Meet Caroline Stokes

Caroline Stokes: talent solutions for innovators!

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Caroline Stokes recently at the Doughgirls Comfort Kitchen & Bakeshop. Caroline is the founder of FORWARD, which does executive search and executive coaching for innovation leaders. Caroline was certified to use the EQ-i 2.0® at one of our certification courses and I was interested to learn more about how Caroline was using the EQ-i 2.0® in recruitment and how it has impacted her business.

More about Caroline: She spent 20+ years with innovation technology leaders (PlayStation, Virgin, Nokia) critiquing hiring practices, onboarding practices, engagement and leadership systems. She spent an additional five years working at a headhunting firm delivering executive level placements at Microsoft, Bethesda, Ziff Davis and Trinity Mirror. Caroline realized something was missing from the process: a high-touch, compassionate approach that left both the employer and talent closer to their seemingly impossible future.

In 2014, Caroline founded FORWARD with a vision to create a constantly evolving human capital solutions company, with an ethical and humanist headhunting process and executive coaching practice for innovation leaders – so everyone can move forward.

Me: “So, Caroline, tell me how you became interested in the EQ-i 2.0?”

I was hiring contractors to administer and interpret the results for me and I was finding the information so useful that I thought I really needed to take the certification course so I could administer and interpret the reports myself.

Me: “And how do you use the EQ-i 2.0 in doing what you do?”

We take what we think is a unique approach to head hunting/executive search and placement. We call it “the white glove treatment.” Not only do we place executives, but we provide ongoing coaching for a period of at least 90 days. This allows us to support the new hire as they learn and adjust to their new role. Employers love that we stay involved like that and new hires love the support they get from us. The EQ-i 2.0 is used early on and is probably the biggest time saver we have in terms of learning where an employees strengths are and where their development opportunities are. It’s really working well for us.

Me: “These employees don’t mind that you’re involved, that is, they’re open to coaching?”

They love it! We don’t get any pushback. No one says, “no, don’t coach me.” [laughs]

Me: “What do employers say when you offer this ongoing coaching service following placement?”

They think it’s great. I mean, what employer wouldn’t want you to support new hires as they get their bearings in a new position? And it’s this hands-on, ‘white glove’ service that sets us apart from the bigger executive search firms. Well, that and the fact that we’re much more economical. [laughs]

No one says, “no, don’t coach me.” – Caroline Stokes  Tweet This!

Me: “Tell me about a client with whom you used the EQ-i 2.0.”

Okay, I can think of a guy who was a technically superior candidate, however, we had some concerns about how he presented himself. We gave him the EQ-i 2.0 and discovered that he struggled with Self-Regard. We focused our coaching efforts around helping him to improve how he came across by focusing on how he portrayed his confidence to others. He was very keen to improve and was a very willing student and so we saw great results.

Me: “Thank you for that. Is there anything else you’d like to leave us with?”

Yes, I’d say for anyone considering the EQ-i 2.0/EQ360 Certification Course that I took with you and Kim – Kim is a great coach by the way, I really enjoyed my coaching with him – I would say do it. It was a great learning experience and the EQ-i 2.0® helps me to better understand our clients and how to best coach them to get the results they seek and to ensure that both employees and employers get what they are looking for – a successful match that lasts over time and is mutually beneficial. Thanks, David

Me: “Thank you, Caroline. Another latte?” [smile]

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