be expected to acquire deep and insightful candidate pool knowledge over time.

Spencer Stuart offers a unique and exciting value proposition for those pursuing a career in executive search or looking to further advance client facing skills: An Associate at Spencer Stuart has the opportunity to:

  • Provide career advice and coaching to candidates
  • Deliver insight and recommendations on critical client challenges
  • Develop an impressive network of candidates and clients through assignments, internal and external contacts
  • Develop/deepen industry and functional knowledge expertise
  • Learn through an apprenticeship culture supported by formal training opportunities
Boards Practice

The presence of a strong, independent and effective board is increasingly critical to the success of every organization. For more than 30 years, we have been trusted advisers to organizations looking to build and enhance their boards. We recruit chairmen and directors for public, private equity-backed, major private and family-owned companies, as well as startups and nonprofit organizations. We have a strong local presence in key markets around the world and our consultants have access to a growing pool of high-quality international directors.

Our knowledge of board dynamics and privileged access to and knowledge of the most sought-after directors helps clients build balanced and effective boards. We understand the vital importance of diverse thinking on boards and have helped boards recruit directors from sought-after backgrounds and increase the diversity of their composition. We have helped place 2,000 women and 700 minorities in board director roles.

The Boards Practice at Spencer Stuart includes some of the highest-regarded and sought-after leaders in the executive search industry including North American Board Practice leader Julie Daum.

Key Relationships

Reports to:
Director of Associates

Consultants (on an assignment basis)

Other Key Relationships:
Practice Leaders/Members

Office Manager

Associates, Senior Associates and Consultants


Search Coordinators/Executive Assistants

Knowledge Managers

Corporate Research Services

Key Responsibilities
  • Contribute actively to the start-up phase of each search by participating in client kick-off meetings with the Consultant and assisting in the development of the position specification, search strategy and target list of companies.
  • Gather relevant information regarding the appropriate industries and target companies. Identify potential prospects and sources.
  • Represent the client effectively in the marketplace, discussing the opportunity with relevant executives.
  • Validate potential candidates through reference and source calls.
  • Partner with the Consultant to develop and present a slate of qualified candidates to each client. Anticipate what needs to drive the search to closure and be prepared to supply additional information, such as related industry/segment trends, market findings, reaction to the opportunity, compensation data, etc., gained during the course of a search.
  • Contribute to the preparation of position specifications, candidate presentations and reference reports adhering to the Firm's assessment methodology.
  • Communicate effectively with the Consultant and Executive Assistant, and remain fully abreast of search developments, in order to communicate accurately and credibly regarding the assignment.
  • Prepare organized information for the client progress reports/meetings by teaming with the Consultant and the Executive Assistant. Provide an informed perspective on prospects/candidates and how they match against the key selection criteria.
  • Be aware of activities and management changes in the relevant industry's sector; keep team members apprised of relevant developments in the marketplace.
  • Add to the firm's candidate pool expertise by continually identifying and introducing new talent to the firm. Ensure that up to date assignment, company and candidate information during the course of an assignment is always available for colleagues, by leveraging technology and information from the firm's state-of-the-art, proprietary database.
  • Contribute to responses to inquiries for new business, as well as business development initiatives.
  • Be willing and proactive about contributing to local, practice or firm-wide initiatives. Coordinate and share practice related information with colleagues for potentially broader distribution.

Ideal Experience
Business experience
  • At least four years of business experience in professional services, journalism, legal or executive search with significant time spent in research. Knowledge of the financial services industry is required.
Project Management
  • Experience working in a high-performance environment in a role where multiple projects and competing demands are the norm.
Strong academic credentials
  • Strong academic credentials from a well-regarded university; a JD or graduate degree is desirable.
Critical Capabilities For Success

Project Management
Plans, manages and drives own efforts to identify and develop a slate of quality candidates as measured by consultant, client and candidate feedback. The successful Associate will do this while handling multiple projects with competing deadlines, working with individuals who have differing styles, and managing challenging expectations:
  • Takes an end-to-end view of each project & the required resources; works at pace and with attention to detail while managing competing deadlines and priorities; has a sense of urgency.
  • Understands the search process (from internal kick-off to referencing); asks questions to understand; and is proactive.
  • Works on multiple projects; meets deadlines and is resilient under pressure; delivers on commitments on time or notifies as early as possible if deadlines will slip.
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm, tenacity and intellectual curiosity; action-oriented; deals with problems immediately.
  • Is results focused and flexible; demonstrates a strong work ethic.
Candidate Development
Develops qualified and interested candidates for portfolio of searches. A successful Associate will develop excellence in search strategy to build strong contact management lists:
  • Observes and asks questions to fully understand the issue; synthesizes information from a variety of internal/external sources, despite possibly having ambiguous or incomplete information.
  • Gathers relevant data from a variety of sources, including views gathered through Third Party Sourcing (TPS), to help determine broad capabilities, gaps, qualifications/fit; articulates reasons for fit to spec in a succinct manner.
  • Determines priority of which potential candidates to approach.
  • Adds meaningful notes on Quest, diligently uses the initial assessment feature.
Credibility and Influence
Communicates effectively both in writing and verbally; has "gravitas" (executive presence) and is able to build relationships. Able to hook candidates and convince consultants to meet them, building a strong internal brand:
  • Interacts with a range of internal and external stakeholders and candidates with differing styles and egos, understanding and appreciating what is important to each.
  • Becomes a credible and authentic professional by observing colleagues and emulating role models.
  • Adapts verbal and written communications according to expectations for role and audience, specifically how to be confident, succinct, concise, prepared and professional.
Market and Candidate Knowledge
Obtains and incorporates knowledge to enhance client work in a meaningful way. Knows how to get information, effectively uses the available firm resources, developing and sharing candidate pool knowledge:
  • Identifies executive movements in the market and updates Quest (ideally in real time) and colleagues; asks questions and shows interest in networking.
  • Has a genuine interest in/curiosity about people and businesses; and has an understanding of businesses and their interrelationships.
  • Understands how to identify and navigate the various relevant sources available (Quest, Passport, Global Information Services, Hoovers, LinkedIn, etc.).
Developing Self and Others
Develops self and others; seeks and provides feedback, modifies own performance or behavior based on feedback. A successful Associate is constantly growing, learning and enhancing his/her skills and capabilities:
  • Seeks and is open to feedback from colleagues, placing value on self development efforts; seeks opportunities for growth.
  • Is self-aware and open to changing one's own behavior.
Firm Values
Champions the Firm's values, culture and Code of Conduct; engages, participates and collaborates with others. A successful Associate, who people like working with and who may over time also have a leadership role:
  • Accepts others' opinions and encourages teamwork.
  • Brings cultural awareness and sensitivity to each interaction with colleagues.
  • Participates actively and contributes to internal activities; engages with office and practice.
  • Represents Spencer Stuart well by speaking positively about the Firm and aligning behavior to Firm values.
  • Conducts themselves in a way that is consistent with the Firm's values.

Spencer Stuart is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer F/M/Disability/Vet/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

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