Portfolio Approach

Untying Gordian and Other Search Industry Knots!

The whys of Wheless Partners’ Portfolio Approach™ informed by two quick questions:

1. Over your career, what is your accuracy percentage for making good, sound business decisions?
Boards, CEOs, C-Suite Execs, Academic and Strategic HR leaders consistent answer

…between 85% to low 90%…reasonable!

2. Over your career, what is your accuracy percentage for making great hires who meet or exceed expectations and indeed stick?
Boards, CEOs, C-Suite Execs, Academic and Strategic HR leaders surprising answer…

…some fraction of 50/50… essentially a “coin toss”!

Yours to some fraction of 50/50…?

You are not alone!

Factually, when asked these questions, fellow Board, CEO, C-Suite Execs, Academic and strategic HR Leaders we serve across industry sectors exclaim too, that’s not sensical!    Some claimed accuracy up to 60 %, others said they’d be happy to get to 40%, most were clustered around 50/50.   Curiously, would let a doctor with these stats operate on your child? Spouse? Significant Other?  On You?

Indeed!  And evidenced by your personal experiences you are aware getting hiring right though search firms is replete with land minds, seen and unseen obstacles, an assortment of encumbrances, and, yes, sometimes politics.  (No!)

Consider too…if an exec reporting to you had 50/50 “coin toss” accuracy for making business decisions, you’d put them on waivers, and they’d be headed to outplacement!

Yes, the overall gap between hiring and business decision making accuracy is typically striking, regardless of the firm.  Clearly such a disconnect informs something is amiss hiring through search firms. 

Factually, what you’re experiencing is fall out directly caused by the search industry’s shop-worn industry business model clearly broken after +50 years of exploitation.   Essentially, you’ve unknowingly been stumbling over the industry’s Gordian Knot.

Importantly, your career experiences in hiring coupled with these facts combine to inform, it’s not you.

More broadly, at the level you play, the impact of hires you make sets the bar by which future hires are to be measured.  Little is more important than you getting hires right.  Enterprise vitality, its ability to compete and thrive is on the line at every hire.  Ensuring corporate vigor is directly dependent on the quality of hires made up and down your organization – from the Board, to the CEO to the C-Suite to additional key leadership roles.


Yes, much is on the line.

Sure search firm size, number of offices, supposed reputation, consultant’s resume, gigantic databases, long listing of like positions filled, the proverbial everyone uses them, and their engendered quid pro quo of  ”if I use them, they’ll tell me about all those great openings they’re working on”   is at its surface assuring and comforting!    It’s designed to be.  Add too, the firm’s consultants may be acquaintances of another senior exec and/or a board member or two… perhaps even a friend. 

Informed by your own career experiences in hiring exposes the fallacy of this seeming logic and tells you the likely outcome of going down this shop-worn pathway again – back trying to untie that 50/50 “coin toss” Gordian Knot.

These insights coupled with their personal experiences in getting hires right leaves many execs scratching their heads seeking an authentic hiring fix they can turn to, believe in and rely on.   A straightforward, logical and perhaps counter intuitive solution that’s transparent, easily understood, readily embraced and they can confidently plug into today.  One making them better hiring decision makers going forward.  Today.  One that dispenses search industry Gordian Knots ensuring they succeed at what they’ve been striving to get right over their career – consistently making outstanding hires. 


Enter the Portfolio Approach. 

Designed mindful of these facts, from your side of the desk, our Portfolio Approach™ is a counter intuitive market defining hiring pathway built from the ground up to ensure your enterprise’s vitality and ameliorates the risk of hires gone bad.   Execs embrace its practical, pragmatic and rooted in rational business logic and effectively solves for them the 50/50 “coin toss” hiring accuracy conundrum…including the diversity challenge.

The Portfolio Approach effectively dispenses the search industry’s Gordian Knot ensuring you get hiring and business decision making accuracy in alignment (and likely better!).  To assure you of this outcome, we intentionally choose to represent no more than 3% of organizations and enterprises in any given industry sector.


How Does This Play Out for Me in My Environment?

Our commitment to the Portfolio Approach assures your unmatched +97% access to the “happily employed, not looking and highly desired proven performers.  It ensures you a hire who meets and typically exceeds expectations, and indeed sticks.  Candidates successfully operating at the top of the bell curve with readily transferable skills.

An informing analogy….similar to National Football League rules, teams (search firms?!) protect key or “franchise” players effectively blocking their recruitment to another team seeking to fill key positions.   Likewise, on an extensively larger scale throughout the search industry, such blocking happens many times throughout the day – including that firm you may currently use. 

Figuratively speaking, how many times over your career in hiring have you had sitting across your desk a slate of caliber candidates with accomplishments in your industry like those of the NFL’s Tom Brady, Peyton Manning (in his playing days) and Drew Brees?       

Often?     30 times?    10 times?     Never!?    

Anecdotally and statistically, you know such talent is there! Factually, isn’t this the caliber of candidates you paid dearly for the search firm to recruit to you?    Plus expenses?   

What would be the impact on your accuracy percentage for making outstanding hires if you consistently had the Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees caliber of candidates in your industry to pick from?    

Still 50/50…?       Or 85 to low 90%?       Higher…?

Your consistently making outstanding hires is precisely what our Portfolio Approach does for you.


Portfolio Approach © Mike Wheless


Let’s today begin a dialogue as to how our Portfolio Approach and Portfolio Promise combine to uniquely position your enterprise assuring you consistently hire those proven top of the bell curve leaders.

Email MikeW@WhelessPartners.com to calendar a time to advance our conversation. Or phone 404.939.1305.   

Anticipate our speaking….