Director of Research Strategy

Confidential Company  •  Oak Brook, IL

8 - 10 years experience  •  Staffing & Recruiting

$130K - $260K ($100K - $200K base + 30%)
Posted on 08/16/17 by Adriana Abbasi
Oak Brook, IL
8 - 10 years experience
Staffing & Recruiting
$130K - $260K
($100K - $200K base + 30%)
Posted on 08/16/17 by Adriana Abbasi

Position Specification

The Role                               Director of Research Strategy

Department/Practice:          Knowledge Management

Reports to:                            Chief Knowledge Officer
Matrix Reporting Relationship:  Accountability to Practice Leaders

The Director of Research Strategy provides leadership for the Witt/Kieffer Research Department. The position also provides and Practice Leaders with the intellectual capital they need to expertly serve their clients.

The Research Department provides support in the development, execution and completion of search assignments and in the creation of high quality deliverables in support of new business development and intellectual capital development. 

Research staff are responsible for supporting the firm’s consultants by developing and managing a search strategy for each job; identifying candidate prospects; retrieving and analyzing data from relevant or prior searches; finding and developing industry sources; and employing in-house library and external resources for gathering data on potential candidates, sources, industries, etc.

The Director of Research Strategy is a people-focused leader who has operational experience with knowledge of the informational resources and data that are key to executive recruiting.

The ideal candidate will be knowledgeable about the trends and issues facing the Healthcare industry. He/She will be skilled at coordinating diverse resources across the firm to produce timely results and skilled at simultaneously managing multiple time-sensitive demands. The Director is also a working leader, providing support for high profile searches.

Major Responsibilities

  • Manages the Research team (approximately 20), including aspects of recruiting, resource allocation, performance management, feedback, coaching and mentoring, and disciplinary actions.

  • Works closely with CKO, Practice Leaders, and internal business partners to: (a) set strategic direction, design services, and establish short- and long-term goals for the department; and (b) to design, manage and continuously improve Research processes to increase the level of service while delivering services at the appropriate level of cost.

  • Measures and manages department operations to achieve operational excellence – defined as high-touch/high-service, while being both efficient and appropriate. Achieves operational excellence through:


    • Designing and implementing methods and processes to both reduce the time to identify and enter names and increase the number of names identified and entered.

    • Working closely with CKO, Practice Leaders, and internal business partners to design services and negotiate, manage and report about key operational metrics and service level agreements associated with the department’s key services.

    • Establishing relationships with outside vendors and managing those vendors to provide key services, focused on name generation, at the highest quality with the lowest cost.

    • Ensuring that operationally effective department training is provided for existing and new team members as required.

  • Oversees the identification of and measures success (i.e., usefulness, usage, cost, etc.) of all Research data resources (e.g., external lists/databases for database building).Partners withInformation Technology for data solutions (when necessary).

  • Partners with Practice Leaders and CKO to develop and monitor yearly data strategy goals (e.g., prioritized content areas for database building).

  • Establishes efficient guidelines, cross-functional processes and procedures for evaluation, selection and ongoing assessment of resources, including business case and cost/benefit analysis.

  • Works with publishers and/or content owners to verify coverage and access to content; negotiates and reviews licensing agreements to ensure legal compliance

  • Support Practice Leaders in setting, implementing and tracking success of their practice strategies.

  • Develop a knowledge agenda with the ultimate goal of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of business development and search execution efforts.  Provide customer service and knowledge management support to the Practice Leaders.

  • Build and develop relationships and communicate with all Practice Leaders in the practice group to support their practice initiatives.

  • Maintains an appropriate search load to ensure bandwidth in research for key, high-profile searches.


    Skill and Education

  • Bachelor’s degreerequired; advanced degree (e.g., MBA) strongly preferred.

  • Able to work within a budget, with the ability to successfully justify the need for certain low-cost resources.

  • 8years of experience working in a consulting environment and/or role involving significant client service and the management of multiple projects toward tight timelines in an environment where competing demands are the norm.

  • 7 to 10 years people leadership experience, including proven ability to coach, mentor and develop team members, and manage individual and team performance.

  • 5+ years general operational management experience.

  • Experience designing and/or delivering training for executive search Researchers.

  • Strong analytical skills required, including a solid understanding of how to use data, analytics and unstructured feedback to design metrics, design services and manage operations.

  • Exceptional knowledge of research tools, including databases, publications, purchased lists, social media, etc., and when to apply them.

  • Solid business knowledge of data aggregation and import methodologies.

  • Technical and analytical skills to both locate and source data and present in an articulate and meaningful manner.

  • Must possess a natural curiosity and creative, problem solving intellect that allows this person to investigate and uncover trends and competitive intelligence that is not easily obtained.

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