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Should You Hire an Executive Search Firm?

There are many reasons why companies are hesitant to engage an executive search firm to help them hire leadership talent for the C-Suite level.

Whether it’s because they think they can make the hire on their own, they don’t want to pay the cost of retaining a firm, or they’re just skeptical of the process, these companies are ultimately missing out on an opportunity to hire the best leader for their company.

The search is incredibly important at the senior executive level.

These executives within the C-Suite level play a pivotal role in the make or break of an organization.

In addition to that, the implications of a bad hire so far up the managerial chain are huge.

So, should you hire an executive search firm?


Finding the right candidate for the C-Suite is an intense process for any industry.


With the help of an executive search firm, organizations can ensure they hire the best possible candidate. They will help you mitigate the risks of hiring for these positions and assist with designing a process that will effectively assess the candidates’ ability to embrace your mission which builds upon the current success, therefore ensuring you make a good hire.

Reasons why you should hire an executive search firm

Below let’s expound further and look at more reasons for why you need to hire an executive search firm and how your organization stands to benefit.

1. The significance of the role

Does this hire represent a strategic investment in the long-term success and growth of your organization?

The search is incredibly important at the senior executive level.

Executives within the C-Suite level play a pivotal role in the make or break of an organization.

The implications of a bad hire so far up the managerial chain are huge.

An executive search firm can help you mitigate the risks of hiring for these positions.

And they can also design a process that will effectively assess the candidates’ ability to embrace your mission and build upon the current success.

More so, they also deliver a slate of candidates with the right mix of knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The very best ones will also advise on things like culture fit, ambition, and emotional intelligence all of which are as important as the hard skills.

2. The challenge of finding excellent candidates

Is this role the first of its kind at your organization?

If you’re recruiting for a position that has been newly created or isn’t within your area of expertise, an executive search firm will have the specialist skills and experience to fill that knowledge gap.

Have you already started the search and are finding it difficult to attract the kinds of candidates you’re seeking?

An executive search firm’s wide network of high-quality executive professionals is just what you need.

Engaging an executive search firm can provide invaluable help in a highly competitive marketplace.

By tapping into their industry, function, geodemographic expertise, and a well-defined search process, your organization will be in a better position than your competitors to be considered by the actively looking and the “hidden” candidates.

Executive search firms also have the time, resources, and skills to engage the candidates you’re looking for.

3. The importance of discretion

Are you hiring a replacement and ultimate discretion is needed?

By outsourcing the task, you’re relieved of workplace secrecy but still have all the control, trust, and transparency of having that taken care of by someone impartial.

In a situation where you are hiring from the same pool of talent as your competitors, it becomes far less complex when working through a discreet, impartial third party.

4. Lack of time or resources to take on an executive search

If you already have too much to do and too little time, taking on an important executive-level search can quickly become its own full-time job.

The process of screening and hiring for the C-Suite is time-consuming since the process has to be thorough to identify the best of the best.

In fact, it can take up to six months to fill for such a position.

This means that the executive search process can be time-consuming.

But for executive search firms, this is what they do full time.

They have a unique skill set and internal processes that help improve efficiency and speed in recruiting.

Have a read on how executive search firms work for further information.

Advantages of executive search firms

Below are just a few benefits an executive search firm can bring to the hiring process and increase your odds of hiring the right person the first time around.



Many companies believe they have the resources and skills to hire an executive on their own.

However, simply posting the opening on job boards or your website is not going to be enough to hire a talented executive.

Top executives are not scouring job boards for new openings.

They’re employed, passive, and busy leaders who are accustomed to finding new job opportunities through their network, connections, and referrals.

Executive recruiters have built up connections with top executives over the years and have access to these very inaccessible people and their networks.

Executive search firms also conduct comprehensive processes in their search and recruitment to screen for the right skills and qualifications.

By engaging in such a comprehensive process, organizations can avoid hiring bad candidates.

Save time and money

Taking on the responsibility of searching, recruiting, and hiring an executive is not something that can be done passively.

It is a strategic, and time-consuming effort that needs to be performed by multiple people in an organization.

Having to use employees who are inexperienced with hiring executives can be a waste of resources that can be spent more effectively working on other projects.

Also, having inexperienced recruiting increases the chances of hiring the wrong candidates for the position.

The costs associated with hiring the wrong person for an executive position are extremely high and turnover can even bring down employee morale and productivity (Robert Half Survey 2017).

Quickly fill difficult roles

Today’s leadership roles often require a professional with a unique mix of skills.

Not only do they need to excel at their core skill set, but they also need to be analytical, creative and possess leadership abilities.

Finding a professional who possesses all of the qualities is not an easy task.

Executive search firms have the resources and processes to find candidates to fill difficult roles.

Furthermore, they have databases built with pre-qualified candidates and know how to perform searches for technical positions that may require a mix of skills.

Get a partner out of it

Many growing, small businesses that need to add executive leadership may have only ever had the founders or owner on their leadership team.

There are many things to consider when hiring for a newly created role such as compensation structure, experience, and how to handle this new hire internally.

If you’ve never had this role at your company before, you will need further guidance.

When using an executive search firm, this relationship is very consultative and like a partnership.

They can advise you on things like compensation based on their knowledge of the job market and role expectations.

Discretion and confidentiality

When it comes to hiring for an executive position, the best candidate is often already employed at another organization – sometimes even a partner or competitor.

And in other situations, an organization may be seeking to replace an executive that isn’t meeting performance standards.

In both cases, working with an executive search firm guarantees that the hiring process is confidential and conducted with the topmost discretion.

These are just some of the advantages of using an executive search firm when looking to hire a new leader.

If you use a professional to find you the best talent, the return on investment can be much higher and have a greater impact on the growth of your business.



There are a ton of benefits to be enjoyed by employing executive search services.

They include timely hires, cost-efficient processes, and employment of top talent.

An executive search firm will help you navigate through the complex process of hiring for the executive level positions that are very vital in the make or break of your organization.

So, should you hire an executive search firm?


If you are looking to hire a new senior executive, partnering with a trusted executive search firm, such as Flexi Personnel is undoubtedly your best bet.

Flexi Personnel is the number one provider of professional HR management solutions in East and Central Africa.

We have over 12 years of experience in this industry, helping companies diversify their human capital while attracting top talent.

Get started today!