One of the things that can frustrate clients about recruitment is time, because they can’t afford to waste it. Many recruiters apply quantity over quality, matching keywords from job descriptions to CVs in their database, then sending as many as they can to their client in the hope that one hits the target. Sometimes, they get it right of course, but it’s a low conversion rate and their client must evaluate dozens of CVs themselves, which is not cost-effective, in all meanings, particularly if they are hiring for several roles.

A good executive search firm will only need to recommend three or four candidates to make a placement, because all the evaluation and screening is done in advance, meaning the success rate is much higher and the client wastes no time.

We mostly recruit from management level and upwards to the C Suite; if we get it wrong, the cost to the client would be high, so we deploy a range of methodologies and technologies to vastly increase our chances of success. Firstly, we work closely with our clients to understand their market, their business as well as their culture and people. Remember, firms are also working on behalf of their candidates, so they need the opportunity to be right for them too in terms of fit.

Secondly, once we understand exactly what the client needs, we map the market in detail and evaluate the competencies of the candidates we want to approach. We have the advantage of an international network of offices giving us a rich global database of active and passive candidates, and as part of an established business, we also use a market-leading CRM system as well as digital internal comms to leverage expertise from our other locations.

Because we can do all this background work so swiftly, we add real value for our clients by identifying high quality, ideal candidates who can come in and genuinely contribute to their business. At the same time, our candidates know that we are only putting them forward for positions that match their own aspirations, so it works for both parties.

None of this makes us unique, of course, there are other search firms with integrity in our sector, so we also try to go the extra mile elsewhere, as should other firms, to ensure the service we are offering is the best it can be. For example, organizations can have very different cultures or be led by very different personalities that might not suit even the most qualified candidate. The culture of a business is set by its leaders, so we like to really get inside the mindset of the company to know who will succeed there, particularly in senior executive roles.

If we have a candidate that ticks all the boxes from the client’s perspective, but perhaps doesn’t always show a personality trait that we know they will want to see, then we will do some coaching and mentoring to help bring this to the forefront in the interview process. On the other hand, if we know that a candidate has only worked in a huge international business that has an aggressive sales culture, then we know that they are not going to transition easily into a more humble, local business without some mentoring and help.

The more work that an executive search firm can do in advance, the more time a client ultimately saves, which makes for a happy partnership. [C]

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Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
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