Private Equity Executive Search & Recruiting

      When & Why to Hire an Executive Search Firm 

      Organizations employ the services of executive search firms to find and recruit talent for C-level or senior management roles. Considering that this is a delicate task requiring significant time and resources, it should be done right. 

      Executive search firms can provide the high-level expertise and technical support that helps unearth and attract standout leadership candidates. But if you’re still weighing the merits of hiring a executive recruiting firm, this article discusses the topmost factors to consider. 

      When to Hire an Executive Search Firm

      Company leaders may not always know when they should retain a search firm to help with their recruitment and talent placement efforts. Clarifying timing and advantages of hiring a search firm, here are three key instances when it can benefit organizations to retain professional recruiters:

      1. When the search is for a significant role 
      2. When hiring for novel positions
      3. When you require a confidential and effective recruitment process

      The following dives into each instance deeper, highlighting how a search firm can help in that specific situation.

      1. When the search is for a significant role 

      Executive search firms work for employers to find and recruit executives for their organizations. You can decide to hire an executive search firm depending on the significance of the position you want to fill. Recruiting a top-tier executive is a delicate process, as hiring the wrong person could affect the organization negatively. An executive search firm will help you develop good assessment systems for your new hire as well as work hand-in-hand with you to ensure that the candidate fits the critical role and can handle the responsibilities that come with the role. 

      2. When hiring for novel positions

      Searching for an employee for a new position in your organization will be exciting and tasking. This comes with not knowing what to expect or how high the bar should be set for the new employee. An executive search firm has access to pools of candidates suitable for different fields. It’s easier to have them provide the right candidates by surfing their database using your required skill set and expertise as a guideline. Executive search firms also have all the resources and time needed to find professional candidates who fit your requirement. 

      3. When you require a confidential and effective recruitment process

      The executive search firm acts as a middle man between the organization and potential candidates. It is their job to maintain communication with both parties to ensure an alignment between the two. This communicative process gives room for proper consideration of the candidate before the final decision is made. The decision-making process would usually involve both internal and external stakeholders of the organization. 

      Misconceptions about Hiring Executive Search Firms 

      Because their work surrounds what most would consider a relatively straightforward topic: recruitment, there can be some misunderstanding about the role and value of executive search firms. 

      The following are some common misconceptions about hiring search firms.

      Misconception #1. An internal search team can carry out the search as well as an executive search team.

      This is a common misconception about hiring executive search firms, especially with many accessible digital job boards like LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter. It’s easy to think that the HR department or internal search team can perform the task of recruiting an executive equally and a search firm. However, suitable candidates for C-suite positions are rarely found on job boards. Some of them are already employed by another organization, making it more difficult to find and hire them. Hiring an executive search team with access to professional executives in different fields provides more options for suitable candidates for your organization. It’s not about who does the job; it’s about the quality of the recruit. 

      Misconception #2. Executive search firms are expensive, and the return on investment is low.

      Executive search firms charge a premium fee for their services, but this is not surprising news. Consider the cost of hiring a wrong candidate, especially at the executive level, and the negative impact on the organization. Instead of depending on the internal search team for an executive hire to save money, outsourcing this task to professional executive search firms will prove more profitable to the organization in the long run. An executive search team will source and provide the most qualified candidates alongside performance ratings drawn up from a series of assessments carried out during the search process. 

      Misconception #3. An internal talent acquisition team can discover the same quality of candidates. 

      Hiring an executive search firm can be confusing when you could have an internal talent acquisition team handle the recruitment of a new executive. However, an internal talent acquisition team would do a good job of hiring for lower-level positions in the organization that can easily be replaced. However, a C-suite recruit is a bit more complicated and different from what an internal TA team is used to handling. The hiring team will require a lot of resources and skills to find the most suitable candidates and sell the role to them. An executive search team possesses all necessary resources and skills and access to an array of executive candidates. 

      Why Hire an Executive Search Firm? 

      Hiring an executive search firm is more beneficial to your organization than you know. Here are some reasons why it is a good idea to get an executive search firm 

      1. Executive search firms produce better and faster results.

      There’s no doubt that an in-house recruit team can do a good job of finding candidates to fill an executive position in your organization. However, an executive search firm will produce better results with a higher quality of candidates and produce results faster than an in-house team. This is so because executive search firms already have access to all they need to find these candidates as well as the necessary resources for screening and assessing them before presenting them to you. 

      2. Executive recruiting firms can leverage a significant professional network. 

      A major benefit of working with an executive search firm is their extensive network and access to different parts of the labor market. This network is built by previous relationships with high-profile executives and similar organizations. Executive search teams use this network to find candidates by streamlining their search to suit your preference and requirements. 

      3. Executive search firms handle the hiring process from start to finish. 

      Finding, assessing, and hiring the right candidate for an executive position in your company can be time-consuming. It would be counterproductive to spend time that should be used for other operations in search of a candidate for hire. This is where an executive search firm comes in. They handle the recruitment process from the start – searching and picking the most qualified candidates, assessing them – to finish – the final hiring stage. 

      4. Executive recruiters share the same financial interests as your organization. 

      Executives and other top-level positions receive higher pay in every organization, and this means leaving such positions vacant for a long time will be a liability to the organization. This explains the essential nature of the hiring process. Executive search firms play the role of getting candidates fast to prevent the organization from making too much loss, and the faster they deliver a candidate, the faster they get their money. You can rest assured that an executive search firm will be fast and efficient because a win for your organization equals a win for them. 

      5. Executive search firms have extensive experience from previous jobs. 

      A good executive search firm would have had its share of failures and difficulties from previous jobs. This experience makes them better equipped to handle different executive recruitment processes. They know exactly where to look and how to go about it. 


      Your organization stands to gain more by hiring an executive search firm to handle the process of finding and recruiting new candidates for top-level positions in the organization. 

      National Retained Executive Search Firm | Cowen Partners

      As leaders among the nation’s best executive recruiters, we 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 – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, CHRO, CMO, and include vice president sales and marketinggeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

      Check out our industry-leading resources to see why Cowen Partners is a leader among the best executive search firms in St. Louis, Milwaukee, AnchorageNew York CityChicagoSeattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:

      Cowen Partners is proud to provides the highest quality executive recruitment services to all major and minor industries, including (but not limited to):

      Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace & Defense, Biotechnology, Banking, Credit Unions, Board and CEO Services, Computer Hardware, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Computer Software and Hardware, Education, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment & Sports, Finance, Financial Services, Food Products, Government, Human Resources, Health Care, Hospitality & Tourism, Insurance, Industrial, Internet & New Media, Legal, Tax, Crypto, Bitcoin, Private Equity, Journalism & Publishing, MarketingManufacturing, Medical Device, Non-Profit, Pharmaceutical, Private EquityReal Estate, Retail & Apparel, SalesTechnology, Telecommunications and Transportation.

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