There is a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ when it comes to sourcing qualified top-performing senior-level talent. It takes a highly skilled professional who is a master in the art of persuasion and who knows exactly what to look for in a candidate. And if a bad hiring choice is made, an organisation and its staff can suffer greatly.

An executive search firm plays a vital and crucial role in the process of identifying, interviewing and assessing executive talent. Each candidate must possess the required personality traits, relevant qualifications, experience and skill sets for the available position. This is why many organisations and established businesses choose to work with executive search firms to ensure the hiring process is handled effectively.

But what exactly are executive search firms and what are some of the executive search tactics they employ that make them so essential to organisations?

The leaders in C-suite and executive search

Unlike contingency search firms who compete against multiple search firms and only get paid if they present the hired candidate, executive search firms work exclusively with their client. They are specialists in sourcing, assessing and presenting top-performing C-suite talent to their clients.

Executive search firms possess in-house research teams that work alongside their executive headhunters to understand the exact needs of their clients in terms of the company culture, long-term goals and needs of the business, all the requirements of the role and much more.

This information assists their headhunters to efficiently identify and interview senior-level talent using a strategic approach rather than a blanket approach used by contingency search firms. The end result ensures that the best possible candidate is hired in terms of bringing value to the organisation, is a right fit for the company culture and is dedicated to staying for the long-term.

Identifying the best executive talent

Executive headhunters don’t just simply put out a job advertisement on an online job board and hope for the best. They utilise and implement various executive search techniques and tactics to ensure that only the best talent is sourced. This can include:

➢ In-depth research

An established executive search firm will have access to in-house research teams. Their researchers will conduct in-depth research as to what the ideal candidate must look like. To do this, they create candidate personas by utilising information gathered from the client and the industry they operate within.

This collected data then assists their executive headhunters with knowing exactly what to look for in a candidate during their search. This can include understanding the qualifications a candidate must have, the level of previous industry experience they must possess, skill sets and the personality traits that are required to effectively fill the position.

➢ Executive talent pool

When searching for C-suite, executive and senior-level talent, it can be a very time-consuming and stressful process, especially when starting from scratch. However, executive search firms have access to their very own exclusive talent pools of top-performing candidates from around the world.

Because executive headhunters will have already built up an existing relationship with these contacts, they can quickly access a much wider reach of qualified senior and management-level talent. Even if these contacts are not currently looking for new career opportunities, they can be persuaded.

➢ A focus on building rapport

An executive headhunter understands the huge importance of developing a lasting relationship with each candidate they meet. Through taking the time to connect and develop a rapport with each candidate, a headhunter can gain their trust and interest towards the C-suite position they are needing to fill.

If it turns out that the candidate is not interested or is not the best match for the position or organisation, the already established relationship may lead to filling another type of executive position down the road.

A wealth of sector and industry experience

Handling the process of searching for, assessing and hiring executive and senior-management talent in-house increases the risk of making a bad hiring choice. Are you confident that your HR department has a full understanding of what exact skill sets, previous experience and personality traits the right candidate for the position should possess?

From working alongside numerous clients, executive headhunters possess a wealth of sector and industry experience. They will understand the industry you operate within, allowing them to know what the ideal candidate should look like in terms of personality traits, skill sets, experience and long-term goals and values.

In summary

A bad hire can result in costing an organisation a huge amount of resources, money, time and even its hard-earned reputation. Instead of taking the risk by handling the process in-house, search online for an established executive search firm and find out how their executive headhunters can assist your needs.