Our Story

As the Founder and CEO of The Good Search, I welcome you. I have shared The Good Search story below. It details how I went from being an award-winning investigative TV journalist to founding a next-generation executive search firm.

Our investigative, data-driven approach is our secret sauce. It is what gives our clients a competitive advantage in technology executive recruitment. (We have ways . . . )

Krista Bradford Headhunter


So pull up a chair.  Click on an executive search video or two.  Make yourself at home.

When you are ready, let’s talk.



The Good Search Story

How I founded one of the top executive search firms in the business

Like many search partners in the retained search industry, I came to executive search sideways. Yet my background as a former television journalist and investigative reporter gives our firm a unique advantage. We know how to uncover closely held information, how to develop intelligence, and how to spot patterns. That is how we deliver star executives.

(Cue TV news montage below.)





We also know how to use data for competitive advantage in executive search. That’s a skill that I developed as  a data journalist — a nerdy sub-specialty of investigative reporting.  I analyzed data to break stories and to prove what was previously impossible to determine, techniques I learned from the National Institute of Computer Assisted Reporting (NICAR). So by the time I showed up for my first day of work at a New York City retained search firm, I was unlike any researcher executive recruiting had ever seen.


Krista Bradford The Reporters


Moreover, because I was new to the world of retained executive search,  I could view it through a fresh set of eyes. I witnessed the shortcomings of the traditional retained search model first hand:

Too much focus on sales. Not enough focus on execution. Conflicts of interest. Structural issues. Lack of serious research expertise. Lack of data expertise. Lack of technology expertise. Lack of transparency. Missing value proposition.  Problem searches.

So what’s the solution?



Research is the execution engine of executive search.

Build a better engine and you create the ultimate recruiting machine.



In the Age of Information, those who have the best information win. But developing the best information is getting harder to do. That’s because we also live in the era of Big Data. The amount of data in the world is doubling every two years. Companies and search firms are drowning in information. They miss candidates who were standing in plain sight because other candidates get in the way. They lack the data expertise needed to wrangle all that data — expertise that we have. That is how we deliver candidates you never knew or dreamed existed. Smarter search has its advantages. It is the reason why we are counted among the top technology executive search firms in the business.


Our Story as Technical Recruiters


First, We Recognized a Problem

As technology headhunters and technical recruiters, we have learned from our clients.  We serve the world’s most innovative software and Internet companies in the world. As tech recruiters, we share a passion for innovation wherever things don’t work right. Executive search needs a serious upgrade.

While leadership requirements continue to evolve, the executive search industry has done little to match force with changing needs. With few exceptions, retained search firms conduct search the same way as they always have and produce the same uneven results. To this day, executive search takes too long and hits the wall far too often. On average some 40 percent of traditional retained searches fail to complete. The failure rate has been a constant for half a century. It is a big problem that has proven hard to solve.


The Problem is an Opportunity

It is a problem that deserves a solution. Every time a retained executive search fails to produce a candidate who is hired, a company is out the $100-thousand or more it spent to find the perfect candidate. But the loss doesn’t stop there.  When a key executive position languishes unfilled for 6 months or a year,  it can cost millions of dollars in lost revenues, lost time-to-market, and lost morale. When you stop to do the math, the cost of failed executive search is stunning.  Worst case, it can take a company down.


Next, We Identified the Cause

Executive search fails when you search with your eyes closed. For far too long and in far too many ways, search firms and their corporate counterparts have been searching for candidates with blindfolds on. They lack the time and expertise to leverage the treasure trove of data available in the Age of Information. As a result, most executive recruiters and search consultants can’t quite zero in on the best-of-the-best prospective candidates for the role. Consequently, they recycle high profile candidates as lesser-known (but better qualified) candidates are ignored or missed.  Searching with one’s eyes closed perpetuates the status quo and perpetuates a lack of diversity.  Recruiters reach and out tap the most obvious prospects and, more often than not, that candidate is white and male.


We Knew There Had to Be a Better Way

Yes, there is a better way. Executive Search 2.0. The next-generation of retained search is simply more evolved. The Good Search is a not a traditional retained search firm, by design.  We are committed to transforming executive search as we know it because to do less is simply not acceptable.

We know it is folly to do search the same way everyone else does and expect different results. That is why we decided to search smarter. We do it by powering every engagement with a level of expert investigative research that the recruiting industry has never seen.

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