The Role of an Executive Search Firm


One of the most difficult aspects of running any business is hiring the right people for the right job. A recent Robert Half survey showed that 36% of executives see poor skills matching and unclear performance objectives as serious issues leading to failed hires. Combine that with the fact that a 2016 Gallup poll labeled Millenials the “job hopping generation” in reference to their willingness to jump at nearly any time, and it can be seriously difficult to find just the right people for the most important positions. This is where an executive search firm comes in.

The Executive Search Firm Role

Of course an organization can and do look internally for senior management. However, getting professional is often a wise, given that an executive search consultant service have the right training and expertise to quickly and correctly identify what responsibilities will be required of the new hire, decide what qualifications are needed, and write a compelling job description. Furthermore, they will already have a pool of candidates in mind and know how to reach the best ones. For the hiring process, they excel at assessing personalities, experience, skills, and references. They are also skilled negotiators who can help an organization make the right kind of offer.

Executive Search Firm Methods

There are many types of human resources consulting firms, so choosing the right one is key. Firms often specialize in certain industries or functions, or perhaps in an area like diversity or attracting and managing Millenials. Firms also differ in whether they are retained––providing a range of services for a set fee regardless of outcome–or hired on a contingency basis. Before a company works with an HR consultant, it is important to decide what exactly the company wants out of the search firm.

Before Engaging an Executive Search Firm

Before looking for the right talent acquisition management service, it’s a good idea to outline details of the job description and organize everyone involved in the process of recruitment so the whole company is on the same page. Then build a short-list of search firm based on pre-determined criteria and request proposals from each. Find out how the firms build their networks and pools of candidates, who would be working on a specific search, and what references the company can provide.

Executive Search Firm Benefits

The benefits of working with a skilled executive search firm include expertise that in-house HR can rarely bring to the table, knowledge of possible candidates and how to reach out to and negotiate with them, and privacy and confidentiality since the search firm will be able to look for candidates without necessarily naming any particular organization. In addition, working with an executive search firm should speed up the process and result in greater efficiency at each step of the process.

It is not simple or easy to get just the right people for the right positions, but doing so has enormous positive implications for any company. However, investment of time and resources is required in order to fill an executive position well. For many, investing in the right executive search firm is a wise use of those resources.