What We Do?
Hardman Batchelor is a retained executive search firm that specializes in recruiting world class board directors, CEOs and C-Level executives. Hardman Batchelor has quickly built a reputation for recruiting talented high-performing leadership teams globally after being founded by a seasoned partner from a top five search firm headquartered in the booming Austin, Texas marketplace.
Our services are designed to help you build strong leadership at the top. We offer retained executive and board level search, reference checking, candidate benchmarking, and management assessment services.
We are a boutique firm with Fortune 500 experience. Veteran senior consultants with backgrounds at the world’s largest executive search firms handle all of our board and C-level assignments. Because our executive recruiters are industry specialists, we can focus more time and attention on fewer searches and projects – and drive strong results.
With our unique operational and technical background, Hardman Batchelor becomes deeply versed with your company faster, helping not only find the right candidates, but also excite them about your opportunity and perform assessments to ensure the right skills and cultural match.
Our Managing Partner, Ed Batchelor, recently sat down to discuss Hardman Batchelor International and why he founded his new firm in Austin, Texas. Here’s an excerpt from that discussion.
Ed, tell us about your new firm. Why did you launch it and why now?
Having spent several years at two of the top firms, I wanted to build a new firm to meet the evolving needs of the marketplace. Fundamental change is on the horizon, and I was excited about the business opportunities and firmly believed that Hardman Batchelor could do things differently given my unique background, experience in the top competitors and our focused commitment to creating a more client centric firm.
For example, the current percentage based pricing structure seen in most of the retained space is probably not sustainable. Clients are increasingly seeking a fixed fee arrangement based on the complexity and scope of their search or assignment. This lack of compensation bias is really the only effective way to facilitate hiring negotiations with no apparent conflict of interest.
We also believe that there is need for core operational change at many of the top firms. Keep in mind these firms were founded by strong leaders from traditional “white shoe firms” such as Booz Allen Hamilton, McKinsey, Peat Marwick and JP Morgan. Many of these household names were forced to go through significant change. Having been a Consultant, Principal and Partner in these top executive search firms, I was excited about the opportunity to create a compensation system, partnership approach and a new methodology around work life balance which would better reflect my own views and those of the diverse client pool that we are assisting around the globe.
Finally, Hardman Batchelor saw some enormous opportunities to better serve the market. For example, in my work in executive search across multiple geographies, I noticed clients were having real challenges with high end executive recruiting in smaller US cities like Austin or growing global cities like Brisbane or Auckland. Also, there is an ongoing confidentiality issues when working with the larger high-end firms given their size and the variety of resources involved in each assignment, and of course, there is a fundamental need for improved diversity and inclusion measurement and planning aimed at employees, executive leaders and boards.
You mentioned Austin, tell me why this market is such a great opportunity.
Well, this opportunity goes far beyond the Austin marketplace. There are a variety of cities across the US and globally that are underserved by the major players. We call these FOG (i.e. Fly Over Group) opportunities. There are strong business leaders and companies to be found in each of those cities who thirst for a firm that can provide high touch search and assessment capability for their board and senior executive opportunities. However, the larger firms are not willing to make the investment in these cities because of their off-limits challenges limit the candidate pool and their current internal firm structures and related overhead costs make focus in this area challenging. Hardman Batchelor International sees this as a huge opportunity and will be focusing a great deal of our US and international expansion on serving these underserved and thriving markets.
As for Austin, as I have mentioned before, the city represents one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the US with a business-friendly climate and exponential growth. However, despite these obvious advantages it became evident to me that, although a number of local recruitment firms are available to satisfy the recruiting and assessment needs for general employees and mid-level leaders in the area, the search and assessment capability for board members and senior executives was underserved and needed to be addressed locally to aid the business growth of Central Texas.