An executive search firm is a team of recruiting experts who are able to locate high-level talent for companies that are looking to add to their leadership teams. But, what are you really getting when you hire an executive search firm?
One of the first things a good executive search firm will do when you start working with them is get to know the ins and outs of you and your company. They'll have many questions, and you should have a few for them as well. The goal of your initial meetings is to establish a relationship between your team and theirs so they gain a better understanding of the type of person that might be a good fit for your company's personnel and culture.
When you are trying to recruit a high-level executive directly, you may have to disclose quite a bit of information up front. They'll want to know who you are and why you are reaching out to them. This can make things difficult if you are contacting people from competing companies. An executive search firm is able to act as a neutral liaison. They're able to contact executives no matter where they are currently working, and they don't have to disclose your company information until later in the process.
Executive search firms specialize in recruiting high-level and highly-skilled talent. They understand how these people move around, what they are looking for, and how to speak to them to get through. Executives get all kinds of calls and messages every day, so if you don't know how to break through their gatekeepers, you may never actually reach them.
Executive firms are skilled at reaching these executives and often build and maintain relationships with them so they can call on them when a good opportunity comes up.
An extremely time consuming part of recruiting is the examination that goes into each of the qualified candidates. An executive search firm will do the heavy lifting from scouring resumes, confirming details, doing intro interviews, completing background and reference checks, and even diving deep into a person's history to ensure there are no red flags. They will only present you the most highly qualified candidates.
The relationship that you build with an executive search firm doesn’t stop once they understand your culture and the needs of your team. The team you are working with at the firm will stay closely involved throughout the entire process. Once they’ve presented the highest qualified candidates to you, they can help you with the continuing evaluation by assisting you with on-site interviews and evaluation techniques. They will also be able to help with onboarding once you’ve made a selection because typically they will have a placement guarantee. This means they ensure your new hire will successfully stay with your company for an extended period of time after they’ve been hired.
An executive search firm is only as good as the network they are able to build. The best will have an extensive list of highly qualified individuals they can reach out to for any given position. Their networks are constantly expanding as they research and locate new executives to bring into their ranks.
If you're thinking about hiring an executive search firm, continue reading about how to select the right firm for your company in this blog.