Clients count on executive search firms to find top-level candidates for their positions. Not only does this alleviate the search and hiring process, but it also safeguards companies from wasting time and money on a bad hire.
If you’ve worked with a professional search firm before, or if you are considering working with one, you may be wondering how these agencies can tell the difference between a good hire and a bad hire. That’s a good question, and one you deserve knowing the answer to.
Before you work with an executive search firm, you should know how they identify top talent and plan to match the best candidates to your executive positions. Below are the general processes followed by top executive search firms.
Each search assignment receives the utmost attention from a team of qualified researchers. During this initial stage, the researchers conduct a comprehensive market analysis that looks at related companies. What types of skills do the employees possess? What experience is necessary to be a competitive candidate? Through this research, a blueprint of an ideal candidate is created.
Identify Top Talent
With a blueprint available, search firms can begin the process of locating qualified leads. Thanks to advancements in technology, it’s possible to find experienced candidates that may not be actively looking for placement.
Search agencies use a wide range of tools to communicate with candidates, such as social media, email and advanced online search techniques. Additionally, many search firms have a database of previously screened and qualified candidates that may be a good match.
Once the search firm feels that they’ve collected world-class talent, the interview process begins. The interviews are in-depth and can be done in-person or through videoconferencing. Before the interviews are done, search agencies typically pre-reference the candidates to ensure that they are a good fit for the job, and this includes verifying past work experience and soft skills.
Present Qualified Candidates
When the candidates have been narrowed down to a few strong contenders, they are delivered to the client for their review. Many clients choose to meet with the top three candidates to make a final decision. While it’s vital to meet all of the expectations, it’s equally important that the candidate fits in with the company culture.
Check References and Extend Offer
When a finalist has been chosen, the search firm checks all references and verifies employment and academic credentials. Since this is usually done by a third party, it’s not until a candidate has been chosen that this information is run. When everything checks out, the candidate can be informed of their offer.
Each executive search firm is unique in the way they operate, but they tend to follow the same protocol. It is through these processes that top talent can be identified for executive-level positions that would otherwise be hard to fill.