Why Use an Executive Search Partner

Paul Groarke our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 27 January 2022

Do you have a senior executive position to recruit for?

Whether your vacant role is the result of an internal move or someone exiting the business, your task is to recruit an executive with equal (if not better) skills than the incumbent - someone who can help take your business to the next level.

Not many people relish the job of recruitment…that is, except a dedicated recruiter or a partner in an executive search firm.

And that’s because one thing you probably don’t have much of is time - and recruiting is a full-time job.

Your time is probably spent in meetings, strategic planning, governance of the business, delivering on your role, managing your client partnership and of course, managing your department and direct reports.

And now you have another major task on your to-do list.

So, where do you start, why use an executive search partner and what are your options?

Option 1: Brief your internal recruitment team

There are a number of things to be aware of or to investigate if you choose to search for a senior-level candidate via your internal recruitment team:

  • How many people are there in your internal team, and how many roles are they actively working on across all departments? I have known some groups working on 30+ active roles at one time - will your vacant role get the attention it needs?
  1. How frequently have they recruited this type of executive position?
  • Are you sure on the brief, or would now be an excellent time to have your thinking stretched a little differently – maybe bring in some transferable, more creative or technology/digital skills?
  • How many candidates with these skill sets have they spoken to in the past three months?
  • Are they regularly in touch with any passive candidates? Now, a nudge might be all they need to talk to you, but the market is short on candidates at the moment and anyone who is available and is serious about looking for a new role may already have multiple options on the table.
  • Do they know who works in your competition, or have they placed someone like this before, so have an established network?
  • Can they deprioritise the other roles to fully commit to filling your position and connect online and face to face with these potential senior executives?
  • Can they offer you service that means you agree on the deadlines, and you are confident your shortlist will be delivered at this time?
  • Do they have a research methodology with a support mechanism, or are they using the company website and LinkedIn as their go-to database? Is this casting the net wide enough?
  • Would they be the very best people to negotiate a sometimes-tricky, complex remuneration and exit package, not to mention the counter-offer scenario?

Even though you know your role may not get the full attention or expertise a search business would give it, you’ll be tempted by this option - there's no fee, after all.

But there is always a cost, and that cost might be reduced commitment or partnership from your internal team - and in the end no hire.

This isn't a slight on internal recruiters. Far from it, they usually are massively stretched, working flat out and hiring great people into your business.

However, at an executive level, there is a requirement for real specialism and expertise. On top of this, you need a research methodology, time, influence and active management of the process.

It’s a candidate’s market right now, and competition to bring the best talent on board is fierce.

Option 2: Choose an experienced executive search partner

Yes, we’re biased. Of course, we are. But we’re also executive search experts with a depth of experience of senior-level recruitment that internal teams simply can’t have.

That’s why we know that the benefits of using an executive search partner for this type of search include:

  • Guidance on the external market and your competition - and an honest assessment of the challenges and opportunities for you when recruiting this role.
  • A research methodology with clear timeframes - this is our full-time job, not yours. The average research time for a role at Hanover is anything between 30-60 hours. Then we have the engagement, screening, interviewing, presentation of position, management of the process and so on.
  • Specialist knowledge, built over numerous years of the delivery team, that can identify, engage, screen and influence at a senior level.
  • A partner who, if chosen correctly, can emulate your values, your employer brand and act as a clear ambassador who can manage the entire process and ensure fluid communication throughout.
  • A partner can bring a new perspective to this hire, with enthusiasm, passion and commitment to the delivery - not to mention a contract to fulfil.

You need to give yourself the very best opportunity to fill vital senior executive roles, within timescales that don’t damage your role, team or deliverables. That means understanding what's influencing decisions, talent, expectations, and who is offering what type of experience and packages to ensure you compete for the most appropriate candidates.

The cost of getting recruitment at this level wrong is at least three to four times that of an external fee, so you also need to be confident in your solution provider.

4 reasons to choose an executive search partner

Far too often, we speak to a client who chooses option one, and then following an unsuccessful period, decides to go external and use an executive search partner.

Why? Manly for these four reasons:

1. Many firms have brought in and developed brilliant talent teams to reduce the considerable cost of recruitment to the business.
2. Your internal HR team can continue to focus on engagement, candidate experience, wellbeing and retention of people.
3. Never have there been so many HR tech solutions available to us, but the truth is that technology is progressing faster than the uptake – lots of corporates are slow adopters.
4. We have LinkedIn at our disposal, making it straightforward to identify who might be right for your role. However, while it may be accessible to identify and make your wish list, turning this into the reality of an engaged candidate and a key hire is something that search partners are experts at.

When you need to hire an executive search partner

If you have an open senior executive position and want to save yourself time, undue pressure and stress, opt for option two, an executive search solution.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you with any of our service offerings, please get in touch.

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