How to choose the right executive search partner

What can an executive search partner do that you can’t?

Executive searches are all about locating elite, specialised profiles. And that specialisation implies much fiercer competition when it comes to recruiting. Consequently, recruiters face a three-fold challenge, i.e. knowing where the talent is, connecting with the prospect, and persuading them to sign on. That’s the executive search partner’s job in a nutshell. To pull this process off, they have a few aces up their sleeves.

Executive search partners navigate digital channels like pros

There are plenty of popular professional digital channels out there for following people and their careers. And these channels are flooded with data that is accessible to all. That abundance of data is precisely what makes finding who or what you’re looking for so tricky. However, executive search partners have their own back doors, i.e. systems to filter that data. And that pays off. For example, while many LinkedIn profiles advertise being ‘open to work’, even more are just as open to new challenges. They just happen to be more discrete. That also makes a proactive search worth the attempt. But, how? Technology is an enabler. Executive search partners wield data enrichment tools to pinpoint the right people. Occasionally, that even ends up being an elite candidate unaware that they’re ready for a new chapter.

Executive search partners have their own up-to-date databases

What executive search partners also have that you might not is a rich, digital portfolio. It’s constantly being edited and updated and provides instant access to a whole host of candidates. In the final selection phase, it often happens that two or three candidates – all qualified and outstanding – remain. But executive search partners have no trouble spotting who will drop out of the final sprint. The agency has a firm grip on what kind of job profiles and companies would be a good match. Often, the end of a selection procedure is the beginning of a long-last relationship – if the candidate is up for it. Building a record this way allows agencies to accelerate their response to future opportunities.

Executive search partners have a network of personal contacts

Executive search partners may embrace innovative tools and invest in databases, but there’s one more factor that clinches the deal – the people they know. Personal networks remain a vital channel for tracking down specific talent. The thresholds are lower, and communication is more down-to-earth. While the information isn’t as extensive, it tends to be more in-depth, and one network can lead to a connection with others. Networks like that aren’t developed overnight, of course. Selecting an agency that invests in one is also an essential criterion for the right executive search partner. After all, sometimes just sending a single text message to someone they know can achieve more than a sophisticated algorithm.

And that brings us to a checklist for selecting an executive search partner: smart search tools, a solid personal network, and professional staff.


Article written by CFR Global Executive Search Belgium

Photo source: Freepik


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