25 years of success,
One Painstaking Search at a time.

We Find Surprising Talent in Surprising Places

We made our name by rescuing searches that stymied other firms. The ingenuity and doggedness we needed defines us today. Put simply, we look where others don’t, and we look longer and more creatively. In a LinkedIn world, we go ‘outside the screen’ to discover compelling and surprising candidates.

Finding talent is one thing, judging fit is another. We scrutinize our work like craftsmen, using methods and tools that give us the confidence to put consummate candidates forward. We put the same amount of work into understanding your needs as we do finding talent for it. It’s why we’re able to put our money where our performance is.

Give us your hardest project and watch us go to work.


Every candidate receives a 360° review that weighs aptitude, fit, personality, goals and dozens of other criteria.

Data from top candidates is plotted against every exhaustively-researched role. The result is a comprehensive and visual 10-page rationale that packs tremendous ‘why’ behind every ‘who’. For candidates, this process provides a deep assessment of their strengths and goals.

Our tools include TopGrading, RoleFit, SkillSurvey, Sensory Logic, and Matrix & Mapping. Scroll down to see how they give us confidence in our process.

We Go Past The Screen

Technology only gets you so far. This is a ‘people’ business, after all. We commit to understanding your business and culture, and we make our process and progress as transparent as possible, sharing assessments, progress and conclusions so that you feel empowered, not burdened.

These principles also apply to candidates. Exemplary people care about their career choices and we arm them with as much information and insight about the role and employer as possible.

Why go to all this trouble? Because we need to do things the right way. We didn’t get a 97% track record by cutting corners.

We Value Your Trust

As Canada’s only Q830 Certified Search Firm, we adhere to ten ethical principles that include accountability and consent. We go beyond Q830, adding third-party audits of our results, a shred-everything policy, and the upcoming addition of a privacy commissioner.

We give our clients and candidates confidence. We search the same way, evaluate the same way and conduct ourselves with discretion and integrity.

We work hard to be easy to trust.

We measure twice so you can hire once.

We assess every candidate the same way, every time.


Our Tools


Topgrading is a structured recruitment and interviewing methodology. It unearths insight, reveals inconsistencies and is a reliable piece of our evaluative puzzle.

Matrix & Mapping

Using an algorithm that plots evaluative and objective data, Matrix & Mapping measures candidates against your unique criteria.

Sensory Logic

Sensory Logic is a tool that detects and analyzes emotional facial responses. It can reveal and capture 'micro' expressions - a candidate's "actual" feelings before they correct cognitively.

Skill Survey

Performance assessments completed by a candidate’s past managers, colleagues, and direct reports that combine behavioral science, talent analytics and benchmarking.


Helping Companies Grow for More Than Two Decades

One Exemplary Search at a Time

We are Champions of Confidentiality.

Candidates: What to Expect

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    We are candid about the results of our interviews and assessments, and about the expectations of the role and the incumbent culture. We work to have candidates come away with a fuller understanding of themselves regardless of the outcome.

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    We never cattle call. If someone is interviewing with us, they are close to the brass ring.

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    Most of our candidates are already happily employed, so discretion is essential. Our Privacy Certification gives candidates confidence.

Candidate Dashboards

We provide an encyclopedic, 10-page report for every shortlisted candidate. Assembled with 25 years of subjective expertise and the best objective tools in the business, we measure professional competency, role-fit and psychographic traits. Each dashboard is packed with insight into how candidates map to a position and culture.

The result is an objective and visual map of each candidate, with a focus on three areas:

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    Is the candidate a great fit for the role?

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    Is the candidate a great fit for the company?

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    Is the candidate poised to be a long-term asset?

John Smith

► Broad HR history, including in startup environments. Vested interest in helping others.

► Salary Range $245 base + Profit Sharing up to 35%

► B Econ, B Comm-HR, MBA-HR


Candidate Map

Candidate Summary

Career History/Resume:   8.5

Matrix & Mapping Score:   93%

John has a history of involvement in Elder Care, both family and community, with a strong connection to benefiting from the good of others – his son is a transplant survivor.

‘First’ has had a career of giving back. He joined ACME just as they divested and re-invented and had the chance to re-build the remaining division. He constructed a new culture and built a lean, engaged team of both union and non-union employees.

He has a G3 attitude: Give, Give, Give.

