Blog Single

How to Find the Right Executive Search Recruiter

In this article:

Executive search recruiters source for qualified candidates on behalf of client organizations. Some go as far as providing placement services for companies with vacant positions in the upper management or executive positions.  According to a recent report, the United States is the world’s largest market for executive search services and rightly so.

Executive search services are proven to help organizations attract top talent more efficiently than traditional staffing methods. The right executive search recruiter can help a company gain competitive advantage as they attract the best talent in the game. Such factors have made the search industry grow faster than the average job industry.

However, failing to find a recruiter that fits your company’s needs could be detrimental to your company’s growth. Multiple surveys have shown that companies have lost a ton in resources as a result of ‘bad hires’, based on recommendations from an executive search recruiter.

For such reasons, it would be in your best interest to find the right executive search recruiter. The article below focuses on how to find the best executive search recruiter.

Start by Looking at the Recruiter’s Portfolio and Achievements

Achievements are of the very first places that you evaluate before selecting an executive search company. Take a deeper look at the recruiter’s past clients. Evaluate their testimonials and other important information related to the search process.

It goes without saying that you need to work with the best recruiter you can find. Make sure they give you examples of recruiters who they’ve worked with and the type of assignments they were on. Such information will help you make an informed decision about hiring the recruiter.

Evaluate Your Organization’s Managerial Needs

Why are you looking for an executive in the first place? Are you looking to employ short-or-long-term? Does that position require specialized skills? You need to be fully aware of the kind of problem/ need that you are solving by hiring a top-level senior. Different search companies handle different human resource problems.

Also, if your profile of need is relatively common and you have an in-house recruiting capacity, you can fill the role using either your recruiters or generalized recruiting firms that work on contingency.

However, note that these firms are often resume shops, and will simply post your ads, scour their databases, and present you with a high volume of potential candidates that haven’t been screened against your needs for the role.

Things might get tricky if the profile of your ideal candidate, especially for key senior roles, gets scarcer. For example, if you’re looking for a product manager with a long track record of building software that users love, or a salesperson who can build both your playbook and your team from the ground up—there’s a good chance that those folks aren’t going to just stumble on your LinkedIn ad.

Furthermore, they may know nothing about your organization or the role even if they happen to hear about the opportunity. If there are only a handful of people in the world who have the experience you’re looking for, then the work of finding, attracting, and retaining them will be much more complex.

The rarer the profile, the more difficult it will be to find, attract, and qualify the caliber of candidates you need. And, the more instrumental a successful candidate in this role will be in the overall growth of the organization, the higher the stakes will be. For these challenging and critical hires, you’ll want to invest in using a retained search firm.

Look for Reputable Executive Recruiters in Your Niche

Recruiters sometimes get a bad reputation, and usually, for valid reasons. Some firms deal exclusively in volume, firing out resumes until they exhaust their database, and then disappearing as soon as it becomes evident that they won’t be making an easy placement.

Also, other firms do the very bare minimum like they will post job ads on your behalf, and then send you all the resumes they receive without qualifying them. It is good to note that working with a bad recruitment firm can be both more expensive and time-consuming as compared to simply doing it yourself.

However, a partnership with an effective recruiter with expertise in the industry and the role in question can be an investment that pays dividends for years to come. So be on the lookout for boutique firms that specialize in companies of your stage and size, as well as the type of industry and role.

The more niche the firm, the more targeted it will be in its outreach to potential candidates. Simply, don’t hire a generalist to do a specialist’s job. This is because there are several benefits to working with a specialized recruitment firm.

First, they can reach passive candidates who are currently achieving exceptional results for their current employers. Second, you can leverage their deep understanding of the market to help you design the role and craft a compensation package.

Moreover, their understanding of the specific requirements of the position will mean they can effectively qualify candidates and present only those who truly meet your needs. These firms will often work on a retained basis, which allows them to dedicate resources to finding you the perfect candidate for the role.

Learn About the Recruitment Firm’s Process

Once you’ve identified a recruitment firm in your niche, it’s recommended you spend a bit of time getting to know the team that you’ll be working with, and the processes they use to find senior talent.

Your conversation with them should include them getting to know you and understand your business. They should learn about the role and your ambitions for the position, and a discussion about the way they approach each search.

Also, inquire for details about how they will present the opportunity to candidates, how they will pre-qualify people before sending them to you, and what kind of support you can expect throughout the interview and job offer process.

