A Search Firm’s Value: a Candidate’s Perspective

Category: Search Process

Written By: Brant McAdams, Head Football Coach, Pacific Lutheran University

I am the new Head Football Coach at Pacific Lutheran University. I applied for this position as a Division III football coach with 12 years of experience at this level. I have worked for three different Division III universities under four different head coaches and have been through hiring processes for the positions that I had obtained over the course of my career, but they were nothing like going through the hiring process for a head football coaching position. This was the first head football coaching position to which I had applied. I knew that I would be a strong candidate for the position, but I also knew that there were many things about the hiring process that I had never experienced before. I am grateful that Pacific Lutheran University chose to use a search firm to find their next head football coach for many reasons.

As a first time applicant, the experience working with a search firm made it a seamless and professional one. Throughout the process, I was able to ask questions that I otherwise would not have wanted to bother the hiring institution with, and each time I received honest and professional feedback.

I believe in leaving a place better than you found it, and one of the concerns in an application process like this is for the welfare and future of the football program that I would potentially be leaving. I had the support of my current head coach, but I wanted to be able to clearly communicate what the timeline looked like so he could plan for my replacement. Early in the process, the search firm clearly explained the timeline of the hiring process and followed it all the way through, which gave me peace of mind for myself and my current employer as the process transitioned to each of the next steps.

The fact that Pacific Lutheran University used a search firm to conduct the search process showed me how serious the institution was about the position. It inherently answered questions I had about how well the head football coach and athletics would be supported by the University’s administration and what type of longevity would be possible for the next head football coach.

I can say undoubtedly that my professional relationship with Pacific Lutheran University would not have come to fruition and would not be as strong as I start in this new position if it were not for the work of a search firm.

Spelman Johnson is proud to have assisted Pacific Lutheran University in hiring Brant McAdams as their Head Football Coach. To read PLU’s hiring announcement, click here.


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