Executive Search Services

Finding the Right Candidate Is Only the Beginning

Why AAL?

No firm is more qualified or better networked in dental education and dentistry than AAL. Approximately one-third of the current deans in US dental schools are among the thousands of dental educators who have participated in AAL-directed programs. This makes us uniquely qualified to assist senior academic administrators with executive searches.

Our focus is to provide high-touch, high-level client service through the entire search process. We maintain a curated portfolio of clients to minimize “off limits” conflicts, providing an extensive pool of organizations the large firms cannot match and from which we recruit and identify top candidates for client vacancies.

Quality and efficiency are not mutually exclusive at AAL. We focus on both during the search process; we will not sacrifice quality just to fill a position quickly, and our process ensures that standards of both quality and efficiency are met for our clients. Furthermore, we stand behind our work: if for any reason a client is unsatisfied, we will renegotiate the professional fee; furthermore, if a candidate leaves his/her position within the first 12 months of appointment, we will redo the search at no additional charge.

A Profile of Dental School Deans, 2014

(Lead author: AAL President N. Karl Haden, Journal of Dental Education 79 (10), 1243-1250)

According to this survey of all dental deans:

  • Communication, conflict resolution, and finance/budget were reported as the most important knowledge areas.
  • School administration/management, fundraising, students, the academic environment, leadership development, and faculty had the highest influence on job satisfaction.
  • A majority reported being better prepared for clinical education and student relations than fundraising and sustaining the school’s research mission.

AAL excels at recruiting candidates who already show expertise in these critical skills and will coach others to increase their proficiency.

Perceived High Level of
Challenge by Dental Deans (%)

Executive Search Process

AAL’s executive search process is based on the philosophy that effective talent management is the most important component for organizational success, productivity, and performance. Our approach to the search process is based on experience in organizational research, performance management, leadership development, and talent assessment and evaluation. We consider an organization or program’s talent needs alongside its strategic goals and objectives to match the right candidate with the needs of the institution.

AAL follows a comprehensive six-step approach to the search process with specific timeline goals for each phase of the process. This enables us to fill the leadership vacancy efficiently and effectively with the most qualified and competent high performer.

Step 1: Pre-Search

During the initial phase, we will conduct a preliminary needs assessment for the position, assess the market, review program accreditation requirements, and recommend a compensation range for the position. We will also begin to make initial contacts with our extensive network of academic and practice professionals, quietly promote the position through word of mouth, and develop the framework for a customized search strategy for the position.

Step 2: Research, Identification, and Job Description Profile

Our extensive organizational review ensures we identify candidates who are an excellent fit with the organization and have the competencies and skills necessary to be successful in the position. We also analyze the mission, culture, and workplace environment and identify and prioritize the top “must haves” for the position. In collaboration with the client, AAL will develop a full job description profile that details specifications of the position while highlighting the organization’s appeal factors to attract maximum interest.

Step 3: Candidate Development

We will work with the client to develop a marketing and advertising plan, including the identification of a list of target peer institutions from which to draw passive candidates. AAL will also leverage our database and expansive academic network proactively to source candidates through recruitment calls, emails, and referrals. Once a preliminary list of potential candidates is developed, we will conduct phone screens and vetting interviews to narrow the list further. We will also conduct Phase 1 cursory background and reference checking as appropriate and determine candidate expectations about compensation.

Step 4: Verification and First Round/Finalists Interviews

Following a review of the preliminary candidate pool by the client, AAL will interview candidates based on talent needs, competencies specific for the position, and organizational culture to identify a short-list of candidates to present to the client for first-round phone, video, and/or airport interviews.  Next, we will work with the client to narrow the pool to a top list of finalist candidates for on-campus interviews. We will advise the client on an appropriate and customized interview process and develop an interview schedule for finalist candidates while continuing compensation expectation conversations to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Step 5: Selection, Negotiation, and Close

We will work with the client to gather feedback, advise on the selection of the top candidate, and determine the process for a finalist candidate interview, if necessary.  We will also conduct Phase 2 reference and background checking, Throughout the process, we will communicate regularly with all finalist candidates to keep them informed, engaged, and interested in the position. At the final stage of the recruitment, we will assist with the negotiation of an offer between the client and the selected candidate to ensure a successful placement and conclusion of the search. 

Step 6: Post-Search

During the Post-Search phase, AAL will maintain ongoing communication with the client and the selected candidate to assess the new hire’s onboarding, engagement, and successful integration into the organization.

