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Optimum Talks Blog

6 things to look for when choosing your executive search partner

by Guillaume Poirier St-Pierre

Finding the right executive search partner is critical for any organization. Whether it is to find your next CEO, Chief Human Resources Officerboard memberor Marketing VP, you need a trusted advisor that can help you determine the best recruitment strategy for your organization.  Executives not only play critical role in the success of the business but also in ensuring the well-being of their employees. The pandemic has brought to light the importance for leaders to have the right set of skills; some of which have changed from the previous list of “must-haves”. By working with experts that have that firsthand knowledge of the changing talent landscape you can help ensure you are hiring not only the best talent but the right talent for your organizational needs. Here are six things to look for when choosing your executive search partner: 

 

  1. Look for a diverse and multidisciplinary team of experts 

The competition for leaders and executives is tougher than ever. The higher you rise, the less talent you will likely find. A good executive search partner will have a strong roster of recruiters and consultants with diverse experience and backgrounds.  This allows them to have access to different viewpoints, a larger network, and a broader candidate pool that will enhance the whole search process for the client and candidates. For example, look at teams that include organizational psychologists, integration coaches, business strategy consultants, former HR executives, specific industry experience, former politicians, and more.  

 

  1. Make sure they offer a robust behavioural assessment tool 

good behavioural assessment tool will reveal key information about an individual to predict their performance and satisfaction in a role. For organizations, this results in confident and objective HR decision-making that also mitigates risk. A good executive search partner will be able to analyze the results and identify the candidate who will add the greatest value to the team and the organization. Moreover, issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of organizational concerns. A valid and unbiased assessment tool combined with the expertise of external and objective consultants can assist with the organizational advancement of diversity efforts.  

 

  1. Focus on the candidate experience

The way your executive search partner treats candidates throughout the recruitment process is crucial. First, when sourcing prospects and engaging with potential candidates, the recruiter should be able to engage individuals that are not necessarily looking for a new job. The ability to build strong relationships along with a deep understanding of your organizational needs will ensure the recruiter is effectively promoting your employer brand, culture and attracting the right candidates. At the end of the day, each potential leader who will go through the recruitment process needs to have a great experience, even those who are not selected. A search partner is out in the market representing your organization, so you want to ensure you have confidence and trust in them.  

 

  1. Pay attention to specializations and reach

For c-suite and leadership roles, the complexity of the recruitment process is very different than other positions. That’s why so many organizations have multiple talent sourcing providers. Some firms specialize in position levels while others are more focused on functions, such as IT, Administration, Legal, etc. Your executive search partner must provide referrals that showcase their ability to fulfill the engagement, whether it’s by position, industry, or function. But beyond one industry or one type of position, a good recruiter knows how to leverage transferable skills and search for atypical profiles and can challenge their client to seek opportunities outside of their ideal profile based on industry, position, years of experience or function.  

 

Also, don’t forget to ask them about their reach! The best candidates are not always residents of the client’s city, region, or even country. In a globalized world, a truly collaborative executive search partner with offices in many markets and a broad presence makes it possible to find the rare and sometimes unexpected talent.  

 

  1. Analyze confidentiality and privacy measures 

The higher the level of the role, the more your executive search partner must be infallible and trustworthy. For both parties, organizations and candidates, confidentiality is critical. For the candidates sourced by a recruiter, they want to be reassured that their actual employer or any stakeholder will be removed from the ongoing search process. As for an organization, knowing that key information, such as internal processes, is safeguarded by privacy and confidential measures is something to be deeply assessed. 

 

  1. Be mindful of the terms and conditions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The terms and conditions are key to establish a collaborative partnership and ensuring the success of an executive search assignment. Here are some questions you should ask: 

  • How is the executive search partner going to identify your needs? 
  • What is their process?
  • Is there any guarantee offered?
  • How can they measure sustainable results?
  • What is the pricing structure? 
  • Is integration coaching an option?
  • Can they provide client references attesting to their ability to identify the right talent for your organization? 
  • What is their communication and follow-up plan during the search process? 
  • How much time do they typically require fulfilling their engagement? 
  • Do they have a non-solicitation policy with current and past clients? 

I hope these tips help guide your decision-making and investment while looking for the right executive search partner. If you are in need of our services, please contact our experts.

 

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