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Did you catch our recent podcast with CEO Gavin Speirs? He chatted with our Head of Marketing, Robert Gillespie, about “The New Way to do Executive Search.”
(You can check it out here if you didn’t catch it.)
In the discussion, Gavin talks about how executive search has changed over the years and what the advent of the internet and tech has done to the process. And he discusses what he believes are the main steps to a great executive search.
Through it all though, Gavin keeps coming back to one point – you need to trust your executive search partner to do the job properly, and trust them with one of the most important hires in your company.
So, he has four key considerations that he believes every company looking to hire at the executive level must have in mind before and during the search process.
#1 – Does Your Executive Search Partner Add Value?
According to Gavin, “people buy from people”.
In order to ensure that you have the right executive partner, you need to be confident that they’ll add value to what you could do yourself.
That means you need to be sure that they’ll either help your team or carry out your search in the way you’d ideally want.
It’s where things like Talent Mapping and deep industry knowledge comes in valuable; have they worked on these types of roles before, do they know your industry, are they experienced?
According to Staffing Advisors, in a typical CEO or Executive Director search, the hiring process can take 4-8 months. That’s a long time to work with a company who you don’t enjoy working with or who you don’t trust to get the process right.
We talk to many people who are working with an executive search partner because they’ve worked with them before. There’s no evaluation of previous processes, and they don’t spend time considering how successful past searches have been.
#2 – Are You Willing to Get Involved?
While you’re hiring a recruitment company to do your executive search, you also need to have input.
It’s important you’re willing to engage with executive search partners to get the right people. Saying you need a VP of Sales is fine, as long as you know the qualities you’re looking for, what kind of person you need, and you’ve set out exactly what their working environment will be.
#3 – Do You Have a Process in Place?
Executive search recruitment is different from normal recruitment as this person will typically make a big difference to your company. (Right now, every hire is business critical but Execs are going to be the ones that drive your business forward.)
That means you need to know exactly how things are going from the beginning to the end of the process.
At Solutions Driven, we use various processes for every hire, starting with an in depth scoping call where we lay out key milestones. (Which our payments are also based on.)
Throughout the search, we’re continually in touch with the hiring manager, letting them know how things are progressing, if we’ve come across anything that needs discussed, and checking that their needs haven’t changed.
Ensuring your executive search partner will deliver on the timescales you need, deliver the person/people you need, and understand how you work is vital.
#4 – Can You Change Your Mind?
We mentioned before that our payments are based on key milestones. That means that we’ll work with you at the beginning of our relationship to define what your touchpoints are and the level of payments required at each one.
But what happens if you pay half of your fee upfront and your executive search company shows up with nothing for months?
You’ve already paid half, it seems a waste to give up on it, right?
Don’t get yourself stuck in a loss-leader situation. Ensure that, in the unlikely event you want to, you have the ability to pull out if things aren’t going right, without losing too much money.