You should also look for signs of curiosity, engagement, and genuine interest in your organization. Similarly, they should be inquisitive and knowledgeable about your industry too.

The best firms to work with are focused on being consultative partners with their clients and candidates, and will take time to understand the unique requirements of every search.

In addition, when you decide to engage their services, they will be responsible for selling your vision and advertising on behalf of your company to attract candidates who don’t yet know they should consider a change.

At the start of the process, you should get the sense that they understand your business and your needs and that they have a clear process in place.

It’s Important to note that during an initial consultation, the recruitment firm will likely look for its own set of clues that the relationship will be productive for all parties involved.

Factors to consider include having a clear vision for the role, being willing to invest in value —both in their fees, and in the compensation that you’ll offer to candidates— whether or not you’re open to feedback on the interview process, and their level of access to the hiring manager for ongoing updates and discussions.

By definition, recruitment firms are selective about the clients they work with. They don’t want to take on searches where they know there’s a narrow chance of them to fill the position.

Taking assignments that are wildly outside of their circle of expertise can monopolize resources that would be better spent on other search assignments. Therefore, your success is their success, so look for signs that they are invested in your vision.

It’s an important decision to choose an effective partner who can advise and support you through exponential times of growth, and this should not be taken lightly.

Use of Technology

The current marketplace seems to favor those with a knack for technology. Tech savvy recruiters tend to be more efficient meaning the search will be accelerated as a result of better hiring processes. Such firms also capitalize on the best software to help identify and store data related to top talent.

To recruit executive talent in a short time, you need a recruitment firm with the best technology at their disposal. Remember technology helps companies make business processes more efficient. This also includes the search, placement, and other executive management processes.

Consider Experienced Recruiters

How well does the executive search company know your industry of operation? How long have they been in operating? Have they built a credible and vast network of connections that will help them with the search process?

It would be best if you found out more about the search company’s experience beforehand. Professional recruitment services should be done by an experienced search partner. Experienced firms tend to provide in depth services including C-Level and board retained search.

Experienced recruitment firms also respect confidentiality. Large organizations tend to seek confidentiality when outsourcing for executive positions. This is important especially at a high level where such actions could have damning consequences in the stock market or the company’s overall image.

Not only that, but experienced search consultants tend to understand the strategic, financial and operational importance of executive positions. They also understand the skills needed to succeed in a particular industry.

Experienced job recruiters also tend to have a wide database of candidates which could prove to be massive when looking for the best talent. Flexi Personnel is one such recruitment firm with years of experience working with top firms to provide leadership solutions.

In Conclusion

Executive search services are essential especially when you need to fill a senior managerial position quickly. However, on one hand, they tend to be expensive. And on the other hand, failure to employ the right executive search services could lead to huge losses.

For such reasons, you must consider a ‘checklist’ when looking for an executive search and placement service provider. There are many factors to consider when looking for such services. For instance, you must consider the recruitment firm’s achievements, their experience in the industry, their executive search process and use of technology.

Similarly, to the process for interviewing candidates, you should engage in a discussion with potential recruitment firms to ensure that you’re right for each other. With some deliberate scrutiny, you will be able to find a true partner who will work tirelessly on your behalf to find the talent that will drive your business forward.

Ultimately, the choice of your search recruiter will depend on your budget and leadership needs. With that said, you must consider the factors above before making the choice to move forward with a specific executive search firm.

Are you Looking for an Executive Search Firm?

Expanding into new or emerging markets, consistent with those in the Asian and in Sub Sahara regions, can be challenging. One such aspect that most expanding companies face is recruiting top talent to help them with their organizational objectives.

Executive search companies will save you a ton in time and money. Remember, the events leading up to recruitment of top talent seniors are not processes that can be done passively. Not only that, but the effects of a bad hire could be detrimental to the company.

That’s where we come in. Flexi Personnel is one of Kenya’s top executive search, recruitment and placement firms. We have developed an eye for top talent over the years and in the process established ourselves as an executive search powerhouse.

We have gained a lot of managerial insights in the African region, providing top tier services in Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda just to mention a few.

Not only that, but our experience has led us to work with top executive candidates from all over the world. You’ll be pleased to know that our services are matched with high standards of professionalism.

We would like to work with you on your next project. Feel free to contact us today at Flexi Personnel for C-suite, executive search, and other human-resources management solutions.

Get started today!