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It's like Six Sigma for Executive Search —
it drives quality and speed.

Ropella has become the world's leading executive search and consulting firm specializing in the chemical, consumer products, and technology industries. We attribute our success to our proprietary, 12-step recruitment process, The SMART Search System®.

The SMART Search System® has revolutionized hiring in the same way Six Sigma revolutionized manufacturing. We've invested 35 years into researching best practices, developing our own tools, and continuously improving our SMART Search System® to provide our clients precise and predictable hiring results—unparalleled in the search industry.

The SMART Search System® drives quality and then speed. It helps us find highly specialized executives you can’t effectively recruit on your own in about 10 business days. It impacts an organization’s long-term success, enhances their employer brand, and yields a greater quality of hire.

Make the SMART Call 850.983.4777

SMART Search 12-Step Recruitment Process

  • SMART Strategy & Launch

  • SMART Recruiting & Interviewing

  • SMART Hiring & Onboarding


Aligning Expectations

Ropella begins each search by aligning expectations with everyone on the hiring team to ensure we’re partnering efficiently and effectively. We’ve created a 3-step launch approach. Through a comprehensive Search Strategy Conference and Search Discovery Questionnaire, we:

  • 1) Discuss the hiring process,
  • 2) Evaluate the research needed, and
  • 3) Review the overall search strategy to ensure we are all on the same page.

Search Strategy Conference

The overall goal of the comprehensive Search Strategy Conference is to ensure Ropella fully understands the most effective way to present your opportunity. Using the Search Discovery Questionnaire, we will cover questions about culture dynamics, management style, and the must-haves for your search. We'll also evaluate your position description, look for potential improvements, or help you create a position description if you don't already have one. We then identify the preferred companies and best titles to share with our strategic research partner, Xcavate, to be sure we are focusing on the most effective recruiting paths.


Opportunity Marketing Piece

Once we understand your search, our team designs an Opportunity Marketing Piece, custom created for your specific opportunity and used to attract the best passive candidates. This piece is a comprehensive 6 to 12-page pitch book filled with what’s exciting about your organization, your products and their markets, as well as a description of your culture and even your management style. It also includes your position description and a thorough overview of the location where the position is based.


Skill Survey

We also create a custom skills and experiences application based on the must-haves for your opportunity. This helps us identify and select for submission the most qualified "A" and "B" candidates that meet all your parameters. The "C" candidates are set aside.



We thoughtfully score all candidates as we move through the screening and interview processes. In order to help you make the right hire, we assess based on skills and experience, cultural dynamics, management style, compensation, and relocation fit.



We can dive deep and assess past performance as well as corporate and team cultural fit with a variety of personality, communications, and leadership style profiling tools. We also offer pre-hire, function-specific assessment tools, and on-the-job testing exercises.



We run comprehensive recruiting campaigns to source, target, and recruit highly qualified passive candidates. We then submit the best candidates and schedule interviews as we help cultivate relationships between our clients and candidates.



While you’re interviewing and evaluating your first slate of candidates, Ropella continues recruiting and building an additional slate of optional candidates so we don’t lose momentum and experience unnecessary time delays. We also use SparkHire video interviews to improve assessments.


Hiring Team & Candidate Debriefs

After each interview, we debrief with the hiring team to discuss each candidate as we continue to move through the interview and final selection stages. We also debrief with each candidate to ensure the opportunity continues to be the right fit for their career.


References & Background Checks

We offer a variety of reference-checking options. Harver is a unique and highly-productive, web-based tool we prefer to use on most searches.


Compensation, Benefits & Relocation Assessment

ur proprietary Compensation Comparison Calculator merges the variety of complex compensation factors into one document. This allows for easy comparison of current and competing offers to ensure you don't lose the perfect candidate to any competitor.



Just as important as selecting the right candidate, the onboarding process sets the tone for the new hire's employment. Ropella will continue to work with you through this process to ensure your new hire feels welcomed to the team and is given all the tools needed to succeed in the position.



THE RIGHT HIRE GUARANTEE We guarantee your hire is The Right Hire or we'll rerun your search at no charge.


To Qualified

An average job opening attracts about 250 resumes – a great majority are not even close matches. We deliver extremely well qualified executives who meet your search parameters in about 10 days.


First Offer
Acceptance Rate

Based on research and 35 years of experience, we know offers extended by Hiring Managers and/or HR Leaders result in approx. a 40% rejection rate and typically require two weeks to wrap up. Our executive search competitors average closer to 30% and a week. Because of our SMART Compensation, Benefits and Relocation Assessment System and our proprietary Comp. Comparison Calculator we get 90% of our offers acceptance in the first round and within three days.


to Placement

We understand the real cost of a vacant position and know how critical it is to find the right hire, right away. We know from our clients the average time it takes our competitors and HR recruiting teams is well over 90 days to a completed search.


Completion Rate

We can find highly specialized, passive candidates that you and other recruiters can’t find on your own. And we work very fast – resulting in extremely high completion rates. 76% of hiring decision makers report a concern or challenge in attracting and hiring passive candidates and find well over 30% of their openings remain open for six months or more.


Long Term
Stick Rate

Replacing an employee can cost anywhere from 16% to 213% of the individual’s salary. Our process ensures the company and executive are both carefully assessed for fit and expectations clearly aligned for both parties - resulting in long-term matches.


One Year
Promotion Rate

Our SMART Search System helps us find the executives who meet all your search parameters, but more importantly take the company to their desired goals, ensuring a long-term fit with hires that grow and promote with your company.


Annual Rate Of
Repeat Business

Precise and predictable hiring results mean our clients return to us again and again with their executive hiring challenges. A win for everyone involved.

The Ropella Group has negotiated over $23 million dollars in Total Compensation Plans
for our clients and executive candidates in the last three years.


Get the Book

With 35+ years of recognized search experience, Patrick Ropella knows how to find and recruit the right talent.