What is an Executive Search?
You may have heard of headhunters (another name for executive search firms) and asked yourself, how are they different from recruiters? Executive search is a form of business consulting that specializes in senior management and top executive positions (Director levels and up, VPs, C-Suites, and Board Advisors) that are mission-critical for transformational growth and organizational success.
Many companies partner with executive search firms to fill top leadership positions with best-fit executives. According to Statista Research Department 2019 survey, 64% of companies that responded chose to work with an executive search company. Additionally, only 4% of these companies were concerned with the costs, which shows that companies view such partnerships as critical business investment in not only hiring the right executive but also transforming the organization with the right-fit leader who can navigate change and lead with effective strategies for long term sustainability and profitability.
5 Benefits of Using an Executive Search Firm
1. Creating a Strategic Business Partnership
Executive search firms work closely with clients, serving as strategic HR advisors and talent business partners. In working with clients, executive recruiters understand the strategic business investments and assess organizational capability gaps. Therefore, they are capable of providing organizational design and customized talent strategies unique to each company and are able to effectively identify the best-fit executives with the highly desired skill sets. They oftentimes proactively recommend talent that levels up the workforce capacity. Their understanding of the corporate culture allows them to bring actionable insights for diversifying the workforce. With this, executive recruiters can effectively represent clients when pitching opportunities to all candidates.
2. Gaining Expert Talent Intel
Executive recruiters are seasoned HR business leaders with proven experience building relationships with top-level executives. Established network of top executive candidates that have already been thoroughly vetted for their skillsets and leadership qualities. Therefore, companies working with search firms will have access to a readily available pool of candidates, which will result in faster turnaround times. Executive search firms specialize in recruiting top executives and new leadership roles across industries and markets, so they continuously build incredible intel on emerging skills, market trends, and talent strategies. Therefore, they can offer a competitive advantage by giving important insight and critical market data with the most up-to-date HR and recruiting best practices.
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3. Maintaining Highest Confidentiality
Investment in business strategies requires investment in skills, which then translates to investment in people strategies. Companies engage in designing succession plans to futureproof the organization, replace low-performing executive leaders, or identify imminent transitions for leaders expecting retirement. Upholding confidentiality for any talent strategy is highly critical as it gives away time-sensitive business imperatives or trade secrets, and can disrupt the organization with employees feeling job insecurity by reading the writing on the wall. Executive search firms can initiate a confidential search and poach desired executives from competitors with discreetness, which would be challenging and rather impossible for in-house recruiters to do so without anonymity.
4. Offering Polished Executive Candidate Experience
Executive recruiters have the seasoned experience, proven industry expertise, and polished gravitas essential for state-of-the-art top-level executive recruiting. Specialized expertise and deep knowledge of the client's business and organizational structure allow search firms to build the highest credibility with candidates. Executive recruiters are able to effectively build a relationship that promotes trust, transparency, and professionalism, ensuring that the client has the candidates' best interests in mind, and vice-versa. With such white-glove experience and high level of trust, executives feel comfortable openly sharing concerns and ongoing expectations, which allows the search firm to effectively represent them through offer stages, and even partner with them as the client after hire.
5. Training or Developing Executive to be Best Fit
Filling a top executive position is more than finding a qualified leader with the right skills and knowledge. It is truly about assessing the cultural aptitude of leaders, assessing their ability to adapt to different nuances of unique corporate cultures, and coaching them on essential organizational leadership that unlocks greater business growth. Search firms understand the company’s unique cultural norms and desired leadership styles, and are able to coach and train executive candidates in building awareness and greater potential so that they are more successful in their new roles
HRCap has deepened our capabilities and widened our coverages as a proven expert in global executive search. In our 22-year history, we have had a success rate of above 92% for all our VIP clientele, and have recently been named Top 10 Executive Search Firm in 2022 by Manage HR.
Our placed candidates are fully engaged beyond 5+ years and mobilized to drive transformational change at their new organizations. In doing so, we are able to join our clients in their localization and globalization efforts. We have retained such long-term client partnerships and have even prospected new clients in rising industries who are committed to investing in right-fit executives, from the get-go.
Many companies are still concerned about the costs that come with engaging an executive search firm and may choose to go fully in-house. However, the benefits yield positive outcomes given the strategic investment and significantly outweigh the cost. If you are looking for an executive search firm to partner with, connect with HRCap to find your best-fit executive candidate. If you are an executive looking for a new exciting challenge, allow us to help you transition to your next leadership calling.