Going beyond what is expected of the executive search industry.

We’re listening to how our clients need to get things done and are providing executive search solutions that meet these demands. A lot has changed in the last few years and Ashton & Associates is here building, improving and upholding your and your industry’s hiring best practices .


Never mind a job description. Let’s talk about putting the right team of people together.

The toughest and most important job for any employer is putting the right team of people together. It starts with getting your key hires right. Why? Because in most cases a key hire’s scope of work and degree of influence has far more impact on your bottom line that that of all other hires.

  • Key hires are your right hands, your go-to’s, your first lieutenants.
  • Key hires instill your corporate values and enhance all levels of employee engagement and productivity.
  • Key hires are who you count on to inspire, engage and motivate teams to achieve your goals and mission.


Key hires are the people who are critical to every company’s success.

  • Key hires are the people that drive companies forward, often C-suite executives
  • Key hires take on critical roles so owners can spend more time ON their companies, thinking and growing their business strategically.


Key hires are those crucial positions inside your company.

  • Key hires are the people that will influence others to do more, and to be more.
  • Key Hires are more important than other hires because they are the people who will demonstrate your company culture and values, setting an example for other employees to follow and build upon.

There are many things someone can be trained for, but the key values and cultural fit with your company are qualities that people have or they don’t.

Work ethic, dependability, personality and trust with key hires is crucial, in many instances even making or breaking a business.


What kind of person are you looking for in your key hire?

  • We look at your corporate culture to determine what values, motivational drivers, and personal characteristics you are looking for in your key hire. We stop and take an intimate look inside your company’s values, mission and goals, then the specific accountabilities for the key hire roles and ideal candidate profiles of the people you want to hire.


We look at experience, commitment, and relationship skills as primary factors determining whether someone is suitable for the position.

Ambition and drive, blended with the commitment to placing people first, now those are in-demand, high value qualities that you simply cannot teach. On the job training should be used liberally to engage and educate employees in the skills, or tactical and behavioral requirements of your company and their roles. Yet in headhunting key hires we are looking for those rare qualities of leadership found in exceptional talent, the people you can depend on to get the job done, meeting or exceeding their goals, and your expectations.


There are a number of areas we look at differently when we are headhunting for key hires.

Here are just some of the important points we look for over more traditional screening methods:Here’s the recruiting process we use for headhunting key hires

  • 3-4 hours creating job description & articulating employer brand
  • 18-20 job boards evaluated and selected for posting
  • 8-10 hours research and long-listing
  • 120 introductions to passive candidates
  • 20-40 networking contacts soliciting referrals
  • 200-300 no fit applications processed
  • dozens of phone calls and Skype interviews
  • 12 or so in person interviews and meetings over coffee
  • 4 -6  performance indicator and skill assessments
  • 4-6 second/ third/ final interviews
  • 2 finalist candidates short-listed
  • 6 employer references (3 for each finalist candidate)
  • 3-4 pre-offer ‘trial closing’ discussions
  • Negotiate offer and acceptance
  • On-boarding consultation


If your people aren’t growing your business, think about retaining Ashton & Associates to headhunt the people who will. We understand the critical importance of key hires when building your company’s bottom line. And we have the unique technology, tools and know-how to get the talent you need on board, quickly and cost-effectively.Barbara Ashton