Understanding the executive recruiting process

Many high-level management employees are familiar with executive search firms and the services they can offer candidates who are looking to further their careers, but if you’ve been contacted by an executive recruiter for the first time, you may find yourself wondering just what it is that these professionals do. Executive recruiting firms perform many functions, and a failure to grasp how the team operates can lead to confusion and slow your search for a new position. There are several things that any candidate should know about search firms before they begin collaborating with one.

Why companies hire search firms

Organization would hire an executive search firm for a variety of reasons, but often one is brought on board because it has access to or specific knowledge of a given sector or industry that the company is trying to reach. In some cases, the firm may have access to a candidate that the business is hoping to bring on board. Search firms can also help organizations make hires speedily, streamlining the process and allowing the company’s executives to focus their attention on other projects.

Another advantage to hiring an executive search firm is discretion. Sometimes, recruiters are brought on board because the company wants perspective on a potential hire from a third party that can objectively comment on various candidates.

How the search process works

When an executive search firm is hired by a company, the recruiter’s consultants spend time with the business to develop a complete understanding of the position that needs to be filled. They’ll work to learn about the company’s operations, corporate culture and staff, as well as the specific skills and abilities that a candidate must possess to fill the vacant role. Generally, the company assigns a team of professional staff to collaborate with the search firm and strategize for a successful placement.

Using information provided by the company, the search consultant will then begin approaching candidates whom he or she believes may be interested in the opening. Most search firms will screen candidates to determine which ones have the best skill sets, leadership experience and personality to work effectively with the business. Previous experience is an important determinant when it comes to placing candidates, but the ability to fit into the company’s corporate culture is also paramount. After reviewing numerous candidates, the executive search firm provides a shortlist to the client with the most promising prospects.

Once the company has chosen an executive from the pool provided by the recruiters, the search firm generally acts as a liaison between the company and the candidate. The search team will help facilitate any negotiations between the company and the client to help ensure that all parties are on the same page.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

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