How Do Executive Search Firms Find Candidates?
Today we will discuss a very important question: “how do executive search companies find candidates?”
14:27 03 August 2020
People often asked from Executives: “How do the executive search firms find the right candidate for the opening? What can an executive do to get on recruiter radars?”.
Most of the firms faced a lot of hiring challenges, mostly at the level of executive, and everyone wanted to know the secret behind the selection of the right candidate for the opening. It’s particularly hard nowadays to find the best-talented person for the right job.
We are here to describe this briefly by our experts and moreover, we will also share our experience related to the other queries that we get mostly asked by the people in conversations like “how long a search normally takes”, “our advice for candidates looking to be found, and more.”
Let we start with a common question that is asked by almost everyone;
Why do companies hire executive search firms to find the best candidate?
Most companies make the decision to hire an executive search organization, it is just because of that they have a because they have a leadership role to fill that’s both they are sensitive to their business, and they want to be assured that they have selected the best candidate for that opening (not by the way that they select from LinkedIn by just viewing his profile).
Nowadays, Most of the firms choose the services of the executive search companies just because they don't have the resources, team, time, skill, or network to achieve the desired goal of selecting the right candidate.
What kind of executive search organizations are out there?
Many of the executive search organizations are specialized in some ways, like by industry (e.g. “We serve the BioPharma industry”) or by position (e.g. “We are the CRO experts”), for example.
Executive search organizations vary according to their way of searching the right candidate and their approaches —a contingency or retained. An organization that works on a contingency basis receives its payment contingent on hiring someone. Contingency organizations are often not exclusive, it means that they are not following the internal resources, direct applicants, and even other recruiting firms.
Contingency organizations are doing their jobs very efficiently rather than fit and sell the candidate for an inappropriate position rather than focusing on the time. They are not doing such activities that your company will suffer at the end of having an inappropriate candidate for an inappropriate job.
On the other hand, an organization that is working on a retained basis then you have to pay fees at the onset of a search. While the speed of finding the exact and perfect candidate is the goal of retained searches.
How do executive search firms find the right candidates?
Great executive search organizations do not simply elaborate the right candidates from their databases but they also access the searches through a number of angles, including:
- Activating their group of the network to learn the thought leaders in the space
- Recognize them who has been successful in similar companies
- Researching social channels and internal databases
When you totally depend just on these angles you will definitely get misleading information. According to Dave Melville, CEO and Founder of The Bowdoin Group, “When you conduct deep research into all of these angles, certain names light up, and they keep lighting up the more you dig into it. Start with them.”
The biggest risk for the recruiters is being overly reliant on their network. Melville says, “We all want to help our friends. While a friend may be the right person for the role, it’s important to validate that in the market. Jumping to “known” candidates without doing your due diligence is the fastest path to hiring the wrong person.” Especially in today’s day and age, hiring managers must think about diversity, equity, and inclusion as they build their teams. As executive recruiters, it is our job to provide a diverse slate of candidates to show leaders that the “right” candidate may be just outside the specs.
What advice do you have for executive candidates to ensure they can be found?
Melville says this best:
“Don’t hide. Calling on an executive search firm is a good first step, but we tend to focus on the searches we are involved in at the moment.” He recommends that you keep your public profile updated (and not just your LinkedIn profile). “Have coffee with people, sit on panels, publish thought leadership. Step outside of your bubble and connect with people. Trust me—it works.”
After reading our research article I hope you are able to answer the most popular question that arises in everyone's mind about how executive companies hire the best candidate for the opening.