Our immediate impression of ‘First’ was average but as we talked, he moved quickly
to our Short List.

‘First’ scored 10 / Energizing as a Problem Solver. demonstrating a confident, ‘Can Do’ Attitude. He also scored high on the competitive scale so we may want to probe how that shows up in his HR role.

“HR should be a profit center. Research indicates correlations between employee satisfaction and profitability almost to the point that we can present a direct cause and effect. We need to identify ourselves as a service provider that impacts the company´s profitability.”John Smith

Suitability Assessments

Affinity Profile

An Affinity Profile measures a person’s level of comfort and natural energy rather than capability. It highlights areas that the candidate finds energizing or draining.

John Smith’s Affinity Profile is balanced. He is lowest in Mechanics of Work, with strengths in Leadership, Managing Others, and a very strong affinity for sales.

His RoleFit score for Vice President, Human Resources is 8.0. When reviewed across 54 measured competencies, John’s average score was 7.6, which is well above average.

Leader 30%
Networker 20%
Thinker 25%
Supporter 25%
Energizer / Perfectionist Innovator / Believer
Let others do more when under pressure – be less controlling
We Measure
Mechanics of Work
Mechanics of work
Manage Process
Manage Process
Manage Others
Manage Others
Self Management
Self Management
Professional Growth
Professional Growth

Comparative Report

Rolefit Index: 8.0

Derhak uses Ascentii’s RoleFit to show employers how an individuals Personal Skills and Working Styles map specifically against the role in question.

This is not a performance evaluation. It is an estimate an an individual’s probable comfort level or energy response when a specific competency is called upon. For example, an introverted personality might be an excellent manager but still might find the process of managing others exhausting.

Role Compared to: Vice President, HR

VP Human Resources

Working Styles Capacity Estimated Level
Reliable, Committed Person of Integrity 8
Comfortable / Natural Leader 7
Strong Will to Achieve 8
Attentive to Completion / Follow Through 5
Strives to Achieve Quotas 5
Works Well Within Personal Guidelines 8
Driven, not easily distracted 8
Thrives in Unstable/Uncertain Situations 8
Team Player / Looks for Win-Wins 7
Personal Skills    
Makes Impartial / Objectivve Opinions 7
Calm / Natural Facilitiator  10
Masters Techinical Details 7
Attentive Listener 7
Rational / Objective Decision Maker 8
Natural Instinct to Stay Organized 6
Flexible to the Needs of Situations 8
Ojbective Talent Acquisition Skills 10
Manages to the Bottom Line 9
Effective Writing Communicator 6

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    High Capacity

    Would exhibit this behavior to great effect in this role

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    Moderate Capacity

    Would exhibit this behavior consistently in this role

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    Low Capacity

    Would exhibit this behavior infrequently in this role

Workplace Personality Traits

= Test Results

= Self-Assessment

Need for Stability

  • Resilient
  • Responsive
  • Reactive

Handles stressful workplace situations in a calm, steady, secure way. Moves into problem-solving mode rapidly and proceeds in a rational, analytical fashion.


  • Introvert
  • Ambivert
  • Extrovert

Shifts easily from working with other people to working alone. Finds too much of either dissatisfying. Has a moderate threshold for sensory stimulation from the work environment.


  • Preserver
  • Moderate
  • Explorer

Tends to be middle of the road and somewhat down-to-earth, but will consider new ways of doing something if convincing evidence is available. Not usually known for creativity or curiosity, but they can surface. May adopt and then expand upon a good idea from someone else. Appreciates both innovation and efficiency but neither one to the extreme.


  • Challenger
  • Negotiator
  • Adapter

Tends to relate to others by being expressive, tough, guarded, persistent, competitive or aggressive. Often independent in thought, asking questions to protect self-interest and to make sure of being right by winning. May not accept information without checking.


  • Flexible
  • Balanced
  • Focused

Tends to work towards goals in an industrious, disciplined and independent fashion. Mind may be like a serial processor, proceeding in a linear, sequential manner. Has a strong will to achieve, doing so with preparation and organization. Consolidates time in pursuit of established goals.

Career Histogram

Our dashboard includes results from our TopGrading evaluation, a 12-step process that involves interviews, job scorecards, research into job history, coaching, and more. The snapshot below provides a visualization of an applicant’s career progression.

Cover Letter