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Optimum Talks Blog

Executive Search – The Canadian Difference

by Optimum Talent
May 24, 2016

As a fourth year university student, I have been fortunate to gain exposure to the search industry by working at Optimum Talent for the past 12 months. As part of my schooling, I had the opportunity to take a course that gave me the freedom to explore an industry that was of interest to me, so I jumped at the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the search industry as a whole.

20 years ago, boutique search firms were growing and developing, but today they make up a robust industry across the country. In my research, I found that the rapidly evolving Canadian search industry is quite interesting and unique. Here are some of my findings:


You do not need a millennial to tell you that technology has changed the business world over the past 10 years. However, the search industry has flourished digitally through various online platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter, with the amount of online career seekers doubling from 2005-2016. One might first think of this as job-seekers visiting simple job posting sites, but it includes so much more.

Increased LinkedIn users positively correlates with revenue growth to make it the largest success factor over the past 3 years for the Canadian search market. Social media sites such as LinkedIn give career-seekers and employers a platform to engage with each other. It allows Executive-level recruiters the opportunity to take a more extensive look into potential candidates instead of just simply viewing a job application after it is submitted. Technology has added numerous new roads of connection for candidates, clients and recruiters.

Active Recruiting

Canadian search firms are global leaders in the art of Active Recruiting. What is Active Recruiting? It is when recruiters reach out into the market to find candidates that are maybe not aggressively looking for a new position or are hesitant to apply, but are a great potential fit for an organization. Social media platforms provide an environment where recruiters are able to reach these potential candidates by viewing their professional profiles published online. Not only does this prove as an advantage for candidates that may be more reserved and passive, but it allows recruiters to expand their network of applicants to find the best candidate possible for current and future positions.

Candidate/Client Matching

Canadian recruitment firms appreciate the importance of understanding a company’s needs and matching the best candidate to that client. Executive search firms focus on high-level positions. When you’re looking for a key individual that could make a long-run impact on your organization you want to invest the time and energy to find the best candidate possible. This consists of more than simply matching the best resume to a job posting – it includes getting to know the company and their culture to find the best match for the organization.


Although technology has brought in many new approaches to the search process, strong relationships are what has allowed the firms to maintain their footing in the evolving search industry. In an industry with a high level of buyer power, it is vital to get to know a client company down to their grass roots to provide the best candidates possible. The high emphasis put on the values and company culture leads to higher levels of satisfaction and increased levels of repeat clients, which is invaluable in a competitive industry.

When an industry such as recruitment is continually changing, it is important to stay updated with the latest trends and tactics to understand how to best further yourself. Whether you are a potential candidate, or a client wanting to understand a few of the latest tricks of the trade, I hope that this snapshot was able to provide some insight.

As a student and avid learner, I am excited to expand my knowledge more from my experience at Optimum Talent and see what the future has in store for the Executive search industry in Canada!

–Amy Deprato

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