Top executive search firms can be a lifesaver – especially when the job market is flooded with candidates. Or outsourced hiring can lead to untold hours wasted on an executive who doesn’t live up to their paper credentials.
The trick is to know you’re getting a top firm before they start looking for your next hire. It’s easier than it sounds – and has a lot in common with finding and following a recipe.
- An executive search firm that can fulfill all your requirements (it has the right mix of ingredients).
- An easy process that won’t leave you cleaning up a mess (the wrong hire is costlier than time spent scrubbing pots and pans).
- Superior, consistent results (the firm has a track record of success).
The process could even start the same way your hunt for that perfect cupcake recipe does – a Google search.
2 Ways to Find Executive Search Firms
1. Check online
The first and easiest way to get a list of executive search firms is to search on Google. This gives you a chance to see reviews from other people who have used the company’s services.
When you read reviews, pay attention to the response from the owner
Reviews can be one-sided. If there’s a low-star review, see if the owner of the business responded. This helps you get a clearer picture of what really caused a poor review. If you have lingering questions, ask about the incident when you evaluate the firm.
2. Ask your peers
If colleagues or industry peers have worked with an executive search firm, ask for recommendations about who to work with. Unlike a carefully guarded family recipe, we’re confident they’ll be willing to share. Many of our clients come from referrals.
Find your perfect fit
Whether your list is peer-sourced or comes from an online search, do your due diligence. Meet with your potential executive search firm and ask the following questions.
9 Questions to Ask Executive Search Firms:
1. How do you find talented executives?
Is your firm going to post your opening online, attracting candidates actively looking for a job? Or will they look for currently employed executives who are open to a new position?
Look for a talent acquisition company that sources passive candidates
Passive candidates are working and winning right now. Typically, this indicates they possess qualities that will help them excel at your company, too.
How a Global Company Hired a World-Class Vice President of Marketing in 3 Months
Read the Case Study
2. What information am I expected to provide?
You’re outsourcing the search for an executive because you don’t have the time to do it yourself. But some firms still expect you to do a significant amount of work upfront – like writing a job description.
When you work with us, you won’t be asked to develop materials
In a collaborative meeting, we’ll build out your ideal candidate profile. Your talent manager uses this comprehensive document to qualify candidates for your position. All you need to know when you come to the meeting is what position you want to fill.
3. Who will I work with?
The firm you choose should pair you with a dedicated talent manager because it alleviates your burden of finding your company’s next leader. Your talent manager will help you develop your ideal candidate profile. Then they will source and qualify candidates on your behalf.
Don’t get ghosted
You think you had a great interview with a candidate – then they go silent. It’s a common problem that you don’t have to worry about when you work with ProActivate. Your talent manager proactively keeps your candidates engaged throughout the process.
4. How do you evaluate candidates?
A recipe can be filled with all your favorite ingredients, then fail in execution. Similarly, candidates can have a perfect resume, then not meet your expectations after you hire them. An in-depth qualification process protects you against hiring someone who isn’t a fit for the role.
Your executive search firm should:
- Evaluate skillset and mindset
- Conduct simulation evaluations
5. Am I guaranteed a hire?
You want the perfect fit for your position, why limit yourself to a firm that quits after 2 or 3 candidates? Find a partner who will stick with you until you find the right person.
All ProActivate clients are guaranteed the hire.
6. Where do you recruit?
Your hiring needs might not be local. Or there could be a wide radius you’re willing to consider since so many people at your company work from home. Check that firm you partner with has the resources to conduct a thorough search wherever you need talent.
We’re a Dallas executive search firm that works globally to find the best of the best.
7. What does your executive search firm charge?
You want to find the best talent at a price that’s fair. Unlike typical executive search firms, we do not charge based on a percentage of your hire’s salary. All our clients pay a flat fee. Contact us to learn more.
8. Do you have any client testimonials?
Executive search firms don’t publish ingredients lists and directions. But they do have reviews in the form of client testimonials. This should be easy to find on their website. If you don’t see a testimonials section, ask if they have any to share with you. But also ask yourself why the testimonials aren’t on the site.
9. What industry-specific experience do you have?
Top executive search firms have experience finding talented leaders across multiple industries. But sometimes you want to know about their track record finding executives within your field of business.
At ProActivate, we specialize in filling marketing and sales positions, but we regularly find successful executives for other industries, too. During calls with businesses looking to hire their next leader, we share these experiences and how we will find the right person for their company.
Top Executive Search Firms are Your Recipe for Leadership Success
The satisfaction of baking the perfect batch of cupcakes is fleeting. Hiring your ideal candidate has longer-lasting benefits to your organization. Our talent managers are ready to find your next leader. Call us today. We will work with you until you find a top-tier executive to add to your team.