What is Executive Search

Executive Search is a form of recruitment typically used to deliver a result in the following circumstances:

  • Highly confidential/commercially sensitive role;
  • Unique/Niche candidate requirements.

In regular recruitment known as contingent recruitment, there will typically be 2 or 3 agencies in a race to fill the position and one gets paid upon placing a candidate. As such the client will receive CVs quickly but the they will already be known to the agency and the best they have on file rather than the best for a role.

Executive Search is a retained service; the consultant and client enter into a formal contract which stipulates the service to be delivered. Only the retained consultants will be providing candidates for the client, there are several advantages of this arrangement:

  • The consultant has time to source the best candidates for the role (many of whom will not be actively looking for a job or on a database);
  • A managed process whereby timescales are agreed with pre-arranged interview dates ensuring a smooth candidate experience;
  • The consultant has a closer relationship with the client and will have excellent insight and access into their business;
  • There is absolute accountability for the consultant to deliver a successful campaign providing regular updates to candidates and client.

Executive search therefore provides the most robust process because of the time and care that consultants are able to give the assignment. Fees tend to be higher for retained executive search and the level of service reflects this.

A client looking for a partner who will support their business, strategy and engage the best global talent should consider a consultation with a retained executive search specialist.


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