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6 Steps to Choose an Executive Search Firm

Executive search firms specialize in attracting executive officers for organizations. But how can a company find the right executive search firm that meets its expectations?

People make the most important asset of an organization. It is, therefore, crucial to practice the highest level of discretion while hiring people. All decisions made related to people define the success of the organization in the future. When it comes to hiring people for organization-leading roles or C-suite roles, the discretion is far more important. After all, the personality, skills, and behavior of leaders in the organization define the future of the course of the company.

When recruitment is outsourced to top executive search firms – it becomes even more imperative for organizations to hire a trust-worthy and result-oriented firms. Additionally, the investment is huge – search firms are paid in large sum when they deliver the candidate. So when the firm delivers a wrong candidate while still making good returns, your organization is driven by a bad hire making losses—that sounds like a bad deal.

Choosing top executive search firms

  1. Scrutinize search firms’ process

    More or less, search firms have a similar process to find candidates for a position. Check whether they have a robust process to qualify a candidate for the position and culture of the organization. Secondly, how will the firm acquire candidates – do they have passive recruits or are the firm will actively look for active candidates.

  2. Will the firm be a credible ambassador
    The search firm will represent your organization as much as any entity of your company. Understand the principles, values, and the level of professionalism of the firm. If possible, take client references. This will impact the firm’s ability to gain access to candidates. At the same, it will carry your organization’s reputation when it approaches a potential candidate.
  3. Who will handle your recruitment project?
    Reach out to the firm and find out who will handle your project. Will it be a team specialized in your industry or someone with extensive experience handles the search? Will you have direct access to recruiters?
  4. Does the search firm have professionals who can assess the soft skills of the potential candidate?

    Two out of three emotional competencies — adaptability, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and ability to collaborate – are needed to perform well on the job. Check whether the search firm under consideration has a professional who can assess these skills in the individual.

  5. Find out the search firm’s metric for completing projects

Executive search firms employ metrics to benchmark their recruitment projects, which can be used to figure the competency of search firms. For instance, the average fill rate i,e the average time to fill a position. How often can you expect progress reports? and so on. What is the retention rate of candidate i.e how long does a candidate stay during the first twelve months of placement?

  1. Is there a fee agreement and refund policy?

Hiring a search firm can be exorbitant. Therefore, it is important to see if the firm has refund policy in case the firm doesn’t deliver on expectations or the rightly fitting candidate. Further, what are the conditions for the refund.

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