When looking to fill leadership roles, many companies find in-house executive recruitment to be challenging. This is unsurprising, given the widening skills gap in the labor market and the increasing scarcity of top-level talent, especially for senior management positions.
One meaningful solution to this difficulty is collaborating with an executive search firm. As specialized experts in C-level recruitment, executive search firms possess the know-how and niche connections to unearth, attract, and place executive candidates that meet client hiring expectations.
However, unlocking maximum value from this partnership depends on understanding the role of search firms in executive recruitment and how the process works.
Executive search is a targeted recruitment process aimed at finding and hiring top-level talent. Compared to recruitment for junior or mid-level roles which is focused on finding suitable hires to keep operations ticking, executive search predominantly seeks to fill senior leadership positions with candidates that are a right strategic and commercial fit for the company.
C-level positions are typically within the purview of executive search, as it is used to fill roles including CEO, CHRO, COO, CTO, CFO, CIO and so on. In practice, companies only need to hire for these roles once or twice in a decade or more. As a result, filling these positions requires a specialized approach that creates the perfect match for both role and company.
Besides, junior or mid-level recruitment will ordinarily attract candidates that are active job seekers. But executive roles need to attract the best people, and they rarely fall into the category of job seekers. Executive search exists to seek out excellent candidates for senior leadership positions, whether they’re actively seeking a new experience or not.
Search firms augment the executive search process with their professional skills and niche expertise. They are experienced management recruitment specialists who can provide a variety of services to help companies find their ideal C-level candidate.
Executive search firm services include establishing settled search priorities based on a company’s hiring needs, identifying and clarifying what the ideal candidate looks like, creating relevant search documents including position description, and leveraging their industry contacts and network to find and qualify candidates.
Where a corporate client requests, search firms may also be closely engaged in or take charge of preliminary candidate engagement, final interviews, and post-hiring processes.
Since the executive search process is relationship-driven, great search firms will strive to gain a granular appreciation of your business, strategies, and goals for the position. They will spend the time to learn your values, culture, and people, and then put this knowledge to work in unearthing the best recruitment opportunities.
Additionally, prime search partners will bring the following qualities to your executive search process:
Executive search firms aim to provide valuable and timely strategic advice throughout the phases of a search. As a result, they will remain in close communication with their client company, working to clarify requirements and present advice on the most effective approach to lure suitable candidates.
To maximize the value of the process, executive search firms typically bring a research-led approach. This might include comprehensive market mapping to assess industry standards and uncover role, qualification, and salary benchmarks. The procedure will five critical stages:
Due to the impact that a senior hire can have on a company’s bottom line, the executive search process is high stakes and demands a deliberate approach. Companies that wish to make the most of their C-level recruitment and uncover candidates who fit perfectly can benefit from working with an executive search firm.
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’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and include vice president, 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, we 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.
Learn how we deliver top talent, no matter the need, with our industry-leading research and resources. Discover the strategy that made Cowen Partners the top retained executive search firm in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Portland, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond.