Attracting and accessing top talent is not easy, and the pool is often not large enough for the kind of candidates you may need. When you locate the right candidate, you cannot be sure that she or he would be interested in making a move to your firm.
In this scenario, hiring the services of an executive recruiter firm is your best bet. They have the contacts, knowledge, and experience to discover talent in places that you may not have access to. The cost of a bad hire, especially at the senior executive level, can be damaging.
It’s equally important to get the right fit when you’re looking for the best executive recruiters firm in the USA. This helps you take the initiative right from the word go and conduct the search using a systematic, organized, and well-thought-out strategy.
What Is An Executive Recruiters Firm?
Many organizations may not have the time, professional skills, experience, or the resources to recruit senior-level executives. A company that focuses on specialized recruitment services for organizations that require qualified candidates for senior-executive and higher-level employment is an executive recruiters firm. Senior-level executives may be required for private and public sector organizations, not-for-profits, NGOs, etc.
This service is available across different sectors and industries, and many firms specialize in a certain industry or sector. For instance, IT executive recruiters firms specialize in sourcing senior candidates in the information technology industry. The recruiters firm may also be hired to source talent in highly skilled areas where there could be keen competition for a smaller pool of skills in the job market. The services may be available across national and international markets.
The client organization provides a set of requirements to the executive recruiters firm. In turn, the firm conducts a targeted search using these specifications and comes up with a short list of likely candidates that match the requirements.
In some cases, they may further help the client in conducting the interview process, screening, verifying credentials and qualifications, negotiating remuneration, drawing up contracts, etc. They may be hired on a retainer basis, delimited or engaged search or a contingent search, and the financial terms are different for each of these. The most common form of remuneration for the candidate search is a percentage of salary offered to the candidate.
Hiring an executive recruitment firm also enables clients to recruit from their competitors without the fear of “poaching.”
The organization that regulates, monitors, and sets standards for executive recruiters firms is the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) with a presence in 70 countries.
How To Hire The Best Executive Recruiters Firm in the US
1. Know What You Want: As a client, you need to thoroughly analyze your own requirements before hiring an executive recruiters firm. Knowing clearly what you want, how the candidate will fit into your organizational structure, the qualifications, experience and personal attributes they must have, the salary you will pay, and the career growth prospects you can offer – this would help the recruiting agency to conduct a highly targeted search and come up with the best fit.
2. Specialized or General: If it’s a choice between a big name generalist and a lesser-known specialist, you need to weigh the pros and cons before deciding. Large, international firms have a bigger pool, while smaller ones may have depth and accuracy. Local firms may help you to identify candidates nearer home without the hassles of relocation and settling in.
3. Track Record: While it’s probably cheaper and quicker to hire a start-up or small local firm, the time spent and your costs could go up significantly in case of a wrong hire due to the firm’s inexperience and lack of better contacts. Check the firm’s track record and ask about their recent hires, network, and data-base and their sourcing methods. The candidate pool should be dynamic and constantly replenished, with executives moving rapidly in and out. The firm should also have good experience in tapping passive candidate networks.
4. Give Clear Information: A professional executive recruiters firm would require detailed information about your own company, history, products, reach, turnover, etc. This will help them find the right match, but make sure that you flag confidentiality and information security issues.
5. Understand their Screening Process: You have hired the recruiter to save time and effort that would be spent in screening candidates. Ensure that the firm you pick for executive search has a professional and ethical screening process, document verification, and the capacity to provide you with well-screened candidates.
6. Get To Know Them: While hiring a specialized recruiter, ensure that they have the necessary knowledge, experience, and qualifications in that particular sector. The firm’s own staff should have industry certifications, legal expertise to draw up contracts, and extensive recruitment experience at the specific level of seniority that you need. For instance, it may not be appropriate to hire a firm to recruit a CFO for your company if their staff has never risen above middle management. They need to understand the role and the requirements of the employer.
7. Check their fee structure: Most executive recruitment firms don’t charge upfront fees. They may work on a retainer basis, which means they recruit for positions above a certain pay-scale and charge the client a fixed percentage of the candidate’s annual cost to the company. This may be staggered over phases or paid according to a fixed schedule. Another structure is the delimited/engaged search where a refundable fee is charged up front. The third type is the contingent fee structure, where fees are paid only on successful completion of the candidate’s search and hire.
8. Confidentiality and Privacy: This is a major concern for most companies who are looking for senior-level executives. The reason why you’ve hired an agency is that you prefer to remain in the background. This is often related to confidential issues such as replacing an under-performing executive, retirement, mergers, acquisitions, etc. You need to trust the recruiter firm and ensure that your information doesn’t get leaked out.