Executive search firms for clients
With an economy struggling to claw itself back from the credit-crunch, the employment market is flooded with job-seekers who suffered the biggest bite wounds from the recession. Many
employees were dismissed due to cut-backs or simply from companies going bankrupt under the economic pressure but now that businesses are starting to recover, the task of hiring new
staff is one that many try to avoid at all costs - the rigmarole of sorting through a mountain of resumes, conducting interviews and finding the right person for that newly developed post can eat into valuable company time which could be spent more productively on more profitable projects.
Why use executive search firms?
If you are in desperate need of that extra pair of hands but cannot bring yourself to draft out a rough copy of that ‘wanted’ ad… welcome to the world of executive search firms where all of your recruitment headaches can be soothed away. Leave your hiring worries behind as they attract, interview and employ middle to senior level employees on your behalf. Carry on with your everyday routine as they filter through each and every candidate with a fine toothcomb to find only the most suitably qualified ones for your needs.
Executive search firms are certainly worth the small investment as they have access to an intricate and detailed network of candidates, many of whom would not have been available through the usual recruitment channels. This expanse of data can further be filtered and streamlined to find the employees in specialized areas such as non-profit, education, finance or banking.
Today, there are far too many businesses who do not take advantage of the benefits of using
executive search firms. They are a valuable tool which should be inculcated into your company as they act as a human resource for all of your professional staffing solutions.
Executive search firms save you time and money as you no longer have to squander hundreds of pounds paying a senior executive to pen advertisements, sort through applications, answer enquiries and interview potential applicants. When you are running at such a high level, there can be little room for error as it is vital that your company retains a highly competitive edge in the marketplace.
Executive search firms ensure that all of your staff are hired according to the skillsets that you determine so as you do not lose a fraction of your time dealing with problems associated with under qualified or under experienced candidates.
When you need that position to be filled urgently, executive search firms can provide you with that much needed member of staff the very same day by scanning an extensive database for candidates which are the perfect fit. All you need to do is specify which key aspects are important to you such as experience, qualifications, leadership skills etc.
So how do you find the perfect executive search firms for you?
A good way to seek out those who will satisfy your needs is to compile a list of key point indicators that you are looking for in your new employee. Perhaps you are looking for someone who can launch an innovative new product to 50% of USA within nine months. You will also need to list concise details about the position such as the core skills needed to fulfil the role, what the post will involve, a history of your company’s background, your vision for the future, attributes you are looking for in a candidate and some details about your work style and ethics. The more details you can bring to the table, the easier it is for an executive search firm to find that elusive team member. Most search firms will assist you in constructing your job description so as you can paint a picture for candidates and help them to decide if they are that missing link you so desperately need.
Choosing a retained or contingent executive search firm
The majority of executive search firms find suitable candidates by a process of retained or contingent searches. A
contingent search is perfect when the member of staff you are looking for will not be a vital component in the infrastructure of your business or if you need a lot of staff in a hurry for a position that many will be qualified to do. The search will be fast and candidates will be sourced from the information contained within their resume submissions, these will then be forwarded to you. Applicants will come from job seekers who are unemployed or actively seeking new employment. In this instance, executive search firms will be competing with others to provide you with the right candidate and thus win your business and secure their fee, they will not work exclusively for you and it will be your responsibility to filter, interview and evaluate the list of clients that are forwarded to you.
A retained search is a more structured approach to finding the right employee. Use this when you require someone to fill a specific senior post. You can be very detail orientated with a retained search and list those important key elements which are vital for the progressive enhancement of your organization such as someone with a stable work history or an ever increasing skillset. A retained search firm will work solely for you and will focus on providing you with candidates who are already fulfilling a similar position and producing impressive results. The search firm will invest a lot of time into every assignment that you present to them and will personally screen, interview and evaluate each individual by a process of filtering out only the best, this will then be streamlined even further to around 4 – 8 perfect matches. A process this detailed takes time to marginalise but the results are often worth the four to six week wait as it is very rare for a hiring manager to not find the perfect candidate hidden within this very intense process of elimination. When you have personally interviewed the top ten, you may want to further discuss individual candidate strengths and weaknesses with the
executive search firm will help you make that final decision.
This is a high consultancy level of service between the executive search firm and you. They will draw up a contract, and conduct their search based upon your exact requirements. Executive search firms prefer this style of work as companies who are satisfied with the results, generally use them again and again for repeat contracts.
It is vital that the lines of communication between you and your chosen executive search firm stay open. If they are headhunting that top-notch senior executive for you, the person that is dealing with your request needs to be fully aware of your requirements so as he can maintain the integrity of your company’s image when representing you. In one respect, executive search firms act as an extension of you company so they need to be armed with all of the facts.
You will need to discuss payment terms, deadline dates, non disclosure agreements and check that the search firm you choose is ethical, professional and emits positive vibes at all times. If you were looking for a job, would you feel comfortable speaking to this person? You might even ask them to demonstrate an example of their interview techniques to satisfy yourself that they ask all the right questions. Ensure that they obtain references immediately after the first initial point of contact along with a background check to verify academic and work credentials.
Some executive search firms offer a numerical approach to determining the level of suitability for each candidate interviewed. This way, you can check that they think along your lines and add feedback.
Do not be afraid to ask questions and enquire about their previous successes, the speed in which they can deliver suitable candidates and how long each candidate has remained in their new positions. This information will help you determine the dedication and longevity of candidates that they attract and forecast how well the staff they provide for you will be able to satisfy the demands of the role. Executive search firms should also be willing to put you in touch with clients who can provide testimonials based on past experience. Ask all of the executive search firms on your list to estimate how many relevant searches they have conducted over the past 24 months which are similar to the position that you wish to fill.
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