Where does a Retail Executive Search Specialist Add Value?

Engaging a headhunter to undertake a search assignment is not a task to be taken lightly; you are bringing in external expertise and entering a two way relationship with both parties accountable for the outcome. There are a number of reasons that executive search consultants deliver results and they are worth considering when deciding on you recruitment strategy.


Headhunters know the market they operate in, within retail this is critical because your business is there to understand and serve customers. To succeed you need talented and motivated people who will drive your business forwards, as digital retail has changed the industry your executives should understand the opportunities this brings.


A headhunter will get under the skin of your business and ask the difficult questions to identify where you need support and where there are opportunities to exploit and gain market share. Executives will all have opinions and a good headhunter will consider these and create a brief that supports business strategy, ensuring new hires will move the company forwards in the right direction.


Unlike an agency recruiter, executive search consultants should challenge your hiring decisions and rationale behind growing the team. If someone has left it is not a case of filling their shoes but rather assessing the business position and building a broader picture of what you’re trying to achieve.


A good search partner will attract more high calibre candidates than you will, simply because everyone has preconceptions about brands. Approaching potential candidates on a confidential basis allows a headhunter to understand individual motivations (career and personal) and position roles in the right manner. Despite their best efforts and intentions this is something internal talent teams struggle with because they can’t escape the link to their business.


Management of the search process is key to its success, a headhunter spends their working days doing this and as such should leave no stone unturned. Candidate expectations should be managed from initial contact and regular communications ensure early buy in. This time is a luxury that in-house teams simply can’t afford and as such candidates will get frustrated and leave processes early.

If you have worked with a headhunter no doubt you will have had mixed experiences, as with any business relationship you should focus on working with people who deliver results and that you enjoy working with.

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