By Luke Hanson Evans
Working in executive search or in-house recruiting you know what it is to be hit with a sudden upswing of work, an inevitable circumstance of this industry. At these times there is rarely enough support to effectively cover the extra work, causing stress over how deadlines are met, how best practices are kept. Prana Partners, LLC was founded on this dilemma and offers an industry-changing solution.
Typically a search team has three main roles on any given project: Partner, Associate, and Executive Assistant. Marsha Evans, Prana Founder and Managing Partner, sees the EA role “the hub of the wheel” on the search team. She says the EA touches every aspect of the search process. They make sure team members know the search progress, reminds each team member of responsibilities and due dates, keeps candidates and clients looped in, and, at any time, can tell you where a search stands.
Evans says, “EAs have a specific skill set and an expertise which encompasses the entire search process – from business development to placement and everything in between.” Their team depends on them to see the big picture and to manage it proactively.
“There are recurring situations within this role that can slow a team down, bring about unnecessary mistakes, fractured professionalism and, often, burnout,” according to Evans. She talks about the feast or famine situation search teams often face – for example, one day you’re working a manageable search load, the next your work load is doubled. Pressure lands on support staff with added scheduling, production, etc. Things become missed, mistakes are made. Add the disruption of vacations, sick leave, or even non-search office projects and BD that take your EAs away from search work and you find your efficiency and efficacy suffer.
“My partner and I have encountered all of these situations throughout our combined 30+ years in search. We’ve seen firsthand how they negatively affect teams, clients, and candidates. We often talked about how there was no adequate solution to these problems and how temp agencies can’t effectively help a search firm because their people don’t know search.”
“We wanted to create a team of search-experienced admins who could easily step into and out of any firm or recruiting department to take weight off the staff teams during times of increased need.”
“Our team can step in with very little advanced notice or we can book in advance such as for maternity leave coverage. We have helped new firms set up search protocol and production, we’ve taken on individual projects/searches, and we have small boutique firm clients hiring us to work part-time saving on overhead costs,” says Evans.
Prana employees are part of a collaborative team where communication is key – in-house and out. Prana works to make sure all of their Partners are paid fairly and have a work-life balance. The kind of atmosphere of compassion and abundance in the workplace ripples through Prana Partners and into the companies that hire them. The company mantra is “Bring solutions and grace, not drama.”
Evans tells us Prana’s clients are, “amazed at how much easier we make their jobs for them. They are relieved we have ready-to-go solution for the 24/7 world of recruiting.”