AAL Executive Search Leadership Team

 

Karl Haden, PhD.
President and CEO

Since AAL’s founding in 2005, Dr. Haden and AAL have worked with more than 150 U.S. and international higher education institutions, associations, and businesses through AAL’s professional development programs and consulting services. Dr. Haden oversees ongoing leadership development initiatives for numerous organizations, including the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the American Dental Education Association, the Dental Trade Alliance, and the Interprofessional Education Collaborative. His areas of expertise include executive search, leadership, organizational change, team building, strategic planning, curriculum development, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Haden has authored or coauthored more than 80 articles and monographs. He is the author, along with AAL Senior Fellow Rob Jenkins, of The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential (Deeds, 2015) and 31 Days with the Virtues (Deeds, 2020). Dr. Haden is a Fellow (Hon.) of the American College of Dentists and a Fellow of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas. In 2017, he was honored by the ADEA Gies Foundation as recipient of the Gies Award for Achievement-Public or Private Partner. In 2019, he received the Professionalism and Ethics Award from the American College of Dentists.

 John N. Williams, DMD, MBA
Senior Consultant

Dr. John N. Williams, throughout his 36-year academic career, has recruited and mentored many successful leaders who advanced to roles of dental dean and beyond in academic leadership positions in dental schools and universities. During his career, he has been actively involved in higher education administration and leadership. Now as a Senior Consultant at AAL, he is sharing his expertise in matching outstanding, talented candidates with leadership opportunities in the academy. His areas of expertise include executive search, administrative organization, financing dental education, dental accreditation, faculty mentoring, leadership development, and philanthropy. He has served as interim president/president of Transylvania University, Lexington, KY, served as a dental dean of three research intensive university-based dental schools (1999-2019; Indiana University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and University of Louisville) as well as serving as Associate Dean for Educational Programs (Louisville) and as Assistant University Provost (Louisville) in charge of discipline-specific accreditation. He has been active at the national level serving as a member of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA-Chicago) and Chair of the CODA Pre-doctoral Review Committee, which oversees accreditation policy for all DDS/DMD educational programs in the Unites States. He has served as vice president for Deans of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and two terms as a member of the ADEA Board of Directors. Dr. Williams also serves as a Consultant for the Commission on Dental Accreditation. For five years, he was a faculty adviser and mentor for the ADEA-AAL Leadership Institute. He has made over 250 presentations to groups in dental and higher education. Dr. Williams has authored or coauthored more than 25 articles on dental education.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and Fellow of the International College of Dentists. He is currently a member of two private higher education boards of trustees.

Tiers of Service

AAL offers three tiers of executive search services:

 Executive search as a standalone activity.

Executive search with 6 months of coaching, onboarding, and development of that individual.

  • Core components of coaching for new deans:
    • Conflict management
    • Finances
    • Transitioning a team
    • Planning
    • Accreditation
    • Managing up

Executive search with 6 months of coaching, onboarding, and development of that individual, plus organizational strategic planning in an additional 6-12 month engagement.

Tiers of Service

AAL offers three tiers of executive search services:

Tier 1

Executive search as a standalone activity.

Tier 2

Executive search with 6 months of coaching, onboarding, and development of that individual.

  • Core components of coaching for new deans:
    • Conflict management
    • Finances
    • Transitioning a team
    • Planning
    • Accreditation
    • Managing up

Tier 3

Executive search with 6 months of coaching, onboarding, and development of that individual, plus organizational strategic planning in an additional 6-12 month engagement.

Ready To Get Started?

Contact us today to request a discovery conference call and learn more about our programs.

Phone: (404) 350-2098

Email: info@AALgroup.org

The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) is a health and higher education consulting firm. We help leaders assess, plan, and grow, creating transformation for your organization, and your people.

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The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) is a health and higher education consulting firm. We help you assess, plan, and grow, creating transformation for your organization, and your people.

OUR ADDRESS

P.O. Box 550908
Atlanta, GA 30305


CONTACT US

OFFICE HOURS

Mon-Fri: 8am - 4pm
Sat-Sun: Closed

 

FOLLOW US

The Academy for Advancing Leadership (AAL) is a health and higher education consulting firm. We help you assess, plan, and grow, creating transformation for your organization, and your people.

OUR ADDRESS

P.O. Box 550908
Atlanta, GA 30305


CONTACT US

OFFICE HOURS

Mon-Fri: 8am - 4pm
Sat-Sun: Closed

 

FOLLOW US