Seasoned Recruiters Step Out to Focus on Coaching, Strategy and Analytics

March 13, 2018 – Executive search firms and their consultants continue to enter new areas to assist clients that go well beyond recruiting – and sometimes well beyond the firms where they’re working. Two well-respected top executives in the recruitment industry – Mike Marino and Russ Riendeau – have recently stepped away from businesses they led for years to launch their own firms.

Mr. Marino’s organization will focus on executive coaching and business strategy implementation, while Mr. Riendeau’s business will integrate behavioral science research and predictive analytics into executive search.

Mr. Riendeau left Jobplex, a DHR International company, to start New Frontier Search Co. in Lake Barrington, IL. He previously operated his own firm, East Wing Group, for 14 years before Jobplex acquired it four years ago.

A Combination of Experiences

At the time of the acquisition, Mr. Riendeau liked the idea of having a greater opportunity to generate more searches for the firm and to have a support team to do more of the heavy lifting around sourcing candidates. Ultimately, however, he felt he would have greater control and ability to spread his wings by running his own enterprise again. Mr. Riendeau holds a doctorate in behavioral psychology from Capella University and both a master’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s in applied behavioral sciences from National Louis University.

“As a search professional and behavioral scientist, I’m thrilled that New Frontier Search will allow me more time for sourcing and research in behavioral science to share with retained clients around predictive analytics, competitive intelligence and how artificial intelligence is reconfiguring how we make decisions to hire new talent,” he said. “My research and insights will be more apparent in the search process than it is now.”

Working for a large firm, even one he says as well run as Jobplex, with bosses Mr. Riendeau liked and respected, had its limitations. “In reality, there is an inherent limiting step in any large search firm around sourcing candidates,” he said. Identifying candidates while keeping sourcing and research teams content was difficult, he noted. “Turnover and constant retraining among the support staff can create its own distractions and lost momentum for the rainmakers – the search partners,” he said.


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Mr. Riendeau said he believes that his background gives him a leg up on other boutique rivals in the space. “Today’s dynamic employment market is missing the boat in utilizing more artificial intelligence and predictive analytics that is available through the web – and that’s if one knows how to find it, interpret it and leverage it into the hiring matrix,” he said. “Experience as a search professional since 1985, as well as being a behavioral scientist, is a rare combination of experiential business experience and quantitative research methodologies experience.”

Mike Marino, for his part, said goodbye to culture-shaping firm Senn Delaney, a division of Heidrick & Struggles, to launch M. Marino & Associates, in New York earlier this year. He spent 25 years with Senn Delaney, including the last five years since the firm was acquired by Heidrick. His final position there was president and CEO.

Customized Attention

Like Mr. Riendeau, and many others who have made the switch from working for a big firm, Mr. Marino likes the idea of giving clients his full attention and full benefits of his expertise. “I want to take what gifts I’ve been given and what I’ve learned in life to help others see possibilities for themselves,” he said. “As an independent firm we can bring to each of our clients highly customized individual attention and support that builds on my unique insights gained as a C-level executive and consultant to corporations domestic and international.”


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That experience has been earned over the course of 30 years. Before Senn Delaney, Mr. Marino was chief administrative officer of Sunkyong America, a Korean trading company. Prior to that, he was a senior executive at Chase Manhattan bank in both HR and consumer banking in Asia.

“As a leader and advisor to leaders for more than three decades, I understand the unquestionable importance of creating a healthy, high-performance work culture to meet the challenges created by changing customer needs, government regulation, technological advances and global market dynamics,” he said.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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