How We Work

Cook and Company maximizes its value by building long-term relationships with clients, which are based on mutual trust, open communications and a strong sense of partnership in achieving a common goal.

Our experience indicates that the more we understand of a client’s business model, value proposition, organizational style and culture, critical success factors, etc., the more value we bring to each assignment.

The effectiveness of our work is highly dependent on a thorough understanding of our client’s strategy and competitive advantage, and we maintain the strictest confidentiality over sensitive information.

Likewise, complete confidentiality is necessary to protect candidates who are virtually always gainfully employed. We ask our clients to respect this and, as much as possible, minimize the exposure of candidates throughout the search process. Therefore, candidate names and presentation materials are, as much as possible, restricted to executives directly involved in the search process.

We work only on a retainer basis for client companies. Our fee is typically equal to one third of the first year’s total compensation of each individual placed by the firm, plus expenses. Allowing time for completion of client interviews and selection decisions, we drive to complete assignments within a three-month period. Each project proceeds as follows:

  1. Needs Analysis: In partnership with the client we determine the organizational context, the characteristics of the ideal candidate in both quantitative and qualitative terms, key results to be achieved over the short and long term, etc.
  2. Position Specification: After carefully analyzing a client’s needs, a written position specification is prepared to guide our search efforts and presented to the client with a letter confirming the terms of the engagement.
  3. Candidate Identification: A “scorched earth” research strategy is designed including target companies, sources and prospective candidates. Upon official authorization by the client, intensive research proceeds to identify candidates who are highly qualified and interested in the position.
  4. Evaluation of Potential Candidates: Likely “stars” are interviewed by Cook & Company and evaluated on the basis of their experience, accomplishments and goodness-of-fit with the client organization.
  5. Presentation of Candidates: Confidential written reports are typically presented on three to five excellent candidates and discussed in detail with the client.
  6. Client Interviews: We then schedule meetings between the client and candidates, handle logistical arrangements and reimburse candidates for their travel expenses. Based upon feedback from both the client and candidates, one or two finalists are selected and further meetings are scheduled.
  7. Referencing: When the client selects one or two finalists, we contact previous bosses, colleagues and subordinates of the executive(s) over the course of their careers and, in complete confidence, obtain key information about their track record of performance. The collective comments made by these references are reviewed with the client.
  8. Search Completion: We assist in structuring and negotiating the compensation package for the preferred candidate and work with the client organization to ensure the candidate’s success. We remain in close touch with both client and candidate over the long term.