Organizations commonly seek the expertise of executive search firms for senior level recruitment. However, due to the often confidential nature of their assignment, the activities of these companies can seem opaque to an outsider looking in.
Executive search companies typically employ a combination of industry contacts, personal connections, and job adverts to carry out their remit. But how they fulfill their assignment often depends on the specific position being filled and the client company’s unique preferences for the role.
Executive candidates may also employ the services of search firms when prospecting for new opportunities or roles. These firms, called executive job search firms, employ different tactics from executive search firms.
An executive search involves employing the services of an executive search firm as a third party to help a company find and employ the best executive candidate in the labor market.
The executive search firm works closely with the client company to know the company’s needs and requirements, which will be used to find the most eligible candidate for the client company.
The executive search process is research-led because the executive recruiting firm has to:
That means that the executive search firm does far more than simply submit CVs and resumes to the client company.
There are five major elements in the executive search process, and they are:
Executive search firms are not employment agencies. Whereas employment agencies are concerned with getting entry and intermediate-level candidates temporary jobs, executive search firms are more concerned with getting top-tier executive candidates permanent placements. With executive search firms, the candidate is not the priority, but the client – the organization that wants to hire – is the priority. This is because the search firm is paid by the company and not the client.
Good executive search firms do more than submit a list of candidates pulled from their database. They employ several measures and strategies to find candidates. These measures include activating their peer network to find and attract top industry candidates.
An executive search team will identify people that have been successful in companies similar to their client company. They research through social channels and other databases to find the most suitable and qualified candidates. This intensive research will produce certain prominent names.
However, search firms do not want to rely too much on their networks. They do their best to create a pool of diverse candidates for their client companies from different sources.
Social media is not the ideal place to find executive candidates. Many of them either do not see the need for social media in their career, do not have the time for social media, or do not know how to maximize social media for their career. However, LinkedIn is one platform that many executives employ to find jobs and get noticed by recruiters. Here are some tips on how executives use LinkedIn to find jobs.
But don’t rule out the offline option. Yes, social media is vast, and LinkedIn can be very productive for executives and recruiters alike. Recruiters still source candidates through referrals. This is why executives should build offline networks in their industry.
Ultimately, what differentiates executive search firms and executive job search companies is their employer and tactics. While the former works for the company looking to hire an executive, the latter works for the executive seeking a job.
Good C-level hiring is very crucial in any organization, as a bad recruit at the top can affect other parts of the organization. This is why stringent measures are taken to find and employ the right candidates.
Our hands-on executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion.
Successful placements span the entire C-Suite and include CEOs, Chief Operating Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Sales Officers, Chief Marketing Officer, vice presidents sales, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.
Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. Through our proven retained executive search process, our executive headhunters find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for positions across the C-suite. Our process works for all industries, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, real estate, financial service, private equity, and more.