Our Search Process

We bring a team approach to all of our searches and will customize our search process to meet your specific needs. Below is a brief overview of how Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates typically supports our clients during the four phases of the search process: Preparation, Recruitment, Evaluation and Selection.


The goal of the preparation stage is to provide a stable foundation for a successful search. We have found that two elements of preparation make for a very strong foundation:

  • Positioning the search committee for success
  • Understanding your institution's unique situation

Positioning You for Success

Our decades of specialization in higher education provide Storbeck/Pimentel's consultants with a depth of insight and expertise unmatched in the field of executive search. To position the search committee for success, we partner with our client and provide expert guidance on

  • the best process and timetable,
  • issues of committee structure and charge, and
  • recruitment and outreach strategy.

We also provide guidance to the search committee on how to communicate with constituencies to manage concerns and foster fruitful dialogue, a fundamental aspect of any major search and an area in which Storbeck/Pimentel excels.

Understanding Your Unique Situation

Storbeck/Pimentel takes the time necessary to develop a deep understanding of your institution's unique characteristics and needs. We do this by asking strategic questions, speaking with constituents, examining key documents, and evaluating critical institutional issues. Our goal is to gain a thorough understanding of your institution as well as the broader context and priorities for the position and the search.

The product of this research is a position description that serves as both a strategic document and an important recruitment tool. Multiple examples of these documents exist on our website here.


Developing and Recruiting a Varied and Diverse Candidate Pool

Recruitment is the core endeavor of any search. At Storbeck/Pimentel our approach is highly strategic and customized. For each client and search, our first tasks of recruitment research are identifying where to look and how to look.

When determining where to look, we assess the landscape of possibilities, identifying those places where the talent that will best suit your needs and characteristics currently resides. The "where" can be colleges or universities much like your own, but it can also be less conventional sources for higher education recruitment, such as the nonprofit, public or private sectors.

When determining how to look, we determine the optimal mixture of tactics for identifying the right candidates for your needs. These include but are not limited to: contacting sources directly to assess interest and gather leads; accessing our fellow consultants' deep experience and connections; consulting our extensive database; and, to a lesser extent, advertising to generate awareness and reach new audiences.

We have found that it is our proactive recruiting that generates the top candidates, the ones who are not actively seeking a new position but are persuaded by the opportunity that we present to them. Candidates regularly report to us that we provide significant support to them in the process, so that their needs and concerns are addressed throughout the search process.

Managing Information in Support of the Search

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates believes strongly in the value of partnership between client and firm combined with communication. We facilitate timely and open communication in two ways:

  • Throughout the search process, we assist the search committee in developing accurate information systems to track the status of candidates.
  • For each search, we make use of an online, secure Client Portal that allows each committee member to log on confidentially to a site where all candidate materials and committee support documents are housed. Other firms may ask you to develop and host a portal at your institution; the fact that we develop and host a portal for you is a significant advantage.


Evaluating Candidates

Most unsuccessful hires happen because of poor or incomplete referencing in the evaluation stage of the search process, when candidate qualifications are screened and references are checked. For this reason, Storbeck/Pimentel takes an exceptionally thorough and active approach to evaluation.

Interviewing and Referencing

At the interviewing and referencing stage, Storbeck/Pimentel facilitates the process and supports the committee in its deliberations, providing insight and expertise to ease what is often a particularly stressful time for committee members. As the committee narrows its choices at each round of deliberation, we continue to provide logistical assistance and to collaborate on additional discreet referencing to assist in the evaluation of candidates.


Bringing the Search to a Successful Close

During the selection process, Storbeck/Pimentel assists the search committee in fulfilling the last and most significant task in its charge: providing a list of candidates to the hiring officer or governing board with full commentary for each candidate. We then assist the governing board with final interviews, deliberation and ushering the search to a successful close. Our long experience makes us an invaluable resource for crucial advice and counsel at this time.

In addition to helping arrange the details of interviews with finalists, Storbeck/Pimentel provides three other key services at this stage:

  1. We help negotiations start on a more positive note by calibrating expectations on both sides.
  2. We are also available to assist in gathering the terms and conditions of employment of the final candidate.
  3. Finally, we help prepare our client institution for a successful transition by providing guidance based on our many previous searches and years of experience in order to help the institution and candidate succeed.