The basics of working with executive recruiters (with infographic)

The basics of working with executive recruiters
The basics of working with executive recruiters

The basics of working with executive recruiters

Every hiring process is long and involved: Job descriptions must be prepared, applications drawn up, résumés reviewed, candidates interviewed, references called… the process seems to go on forever.

When it comes to filling executive roles, the process is even more complicated: Higher-level roles require businesses to gather more information and conduct more interviews. For major companies, this can be a big headache.

Luckily, there is an alternative: To outsource the executive hiring process to an executive recruiting firm.

As executive search firm PierceGray points out in the infographic below, executive search recruiters follow a carefully developed, proven process to place leaders in available positions. These firms have the experience, resources and extensive networks that make them extremely adept at filling top-level vacancies.

If your company is looking for a CEO, director of sales, or some other head-honcho position, an executive search firm can simplify the search.

The recruiting process

There are multiple steps involved in engaging a recruitment firm and conducting the executive recruitment process.

  1. The search firm meets with the hiring company.In order to gather general and specific job information, representatives from the recruiting agency will meet with representatives from the hiring company. The agency will use the information gathered here to create an informative and attractive job description.
  2. Identify core competencies required for candidate success.Once the firm understands the type of candidate the hiring company is seeking, they can map out the specific qualifications and characteristics that candidates must have.
  3. Create a strategy for finding qualified candidates.After gathering all the necessary information, the executive recruitment agency can create a plan for their search, including a timeline and outreach strategy.
  4. Research candidates.Executive recruitment agencies have a large number of tools and resources at their disposal to research and identify potential candidates.
  5. Market the position.Through special consultant-to-candidate communications, the firm will market the position to candidates.
  6. Conduct interviews.Once a pool of qualified candidates is identified, the firm will conduct in-depth interviews with the individuals who seem to be the best fit for the job.
  7. Scoring candidates.The recruitment agency will meet with the hiring company to compare candidates through a process known as “scorecarding.” Generally, at this point, a finalist is selected.
  8. Verify client background info.Once a candidate has been selected, the recruitment agency checks the candidate’s background information and verifies that he or she has all the necessary qualifications for the position.
  9. Facilitate acceptance.This final step depends on how much responsibility the hiring company gives to the recruiting agency. If the company prefers, the search firm can facilitate the acceptance of the new employee and assist with the “on-boarding” process.

How executive recruitment firms get paid

Executive recruiting firms are paid by the hiring company in one of three ways:

  • Retainer. Client companies hire retained recruiting firms — and the fee is paid in advance — to fill a certain position. Or, alternatively, the firm may be kept on retainer to fill whatever positions may open up. Retained recruiters are generally hired to fill top-level positions and are paid regardless of the outcome of the search.
  • Container. A hybrid between retainer and contingency. The search firm is given partial payment up front and the rest is granted at the end of the process, once a new hire is brought on board.
  • Contingency. Contingency firms are typically hired to fill junior and mid-level positions and receive payment only when their candidate is hired and brought on board.

Why an executive search firm

Finding the perfect candidate for an executive position is extremely important for any company, and executive search firms ensure that the process goes smoothly by finding leaders that will help businesses operate at their best.

Because executive search firms have specific, in-depth knowledge about specialized search areas — and a vast network of personal contacts — they can make the executive recruitment process relatively painless for big companies.

It’s an investment to consider, since your #1 asset is the talent you hire — at any level.


Sign Up to Receive Free Offers and Insights

Thank you for subscribing!


Sign Up to Receive Free Offers and Insights

Thank you for subscribing!