Northern Illinois Athletic Director Jim Phillips quickly rattled off his reasons for hiring PES to assist in his search.
“Five things that to me were really important in this search that Dan Parker and his team were able to provide:
1. Needed a highly confidential search.
2. An outstanding candidate pool.
3. Extremely organized.
4. No surprises.
5. Search that was done swiftly but in a very strategic fashion with a great result.
“That was pretty critical for us as we looked at finding a new basketball coach,” Phillips said. “There’s no question it was a buyer’s market in that so many jobs were open; I think nearly 50 have changed over at the Division I level. It’s a very competitive process and unless you have those five components it makes it extremely, extremely challenging. Dan Parker and his staff did just an absolutely incredible job for Northern Illinois University.”
Firms also can cut down on the embarrassment of a search. Arkansas courted a couple of coaches even before Altman, and finally turned to PES to avoid being pilloried in the press any further.
I literally shudder every time I think about Lee Fowler’s quote declaring that if he had to do another BB coaching search that he would still not use a search firm. If time really is money, then using a search firm looks like a good investment to me:
Parker’s firm doesn’t come cheap. Arkansas paid $90,000. Kentucky paid $50,000. The fee typically includes gauging the interest of candidates, providing the school with salary requirements, performing background checks and arranging face-to-face meetings. Parker allows that his firm “generally manages expectations.” He adds that “to date we have not had a public rejection without having an immediate go-to candidate for a client.” He also wrote that searches typically take 7-14 days.