Insights Blog

By QLK Team
on Apr 17, 2018
  • Recruiting | Blog
Advantages to Using Executive Search Firms

Although bringing recruiting in-house may appear an attractive option to a company trying to economize, there are a number of benefits to utilizing an executive search firm to identify and hire for vacancies. In the long run, these benefits may, in fact, provide more value to an organization seeking to hire a successful candidate with staying power. Here are a few points to consider:

Identifying Candidates

  • The best candidates are not necessarily in an active job search and may never see a company's job posting. An executive search firm, however, is able to identify and recruit from a wide range of executives currently working in the field. By the same token, executive search firms are able to use much more direct, engaging recruiting techniques than simply posting a job and hoping that it's seen.
  • Executive search firms have a vast network of contacts. This includes both potential candidates and executives who may not be candidates themselves but are leaders in their field and can offer strong professional recommendations for potential candidates. Many of these candidates may be right at the search executive's fingertips and able to quickly enter the running.
  • The term "search" is half of "executive search"; the firm doesn't wait for candidates to come to it. Most search firms have a dedicated research function, with access to a wide variety of sources to generate the most complete list of potential candidates to pursue.

Interviewing/Presenting Candidates

  • Search firms offer value to their clients in terms of time, as well. Rather than having to sort through hundreds of applications that arrive in response to a job posting, clients are presented with a select number of candidates that have already been vetted.
  • Executive search firms have an in-depth candidate screening process, which offers more security to the client that potential areas of concern are identified early in the game. This process always includes very thorough reference and background checks.
  • A search firm is able to gain a more global perspective on a candidate – not just their past experience, but their future potential. Search firm executives spend a great deal of time getting to know each candidate, and present their client with a candidate summary that is much more thorough than the resume on its own.
  • Search firms handle all interview planning and preparation, both for the client and the candidate, and serve as the communication liaison between the two parties.
  • Search executives serve as trusted advisors and partners through every stage of the process, available and willing to answer any questions or concerns that arise.
  • Because they work so closely with their clients, search executives are intimately familiar with the ins and outs of the organization, its leadership, and its culture. Executive search firms are experienced in interviewing clients to draw out the goals and desires they have for the position that they may not have considered on their own, and crafting a thorough job description. If the client is unsure of how a position should be presented, the executive search firm is able to create a job description based on these client interviews and broader market trends. Search executives can help identify both potential challenges and strengths in the client company/position structure, and what qualities they should seek to address those.
  • As an outside third party, the search firm brings a level of objectivity to the process. Search firms also bring the added benefit of being able to conduct searches confidentially if needed.
  • Once the ideal candidate is selected, search firms bring experience in negotiating and closing the deal, with knowledge of market value.
  • Because search firms have experience with clients across the country, often in a variety of industries, they have a very well-informed perspective on trends and benchmarks.
  • Most search firms offer a guarantee on their services; if the candidate doesn't work out, they will conduct the search again for a reduced fee. This also incentivizes the search firm to make the best placement the first time around, from a financial perspective.

Making a poor hiring choice can have significant negative consequences for a company, not only in terms of the financial cost of having to replace a new hire, but also in terms of its impact on employee and customer confidence and market share; conversely, making the right choice can be of incredible benefit to an organization, improving its overall effectiveness, employee engagement, public confidence, and relationships with clients. Executive search firms are uniquely qualified to offer services to their clients that will result in more of these "right choices" and add significant value to their clients.