Meet Suzanne M. King, her Name's On The Door" at King Executive Search

This profile is one in a series titled Monday Member Showcase. It was originally published on, a recruiting and HR community, where I am a featured contributor. To read the whole series please click here.

"Since I’m used to working with C-level executives and minding their tightly arranged time schedules, I can be very concise and quick to prioritize a problem and how to handle it. Sometimes, a person who is not yet at a C-level or new to their decision-making function, needs more time to marinate in the available options before making a call. In this case, that person would view me as being too direct and I would need to be more watchful of them for readiness to accept my input."

"It’s always been disappointing to watch someone try to struggle in a position when they are clearly beyond their Peter Principle. I’ve had to take over work in the past from others who were out of their element ... it was extra work to overcome what could have been resolved upfront by getting the right person for the job at the get-go."

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Suzanne King has 20 years of experience as a corporate business professional. Her background leverages a career in accounting, finance, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. While working for public and private, global and strictly domestic, billion-dollar to boutique-sized, professional services and industry-based companies, Suzanne has led, managed, designed, built and downsized corporate teams for a variety of industries and functional areas. She has introduced well over 2,000 candidates to Fortune 150 hiring managers. Suzanne has in-depth knowledge of and expertise with corporate recruiting processes including the identification, screening, recruiting and hiring of technical, management and sales professionals. She is an award-winning recruiter and has designed processes used by Fortune 150 corporate recruiting professionals. Throughout her career, she has personally coached high potential individuals who have navigated various organizational cultures and corporate politics to rise in the ranks to positions of leadership and influence. Suzanne holds a BS in Finance and Economics from the University of Southern California and an MBA in International Business from Pepperdine University.

Q&A with Suzanne M. King

Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.

Suzanne: I married my college sweetheart and we share parenting and dog management duties as well as a love for business, real estate, fitness and recruiting. We’re a fantastically, fearless team.

Six Degrees: What do you do for fun and adventure?

Suzanne: Dance, martial arts, snow skiing, cooking for friends and reading. I’m a classically trained ballet dancer and a 2nd level brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. I grew up on the slopes because snow skiing is a family passion, and I used to race as a kid. Now, almost every Sunday I walk into one of my dear friend’s kitchen and make a meal for six people from whatever she has in her frig and pantry. It’s a fun challenge to make something delicious out of what someone else claims is “no food in the house”.

Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?

Suzanne: I suppose for longer than I’d realized before you asked this question. My approach to the staffing industry comes a bit at an angle. For years, I interviewed and hired people for my teams in corporate America. I also, interviewed numerous entrepreneurs and corporate executives as part of my time in the mergers and acquisitions field. In 2002, I became CFO of King Executive Search. When your name’s on the door, you wear many hats, so I ended up doing work for Oracle (initially in areas where my past career had cross-over and then eventually for a whole myriad of positions within various business units). I ended up becoming a two-time Everest Award winner. Who knew I would find a new application for my skills?

Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?

Suzanne: Recruiting was always part of my business as a corporate executive, but I became an external professional services provider seven years ago. Interestingly, looking for a good company to acquire has a lot of similar thought processes to looking for the best candidate for a given team. Although, there are a load less spreadsheets and contracts involved.

Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?

Suzanne: Korn/Ferry recruited me years ago to an M&A role for a medical device firm. The executive search consultant who worked with me was so good at her job and I really admired her how she approached me and knew her market.

Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?

Suzanne I have more than one mentor. Each has a different area of expertise but not a career similar to my own. It’s helpful to be able to tap into someone’s experience and perspective that comes at a situation differently. I try to assimilate inputs and go with the best approach that I can.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your company, Susan.

Suzanne: As Partner of King Executive Consulting, I’m directly involved in providing service to my clientele yet I also wear multiple “back office” hats. I recruit, coach, and develop business, while also tackling administrative tasks and managerial responsibilities. Our team is presently at five and we’ve got a growth plan, so stay tuned for more announcements from us.

Six Degrees: What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?

Suzanne: The two that I admire are Heather Broome at Blue and Paul King at King Executive Search. They are prior Korn/Ferry executives, Paul was a Client Partner, who know how to cover the market and implement a senior level search. They are smart business people, well-networked in their communities and ultra professional. I consider them to be “Best of Breed”.

Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?

Suzanne: My undergraduate degree was in Finance and Economics so I lean towards these stories in the media. The recession, timing for recovery, global market health in relation to the U.S. market health and technological improvements are all on my watch list. I also keep a pulse on the stress level of the candidate pool because it affects how I implement.

Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:

Suzanne: I speak at universities to help build awareness amongst the next generation of corporate executives and the executive coaching that I specialize in aims to improve the candidate pool.

Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?

Suzanne: Recessions don’t discriminate. The technology and medical sectors are hanging in there but search volume is reduced. More candidates are dealing with a lot of stress and need coaching to prepare for interviews and navigate highly political environments.

Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities.

Suzanne: The social person in me is networking-friendly. LinkedIn, Plaxo, Doostang, Facebook, Twitter, Naymz, RecruitingBlogs, and a periodic newsletter are all places where you will find me.

Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?

Suzanne: My first incremental goal is to double the size of my firm. What do I need? Good people, hard work, creativity, perseverance and luck.

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