Filling the Funnel with Good Humans

October 7, 2021

What do you do when you grow from 25 employees to 125 in just nine months?

You might think that is a nice problem to have, but when your goal is to hire the best and brightest in all things finance, it’s a challenge to make the right hire at the right time.

“Our mission is to hire Good Humans,” said Stephanie Wahlund, chief of staff to the CEO at NorthRock Partners. “We have a very robust process for vetting and qualifying candidates, but getting the right candidates in the door was a struggle, especially in tax accounting. A passive recruiting strategy doesn’t work for that type of role.”

Enter Echo Search Group.

“Because NorthRock Partners is a financial services group, this type of tax accountant role is very niche and specialized,” said Nate Exsted, founding partner and executive recruiter for Echo. “Certainly, we needed to find someone with tax acumen, but we also needed someone who could communicate and explain their strategies and tactics to their clients in a succinct and relatable manner. That doesn’t always go hand in hand.”

After their initial intake meeting, Nate and fellow partner and executive recruiter Amit Bhatia felt they had a strong grasp of what type of candidate NorthRock needed. The four Echo Partners sat down and did what they call a roll up, where they analyze their network and begin to develop their recruiting strategy.

“NorthRock is an amazing company with a team of “go beyond” types. Naturally, we needed to identify “go beyond” types from our candidate network. It took about two weeks of recruiting and then we presented six candidates,” said Amit. “That is more than we would usually present, but we knew NorthRock would want to meet these six individuals. As a growing company, they’re always on the hunt for great people, so even if there wasn’t a position at that time, there would probably be one in the immediate future.”

While Echo is usually involved during the interview process, NorthRock owned the hiring process from there with their own interview system that is unique to them.

“We are confident in our interview protocols, but we relied on Echo’s insights on the candidates,” said Steph. “Especially once we knew which candidate we wanted to hire, we looked to them to make sure our offer would be successful and accepted.”

Not only did NorthRock find a great candidate that accepted, but they also created another role and offered a position to a second Echo candidate!

 “The talent Echo provides is extraordinary,” said Steph. “Not only are the candidates we hired qualified and competent, but they are a pure pleasure to work with.”

Since NorthRock and Echo began their partnership in September 2020, they have made six placements together.

Steph adds, “I appreciate working with Echo because they are flexible to work within our system. They were very gracious to allow us to handle the candidate journey. They met us where we were at. Because of the nature of what we do and the quality we expect, we have to own the hiring process. They supported it by filling the funnel with great candidates.”

“They have a great hiring process: it moves and we just make sure we stay out of the way,” said Nate. “We have a true partnership and we can operate with their full support because they understand we’re representing them and telling their story the way they want it told. I think the relationship is highly valued by both companies.”

About NorthRock Partners

NorthRock Partners is committed to helping exceptional people live exceptional lives. Through our Personal Office® experience, we seamlessly deliver financial and lifestyle advice services uniquely tailored to give our clients more time to make the impact they want on the world—and live their best selves.


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