Chances are, you have taken calls from an executive search firm. In fact, you may have found a job in the past with a headhunter. Still, many CEOs don’t utilize executive recruiters to make internal hires. In this short article, we will look at how a great relationship with a recruiter can be very advantageous for any CEO.
The Role of a Headhunter
The relationship between you, the CEO, and a trusted recruiter can be one of the biggest assets you have. A great recruiter can help you staff the rest of your C-level offices with talented people you’ll enjoy working with. More importantly, a recruiter can deliver people who can grow your business. What you really want from a recruiter is someone you can call when there’s a need, who will run with it and circle back with a handful of qualified candidates.
83% of executive leaders agreed that they would prefer to use an executive search firm over their in-house recruitment when it comes to hiring senior level positions – Censuswide
The Secret No One Tells You
Here’s the biggest secret that you’ll rarely hear a recruiter tell you: Your headhunter already knows.
Going public with your company? The CFO you interviewed last week already told us.
Experiencing a shake-up at the top? The person you let go already reached out.
Struggling to find someone for a tough position? We know, its been posted for months.
Finding the right recruiter will make your life much easier. More importantly, the right recruiter can make your company stronger and more successful. In fact, it’s our job, our commitment, to deliver the candidates that can make your company much more profitable.
Seven Reasons You Need an Outside Recruiter on Your Side
Here are the advantages to engaging a professional recruiter that make it worth the additional costs.
1. 70% of qualified candidates aren’t looking for work – It’s a hard fact, but the most excellent candidates don’t search the job boards. The best people don’t need to look on the job boards. That’s what a great recruiter can do that you and your HR staff can’t. They know where to find exactly the right person.
2. There’s no time to lose – You have a company to run. Filling a high-level position requires a lot of time and attention. If you engage a recruiter, they will deliver results faster and more consistently. They can also make sure that you fill that position with the best person, not just the only qualified person who applied. You’re in a hurry and time is money.
3. Confidentiality – With a confidential search conducted by a professional, your company remains in the shadows. That CFO position that has changed hands five times in two years looks bad every time you repost it on the job board. It looks bad, not just to candidates, but to investors as well because it looks like you don’t have a solution. With a recruiter working behind the scenes, you avoid this dilemma altogether.
4. IPO time? – As you approach your initial public offering, your HR department starts telling the world. It’s hard to be stealthy when there is a long list of job openings that scream “IPO and SEC experience: required”. By engaging a professional recruiter in a confidential search, you can keep your IPO secret until you are ready to announce.
5. Not enough candidates – Hard to fill and unique positions can sometimes only get one qualified candidate when you use passive searches, like job boards. An executive recruiter can actively seek out the right people. They will even contact qualified people at your competitors in an attempt to deliver the very best candidate for the job.
6. HR might not be enough – Even a great HR team can’t do everything they need to maintain, let alone grow, the current staff. Hiring line employees is a very different activity from hiring C-level executives. HR is often tasked with hiring everyone from the janitor to the “CXO”. Executive recruiters specialize in hiring C-Suite professionals 365 days per year, which gives you a clear advantage.
7. Contingent vs. Retained – Contingent recruiters aren’t usually the bargain that they seem at first. They spend their time on low hanging fruit and have no real incentive to invest their time or resources in filling your position when things become difficult. On the contrary, when you’ve retained a recruiter to fill a position, you’re in control. If someone is working on contingency, they won’t invest the time and effort that a retained recruiter is required to.
Build a relationship with a executive recruiter. They can help you keep your company staffed with the highest quality personnel. In your bag of tools, as the CEO of a company, you can count on a great recruiter as one of the most powerful assets you have – for continuity and for profitability.
Shawn Cole is President of Cowen Partners, a national executive search and consulting firm. To learn more about Cowen Partners and how we help our clients find the best talent, visit our website here.