The search for executive talent often involves a recruiter for the simple reason that you want to be able to have as many options as possible when hiring. You need to know that you’ve left no stone unturned — and yet you are also busy with other work.
Enter the executive recruiter. This is an individual who, with your guidance, will reach into several different networks to source quality candidates for your executive search. But all executive recruiters are not created equal. So here is a guide to making the most of your search.
Start with a referral
Like anything else in business, you’ll be in much better shape if you start with a referral from a trusted colleague. Recruiters all have areas of expertise, where their contacts are richer. So do ask around to colleagues to see if they’ve worked with a recruiter who has gotten them results.
Qualities you might look for in a recruiter include:
- Business-minded: they know your industry well and have placed candidates in similar positions recently.
- Adaptable: they draw from a flexible toolbox of tactics to source high quality candidates, including methods for finding candidates who are not actively looking.
- Good listener: they listen to what you need and are able to provide more than just an accurate assessment of your needs but also can provide insight into areas that you are not thinking about.
- Tenacious: they will conduct a comprehensive search that will provide multiple qualified candidates.
Be clear on your objectives
The more advance work you can do on determining what qualities matter most in your candidate profile the better. A good practice is also to consider the composition of the team you currently have, and where their strengths and weaknesses lie. In addition to a comprehensive job description, recruiters also like to know the dynamics of an organizations and which types of personalities will make the best possible fit.
Ask the right questions
Interviewing a recruiter is similar to interviewing a candidate: you want to know the person is a good “fit,” understands your business objectives and can deliver results. Some of the questions you might want to ask a recruiter you are thinking about hiring:
- Have you sourced candidates for similar positions recently?
- What is your knowledge of the industry?
- What is your process like?
- How do you communicate?
- How do you follow up to see if a placement is successful?
Decide on how you want to hire
Recruiters work with companies in a variety of ways, and how you work with a recruiter will be influenced by your unique business situation.
Broadly speaking, we here at ACCUR Recruiting Services tend to work in one of three categories:
- Retained Search: in this arrangement, you pay a recruiter a retainer and they provide a set of fully customized services aimed at helping you find the most qualified candidates for your open positions.
- Contingency Search: in this arrangement, the recruiter is only paid upon successful placement of a candidate.
- Professional Search: at ACCUR Recruiting Services, Professional Search is a popular option, as it is both customizable and cost-effective, combining elements of the above options.
Another option for companies is “Recruitment Process Outsourcing,” in which a company outsources a large proportion of their internal recruiting tasks. The value of this arrangement over hiring an internal recruiter has to do with you ability to reach into larger networks of candidates through an RPO.
Final tips on finding and hiring a great recruiter:
- Source recruiters from trusted colleagues.
- Decide how you want to work with a recruiter.
- Gather as much information as possible about the position for which you are hiring.
- Ask questions of your recruiter as though you were interviewing them for a job (because you ultimately are).