What Is Executive Recruitment?

Executive search and recruitment is a process that is commonly referred to as headhunting, but it’s a service that many organizations use in order to find highly qualified candidates for open positions as senior-level managers or executives. There’s a huge need for this kind of service because finding such qualified talent can be extremely difficult and time-consuming, which is why corporations are willing to pay others to do that kind of work for them.

Some search and executive recruitment companies only work with certain industries which they specialize in, or they were working exclusively for a given corporation because there is sufficient work to justify it. Generally speaking, corporations will hire such firms because they simply don’t have the time or expertise in-house to conduct these kinds of exhaustive searches on their own.

How Executive Search Companies Work

While corporations will reach out to executive recruitment companies to uncover highly qualified candidates for them, that doesn’t usually happen often enough to keep recruitment companies busy. That means recruitment companies are obliged to drum up business for themselves using some fairly old-fashioned methods. Many recruitment companies will reach out to corporations during cold calls or by using emails until they actually make contact with a company in need of their services.

During these contacts, they will emphasize the fact that they have extraordinary access to a number of senior executives and managers which might be suitable for openings at a corporation in need. Many recruitment companies also have an extensive database of candidates available at any given time, which they can bring into play on behalf of a corporation that retains their services.

Once such relationships are formed, it can often lead to a long-term arrangement between a corporation and a particular search and recruitment agency. When a successful result is achieved at least once or twice, a corporation will begin to rely on that recruitment firm and seek out its services the next time a position becomes available.

What it Takes to Be an Executive Recruiter

There are a number of qualities which help to make a really good executive recruitment professional, and if you don’t have most of these qualities, chances are you won’t be very successful in finding really good candidates. First of all, recruiters have to be good spin doctors and must constantly exude enthusiasm, maintaining a cheerful attitude between both parties while also trying to advance their own agenda.

It’s also necessary to have a great deal of patience as a recruiter because there are always a number of twists and glitches which pop up during the course of a recruitment campaign. Just trying to schedule an interview for a candidate with top executives can be a minor nightmare, given the fact of everyone’s busy schedule. Waiting for a corporation to make a decision on a candidate can also take a great deal of time, and this will also require considerable patience on the part of the recruiter.

Another quality that a recruiter must have is to be very sensitive to the real needs of a corporation in its search for a suitable candidate because trying to force-fit the wrong candidate into a position will only result in worsening relationships with the corporation. Obviously, a recruiter is in the process to try and make a profit, but it must always be borne in mind that the only way that profit will happen is if the right candidate is offered to a corporation.

In the performance of their duties, it’s also important for an executive search and recruitment professional to be resourceful and to have an intimate knowledge of whatever business they’re working to supply candidates for. It’s also very useful to have strong observational skills so that you can see things as they really are, rather than from the standpoint of either a candidate or a corporate manager. The most successful search and recruitment professionals are those who are proficient with all these skills, and who use them in the day-to-day execution of their duties.

Performing Executive Search and Recruitment

In order to find good candidates for available positions, executive recruitment professionals first have to form a strategy, then do all the necessary research, and follow all that up by making phone calls to coordinate meetings and interviews. In carrying out all these processes, the most successful recruiters avoid using outdated methods of screening candidates and bring technology into play as much as possible.

For instance, it can be extremely valuable to use performance management software or customer relationship management software to track down candidate information and to develop appropriate strategies for marketing. There is even recruiting software that has begun to appear, and this specifically works to screen candidates while assisting with a number of other recruiting tasks.

It’s essential for a successful recruiter to build a network of trusted relationships in any given industry they work in. Developing a huge network of business contacts can be enormously helpful in locating candidates, and in becoming more than a simple service provider. When you get to the point where you have become a respected resource in your specialty area, that’s when you will probably be reaching your peak as a recruiter.

When a good recruiter takes on a task for a corporation, one of the first things they should do is to research that corporation itself, so as to gain an understanding of its needs, and the type of candidate which would do well there. After that, it will be necessary to conduct market analysis so it will be possible to understand the competitive environment and to see which candidates might be available.

Having drafted a description of the available position, the executive recruitment professional will then attempt to match candidate qualities and skills to that specific profile, and once candidates are found, a written candidate profile will then be forwarded to the corporation. The modern approach to search and recruitment also involves a thorough examination of social platforms, because some of the best candidates can be identified here, particularly on a professional platform such as LinkedIn.

The most successful search and recruitment professionals are those who can tirelessly implement all these practices, and still maintain great relationships with both candidates and corporations.