So much of business seems to be about the ability to predict everything: trends, results, and the strategies of your competitors.

For Tom Stern, the most exciting thing about being an executive recruiter is that he gets to surprise his clients with something unpredictable: a candidate who not only fits the requirements of the job, but ends up bringing greater things to the company than they could ever have imagined. A candidate with not only the skills they need, but new ideas and approaches that they never even knew they were looking for.

It’s hard to define how Tom has perfected his art over the years. He certainly knows how to nurture talent, and how to keep everyone on the same page during the recruitment process. It should be no news to you by now that he often uses humor to arrive at a level playing field.

But the icing on the cake is finding those hidden qualities in a candidate, the ones that surprise and delight the client. Tom says drawing them out requires an unusual mix of skills. “It’s a bit like talking while walking backwards,” he says. “Maintaining the proper distance, while making sure they stay with you, so that by the end, they themselves reveal everything, large and small, that they bring to the table.”

Stern Executive Search clients include:

- PricewaterhouseCoopers
- Baxter Healthcare
- American Express
- Unisys
- Sony
- Ralston Purina
- Universal
- McKinsey & Company
- Avery Dennison

Opportunity Knocks Radio Show © 2005 Stern Executive Search, Inc. All Rights reserved.
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