executive search manager at the meeting

Executive Search Project Manager – what is it?

Every company that chooses an executive search firm gets a dedicated Search Project Manager who will be responsible for the overall project management and success of the search. It is this position that is the critical link in an executive search project and is the key to much of its success. It is important for both the recruitment company and the employer purchasing the search service to properly assess the competencies and capabilities of the Project Manager to successfully execute the search project.

Personal qualities

Managing an executive search project regularly involves situations that require direct communication. It is the recruitment professional who must have the qualities of an extrovert but, at the same time, provide a sense of trust and not be verbose in situations where listening is required. Analytical skills are also particularly important in executive search, as long lists of candidates require the systematisation of large amounts of information and attention to detail. The recruitment manager must also be able to engage, to speak persuasively and to discern the interests of different parties. Reconciling interests requires negotiation skills and flexibility to make decisions that work for both sides. Thus, for executive search firms, when selecting an recruiter, it is often best to recruit a recruiter with a set of core values and to develop the additional qualities that are essential in search and selection process.


The knowledge required for an executive search project goes beyond the knowledge of recruitment project management. An search project manager must have a good understanding of the organisational structure of a large or medium-sized business, the responsibilities of the different C-level executives (CEO, CMO, CFO, CTO, CIO, etc.), and the principles of corporate business ethics. Interacting with managers in different areas provides a wealth of useful information, but does not guarantee knowledge. Knowledge comes when the recruitment professional can relate the knowledge to the situation in which the candidate or employer finds himself and suggest the most appropriate solution.


Entrusting your career planning to a particular professional is a strong indicator of trust. It is the recruitment professional who must ensure that his or her reputation is impeccable in order to give the candidate a sense of security. A good reputation must not only be protected, but also disseminated, which is why an executive searcher must be visible in the professional media, can be evaluated in public announcements, etc. Reputation management, if done properly, adds significant value to the executive search professional and to the results.

Experience of Executive Search Project Manager

Experience takes time, but a search partner cannot normally learn from mistakes for long, as the profession has a particularly low tolerance for mistakes. This is why an executive search firm should give the up-and-coming professional a heavy load of routine recruitment work so that, by the time he or she becomes an executive search professional, he or she will already have a sufficient body of knowledge and experience gained from successful lower-level recruitment projects.

Insight by

Karolis Blaževičius

Managing Partner of Indigroup

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