Choosing an executive search company

How to choose an executive search company

Choosing an executive search company is a huge responsibility, as this decision determines the future shape of the company’s management team.

Executive search company – a strategic partner

An executive search company should be seen as a strategic partner. A strategic partner, unlike a mere service provider, does not just wait for a need from the client, but shapes it with the client. The client can express to the executive search agency the problem it is facing at the top and it is up to the executive search agency to suggest how to solve the problem.

For each new managerial position, the executive search agency, as a partner, has to provide detailed information on the expectations of the managers in the relevant part of the labour market, their remuneration levels, their requirements from the employer, their sample, etc. The client needs to be fully informed each time, not only about how the executive search will be conducted, but also about what additional objectives can be achieved by adding certain requirements to the standard executive position and choosing a more appropriate direction for the executive search.

State-of-the-art methodology

An executive search company must have the right executive search methodology. A generic selection methodology is not effective in the selection of executives. If the project manager of an executive search company can clearly justify the entire search process and the rationale behind the choice of a particular methodology, then the search company is truly specialised in executive search. The methodology must reflect the progress made by the executive search company in saving selection time, delivering the most accurate candidate presentations, mediating negotiations with candidates, etc.

Candidate preparation

Preparing candidates properly for their first interview with the client is the goal of the executive search firm. Candidates must have a realistic view of the position, be familiar with the previous history of the position, the KPIs required and the rest of the management chain. This avoids wasting clients’ time in the event of rejection and allows clients to immediately brief the prospective manager on expectations, long-term goals, challenges, etc. All the other information is already provided to the candidate, so the client does not need to do the introduction task, as this has already been taken care of by the executive search agency.

Specific domain knowledge

The executive search agency must give the client the opportunity to work with a project manager who is an expert in the field they are looking for. For example, if the search is for a Director of Finance or the CEO of a manufacturing company, the executive search agency must have a project manager with a good knowledge of the job market. This will ensure that both the shortlisting of candidates is accurate and that the employer is informed of all possible search options and channels. At the same time, the candidate not only has the opportunity to familiarise himself with the managerial position he is looking for, but also to have a discussion with the project manager of the executive search agency.

Insight by

Karolis Blaževičius

Managing Partner of Indigroup

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