Testimonial | Alion Science and Technology Corporation

Alion Science and Technology Corporation is a defense contracting company delivering expertise and operational support in naval architecture and marine engineering, defense operations, modeling, simulation, technology integration, and other specialties vital to the defense sector.

We have a comprehensive HR department and we do most of our own recruiting, except at the level of CEO, COO, CFO, and a few direct reports. Then I become directly involved.

I’ve used Paul Dinte for two very senior executive search assignments and, right now, I wouldn’t use anyone else. 

We had been using another well-known search firm and we’d worked with a senior person there with good results. But they’ve undergone changes in their business model and on our last senior assignment with them it was becoming harder and harder to get his attention.

I was aware of Paul’s name from discussions with counterparts in the industry when he called and asked to come and speak with me. I liked everything he had to say about the Dinte client relations process and the search model that he presented. I also liked the fact that the Dinte team has a focus on our industry. So I decided that the next time, I would give them a shot. 

Six or seven months later, we needed to find a Senior Vice President and Corporate General Counsel, so I called them in. This was a direct report to the CEO that started out being a confidential search, which always presents a challenge to the search organization. They put together a presentation to the CEO and CFO that was focused, on point, and respectful of our executives’ time. Throughout the process I was impressed with the focus and attention they gave to the search.

General Counsel is not an easy position to find, especially on a confidential basis in a small (defense) community. It’s also a challenge to find the right personality fit. Dinte is good at getting all the right technical credentials. That’s a must. But I’m a real believer in their behavioral modeling. Dinte tests for leadership skills, communications skills, interpersonal skills, and emotional intelligence. They build a detailed report on each individual on the short list.

The behavioral model gives me a greater level of confidence. I can see how candidates will work with the CEO and CFO. There is a significant compensation package involved, major consequence of error, and the question of fit with the executive team. High level changes in the company make news and, if that person leaves three months later, that’s just not good. So the Dinte behavioral model is very helpful in reducing that risk and it’s something even the largest competitors in the search industry haven’t shown me. 

That assignment worked out very well and they’ve since found a Corporate Vice President of Business Development for us. Again, it was a confidential search, this time for a person with a background in defense, with very senior contacts and major visibility in the industry. They brought us four excellent candidates. Strong, strong people - there’s no way we would have found on our own. They were presented to our senior team and this is a group with military backgrounds who are used to very detailed briefings before making decisions. The Dinte people met all expectations and again the search was successful.

I’m always getting approached by other search firms, but I know where I can get the level of support I need. I couldn’t want it much better.

Katherine Madaleno, Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources
Alion Science and Technology Corporation