Companies may have the best product, well developed marketing strategies and state of the art technology. But if their human resources fail, it becomes difficult to grow and prosper.
The competition for qualified leaders is fierce. The best candidates could be across town or across the globe.
Enter the Executive Search Consultant who knows the terrain and has the know-how to help clients identify, recruit and retain top leaders.
Executive search consulting is a specialized form of management consulting. It frequently provides significant benefits beyond search including assessing an organization and its culture, integrating a new leader for optimum success and advising executive leadership and boards.
Executive search firms help their clients identify the leadership assets they have, the challenges they must be prepared to meet and the qualities they must acquire and cultivate to meet those challenges. They have the resources and experience to identify, evaluate, and secure leading candidates and are committed to their clients’ success.
Executive Search: The Value of Success and The Cost of Failure
The best executive search firms partner with clients, providing deep expertise in industries, functional roles and geographies in which their clients operate. They have to be experts, because as partners they understand what is at stake—the value of success and the cost of failure.
Reducing Risk and Getting it Right
Shareholder confidence, organizational effectiveness, and employee engagement are just a few of the immediate benefits of “getting it right.” The risks associated with an unsuccessful hire can be catastrophic. Widely cited research indicates nearly half of new CEOs don’t make it past 18 months, and the costs of replacing them are staggering.
Research confirms what business leaders know from experience: the wrong hire affects employee morale and productivity, client/customer relationships, and economic performance.
There are three approaches to hiring executive level personnel: executive search consulting, contingent recruiters, and in-house recruiting.
An executive search consulting firm typically partners with a client to identify, assess and select the very best possible candidate.
Retained executives search firms work by retainer and exclusive contract. The standard retained search contract stipulates that the firm serves as the exclusive representative of the search for external and internal candidates. It also defines engagement timing, off-limits agreements, and other issues relevant to the particular assignment.
To assure a candidate is fully vetted, these firms employ highly sophisticated methodologies, including competency-based interviewing, 360 degree referencing and due diligence processes that may be augmented by psychometric testing and broader assessments.
Contingent recruiters present a pool of candidates that fit certain criteria. A contingent recruiter generally works the front-end of the process, leaving the assessment and selection work to the client. They seek to place as many candidates as possible in the shortest possible time and tend to work with many assignments concurrently.
Contingent recruiters are most often used for mid-level positions or positions where there are a large number of qualified candidates.
Larger organizations are likely to have major in-house recruiting departments. An in-house team uses many tools, including firm-wide skills inventories, access to traditional recruiting tools and a network of potential candidates. In-house recruiting departments focus on mid- and low- level placements. They will work directly with an executive search partner for the third party expertise they bring to fill their organization’s most senior-level executive and Board positions.
So what does Executive Search involve? Here are a few ways it differs radically from Contingency Recruitment:
Executive Search proactively researches and identifies the best leadership talent there is. Contingency Recruitment finds the best available, usually from a database or advertisement, and at a lower discipline level.
Executive Search ensures absolute commitment. A contingency recruiter can’t afford to invest that much time in one assignment. Their focus is on quantity rather than quality minimizing their risk.
Executive Search assures confidentiality and exclusivity. More often than not any data you provide to a contingency recruiter can and will be freely distributed to the market to drum up interest.
Executive Search means regular feedback on market intelligence. Any search firm worth their salt will utilize their research activity not to just talent map but to gain rich marketplace data including compensation levels and employer brand insights, particularly if these are factors affecting the client’s ability to appoint the right candidate.
Cost or Investment?
No matter at what level you are recruiting, adding new people to your team should always be seen as an investment that you can measure and achieve a return on. It is definitely not a cost that you want to minimize. When you consider hiring as an investment, it will help you to assess what you need to do to attract the right person, and develop and retain him or her. Getting it right will help you deliver your business strategy over the long term, not just the immediate one.
If you are looking to hire the talent that will be critical to your future success, please contact Robert Pestreich for a complimentary consultation.