When do you need executive recruitment?

You can speed up and improve your senior-level hiring search with the help of executive recruitment. Having an executive recruiter help you with your headhunt can save you time and money finding the best candidate for the job.

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Finding the right candidate

Finding the right candidate for a strategic role can be challenging. Your candidates will need a highly specialised set of skills and leadership qualities. Executive search consultants make it much easier to find the best match between your business and potential candidates. You may know executive recruitment services as headhunting. The terms are pretty much the same: some recruiters use the term headhunting to mean a wider search that goes beyond looking at a pool of passive candidates. Executive recruitment is also often known as search and selection. Therefore, in your search to find the right executive recruitment agency for you, bear in mind that they might use these terms.
 
Learn about the key differences between executive recruitment and standard recruitment, and when it is best to consider using an executive search consultant in your hiring process.
 

Executive recruitment vs standard recruitment

Familiarise yourself with the key differences between executive recruitment and standard recruitment. Doing so is helpful because it enables you to decide when you might need to use one of these services to find the right candidates for your business.
 

Standard recruitment

A recruiter finds suitable applicants through a pool of active jobseekers. They hire for all levels of a role, including entry level. Recruiters work on a contingency fee, which means that they are only paid a fee if they successfully place a candidate in a role.
 

Executive recruitment

Unlike standard recruitment, executive recruiters draw from a pool of passive candidates. These candidates are usually already in senior positions in other businesses. Executive recruitment agencies tend to only recruit for senior positions. Executive recruitment also works on a retained basis. This means that the agency will charge you an upfront fee for their search. However, they will aim to find you a candidate that matches your role opening exactly. The hiring process for an executive position can take several months.
 

Positives of using an executive recruiter to fill senior roles

The costs of executive recruitment may be high. However, there are many benefits to using an executive recruiter that a regular recruiter can’t match.
 
These benefits include: 

  • saving valuable time otherwise spent searching;
  • in-depth knowledge of senior candidates across multiple industries and sectors;
  • you are more likely to find the right candidate;
  • they help you to discover options and candidates you hadn’t considered before;
  • your position becomes available to top candidates who may be passive hires;
  • your recruitment process becomes more competitive.

How does executive recruitment headhunting work?

Executive recruiters use a multi-stage search process to find you the right candidate for your position.
 
These stages are:

  • establishing what kind of candidate you are looking for;
  • building a brief for the ideal candidate;
  • approaching candidates for interview;
  • conducting competency interviews to create a shortlist;
  • presenting a shortlist to the client for interview;
  • running an assessment of the executives’ capabilities;
  • once you have decided on a candidate, running a background check;
  • following up on the results to ensure that they are still a good fit.

Executive recruiters help you every step of the way through the hiring process. 

Executive recruitment fees

Costs for executive search recruitment can be between 25% and 35% of your successful candidate’s first-year annual compensation. Consider first whether executive recruitment is a financially viable option for your business.
 

When is it right to choose an executive recruiter?

Use an executive recruiter if you are trying to fill a senior role, particularly with a specific or niche specification. Consider whether you could find a candidate with this skill set using a standard recruiter first. Factor in executive recruitment’s higher fees before making any hard and fast decisions. This may or may not be a cost-effective solution for you, so make sure you really need one first.
 

What jobs do executive search consultants help you to fill?

Jobs that fall within this category come with a salary of over £100,000. They include executive management, senior and C-level roles.
 
 Examples of executive positions include:

  • Chief Executive
  • Managing Director
  • Finance Director
  • Strategic Operations Manager
  • Production Manager
  • General Manager.

Consider whether you are looking to fill a full-time position or an interim position. If necessary, check with your executive search consultant that they can fill interim roles as well.
 

Finding the right executive recruitment agency for you

With a wide range of clients, most executive recruitment agencies will be able to help you source top candidates regardless of your sector. However, for the best results, you may prefer to work with an agency that specialises in your specific area of business. An executive recruitment agency will work alongside you to work out what the role requires and which candidates would be the best match. They will also analyse the marketplace to check whether your suggested salary range seems suitable.
 

Cons of using executive search recruitment

As previously mentioned, the main downside of using an executive recruitment agency is the high cost. Using an executive recruitment agency is often very effective in helping you to source a loyal and highly qualified candidate. However, you should be aware that some candidates may have stronger loyalties to their agency than to your company. Their recruiters may decide to place your new candidate in a new senior role that has come up.
 
It can be challenging to find the right fit for your executive positions. Consider approaching an executive recruiter if you are looking to hire for more senior roles, including jobs that come with a niche specification. Executive recruitment consultants will help you to fill openings and find the right fit for your job.
 
There is plenty to think about if you are considering using the services of an executive recruiter, and it is important to budget for their fees. However, depending on your business, the benefits may well outweigh the costs. See more: 10 Recruiting Strategies for Hiring Great Employees

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