The SMART Search SystemSM

3-Stage/12-Step Hiring Process

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 SystemSM.

The SMART Search SystemSM 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 SystemSM to provide our clients with precise and predictable hiring results—unparalleled in the search industry.

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

Your Company is a

High-Performance Machine.


A vehicle for success. And on your track, Ropella360 is the pit crew… each member a specialist and best in class.
Our team is mission-focused… serving at the pinnacle of excellence… delivering high quality at unmatched speed. And you…you’re the driver…a leader…setting the pace, hyper-focused, powered by an award-winning team… united by a championship pursuit. Leaders, take the pole position & win with Ropella 360.

Take the Pole Position — Get started with Ropella 360 Now.

The SMART Search SystemSM is based on the techniques covered in The Right Hire.


The first stage in managing talent is to adequately prepare for the search by developing an effective selection process to ensure that the flow of information extends to the entire selection team.

Creating a good flow of information will also help you avoid common communication challenges between the candidate, their influencers, and the HR and hiring managers.

Make sure your potential candidate is the right fit for the job, division, company, culture, community, and more!

Once you find potential candidates, don’t drop the ball by fumbling the recruiting process. Learn ways to streamline the process, eliminate confusion and misunderstandings, and more! Attention to your staff not only helps groom and develop future potential but also vastly trims turnover expenses.

Globalization and evolving technology have made the need for innovation greater than ever. Yet many companies are being left behind. Ropella can help transform your organization’s creativity, productivity, and alignment by improving core leadership skills—the foundation of innovation and organizational improvement.

SMART Strategy & Launch

Recruiting & Interviewing

Hiring & Onboarding


Aligning Expectations

Ropella begins each search by aligning expectations with the entire hiring team to ensure we’re partnering efficiently and effectively through our 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.
Read the Aligning Expectations document


Search Strategy Conference

The overall objective 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.
Search Strategy download


Opportunity Marketing Piece

Once we understand your search, our team will design 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 information about 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.
Opportunity Marketing Piece download


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.
Download example Skill Survey



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



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.
Download the 3 R’s of Recruiting



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.


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.
Download Harver Example


Compensation, Benefits & Relocation Assessment

Our 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.
Download Compensation Comparison Calculator example



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.
Download the SMART Onboarding Handbook

Learn More about the ROI Of The Right Hire

In Partnership, We Achieve Risk-free ROI

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


Business Days to
Qualified Candidates


First Offer
Acceptance Rate


Days Speed
to Placement


Search Completion


Stick Rate


Promotion Rate


Annual Rate of
Repeat Business

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more
important than hiring and developing people.
At the end of the day you bet on people,
not on strategies.”

Larry Bossidy, Former Chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and co-author of the best-selling book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

“Ropella is probably one of the best vendor partners that I have ever worked with – just in terms of the quality of search that was done. It was fun, thorough and overall a great experience.”

Arati Parthasarathy
Talent Scout – Materials Development Innovation

“Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield. The time you spend with your best is, quite simply, your most productive time.”

Markus Buckingham, CEO, The Marcus Buckingham Company