Career Moves



Ryan Broad

The Many Benefits of Executive Search

  • by Ryan Broad
  • 3 Apr 2017

By Ryan Broad

Executive search specialists are talent acquisition experts who invest their entire careers focused on helping their clients identify, attract, and hire the most qualified individuals for their unique organizational needs. The executive search is normally a retained and exclusive search performed by headhunters on either a percentage or set fee basis and within an agreed timescale.

Executive search consultants should be seen as strategic partners that can leverage on their experience and expertise to implement a rigorous selection process, which includes establishing the search priorities, defining the search strategy, attract and evaluate the right candidates and being part of the final negotiation, following up also after the new hire is in place.

Executive search firms cannot guarantee that every placement will be successful, but they do expect a positive outcome in at least 75% of the times. It is possible to reach (or beat) that average by choosing your recruiter carefully and investing time and effort in the search process.

Some of the most frictions between clients and consultants happen when there is no internal consensus before starting the search or where communication channels are not clear established since the beginning. Both these issues must be clarified at the outset and are avoidable with a little planning. The right executive search partner should be engaged in all aspects of the search process, starting with defining a tailor-made search strategy all the way through candidate on-boarding. Retained executive search specialists often continue consultation and follow-up months after the hire, since their success is based on the impact and long-term commitment of the executive hired.

Executive search partners are also brand ambassadors and keen networkers, so finding the consultant that best represents your company is crucial. The first step toward settling on a search partner is to do some digging to determine which recruiters work in your space, at what level, and with whom. Evaluate potential search partners based on their responsiveness, their references, their past work and their ability to recruit from the companies you admire the most. If possible, try to avoid selecting a partner based on internal stakeholder connections. Narrow down your list to 2-3 names and present them to your stakeholders for a short pitch. Follow up each presentation with questions that allow the team to elaborate on how it would handle the search process if hired.

Executive search can be daunting and time consuming. Having a structured process in place, which is aligned with the business goal, will make sure that only the best fits for the role will pass the selection, the right candidate becomes a long-lasting and valuable asset for the company and that the whole process is successfully implemented in a relatively short timeframe. The network of relationship, reputation and expertise of a search partner can open more doors and get you access to a pool of possible candidates that are not on the open market and thus not actively pursued by other companies. Ultimately, this can result in a better quality of hire.

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