Why work with an Executive Search Firm?
Are you wondering why you should choose to work with an executive search firm rather than at a contingency level? What is the difference between the two? A contingent search firm operates on a “no placement, no fee” basis. A retained executive search firm is paid regardless of the success of the search.
1 – You can’t make a mistake
We all know just how costly a bad hire is and the SaaS sector is no exception. In a fast moving, high stakes industry such as SaaS, the opportunity loss of making a bad hire is often far greater than the direct hire costs, so you need to get it right first time. Nobody can claim to know everyone in their niche but the experienced Executive Search Consultant will be so well networked in their sector that they will be able to leverage their network so effectively that they can reach anyone they need to within their sector. Finding an Executive Search partner that has “lived” their niche as their career path helps to maximise your collective chance of success.
2- When confidentiality is important
Many executive searches are confidential for various reasons. Employers could be considering replacing someone, creating a new role or hiring over someone else. These roles often need to be outsourced in order to maintain confidentiality and so as to avoid sensitive situations that might cause disharmony, loss of trust or uncertainty that can cause otherwise solid teams to lose their foundation. People are like markets – They like certainty and nothing can unsettle a team like a dose of uncertainty. The Executive Search professional will be adept at leading an assignment with sensitivity toward the level of confidentiality required. All search assignments are different and should be treated with due sensitivity from those where confidentiality is not a concern to those that are so sensitive such that only shortlisted candidates may know who the employer is.
3 – You demand higher Service Levels
Because they are ‘retained’, executive search firms work exclusively with the client, taking the time to assess existing talent within the business and to understand the company culture and facets of the role. They also only put one job opportunity to the shortlisted candidates at any one time so there is no conflict of interest. The Executive Search Headhunter only works on a small number of mandates at any one time so can devote extensive time to you to ensure success. They need to ensure that the search is delivered and does not ‘hedge their bets” or think “some will and some won’t” All executive search assignments must close satisfactorily, no matter how challenging they might be and it is that level of commitment that goes a long way to provide the service levels that you seek for your critical hires,
2– You want access to a high-quality network of executive professionals
When you work with an executive search firm, you should be given the choice of the market and those individuals that are available, interested and committed to your opportunity. Often contingency recruiters rely on adverts or on active candidates, and thus offer you the choice of the best actively looking candidates. Now, that is not to say that candidates that are actively looking should be avoided, but, a shortlist should contain both active and passive talent. Passive talented candidates are those that are not actively seeking a new role, but are open to new opportunity potentially. They have successful careers, make objective career decisions and usually have more stable careers. The quality shortlist should include such candidates.
3 – You don’t have the in-house resources
Often executive search firms are instructed when the employer does not have the in-house resource, network or experience to look themselves.
The comparison between Retained Search and Contingency Methodologies:
4 – You do not have the time to search yourself
Searching for executives takes a lot of time and distracts executives from their day to day job. Outsourcing an executive search firm can solve this problem.
5 – You want to ensure a quality process
How many times have you been called by a recruitment agent or placed in a recruitment process with a company only to feel unimpressed at the unprofessional approach that you find yourself in? You can tell a lot about a company and its leadership by the way they hire. The further up the leadership ladder you go in a company, the higher the expectation of a hiring process that is fit for purpose. Executive Search firms should be able to manage a clean and professionally managed approach that provides a good experience for all candidates engaged in the process, whether they get the job or not. Only 1 person gets the job so the other candidates on the shortlist need to feel that they were treated with respect throughout and leave with a positive experience of your company. Afterall, they may be your competition or a partner one day!
The Executive Search Process
Once the requirements are defined, the executive search firm will identify a long-list of potential candidates who may be able to meet the criteria listed by the client. In some cases, more than 150 potential candidates will be identified – although in some cases, the list may be far shorter.
Retained executive search firms follow a research methodology designed to identify all the potential candidates for a role. This doesn’t just mean a quick search of Linkedin. Unquestionably, Linkedin Recruiter will play a part, but a broader combination of online research, telephone sourcing and old fashioned networking will all be utilized.
An experienced recruiter may also have access to a significant internal database containing information which is not more widely available.