Guide to Executive Recruiting

Guide to Executive Recruiting

In some industries, finding a highly specialized candidate for senior or executive positions is difficult due to small applicant pools and high levels of competition. This is especially true for the supply chain and logistics discipline, where finding someone for high-level roles is extremely challenging. Hiring quality talent is crucial to business success, so some companies turn to professional executive recruiters to help fill these roles. With the expertise and dedication of recruiting professionals, businesses find talent who has the required skills, fits with the company culture and stays for the long run.

If your business is looking for executives or senior-level candidates, this guide will help you understand more about working with an external executive search firm and why this is such a valuable service.

What Is Executive Recruiting?

Executing recruiting is the process of finding, assessing and selecting talent for high-level leadership roles. While you can perform this task internally, working with a third-party executive search firm with years of experience can make the process less stressful and time-consuming and increase your chances of finding the best candidate.

You may require the services of an external executive recruitment firm if you need:

  • Senior level hires
  • Mission-critical hires
  • Niche-skillsets hires
  • Confidential hires

What Is Executive Recruiting?

How Does Executive Recruiting Work?

Executive recruiters partner with businesses to help them find candidates based on their requirements. They follow varying processes and methods to fill any open positions, depending on which package you choose. Most executive search firms offer two types of recruiting packages for high-level roles:

  • Retained: This is an exclusive arrangement where the executive recruiters require an upfront payment to begin their search, but they will be the only agency finding candidates for your business. They’ll employ various methods to find talent, including contacting passive candidates who already have jobs. You’ll need to make a final payment when you accept one of the candidates they found.
  • Contingent: With contingent search, you only pay the executive search firm when they successfully find a candidate for the role. You may choose this option if you want multiple recruitment firms looking for candidates. They’ll typically look for active candidates — those openly looking for a job — who meet the requirements.

The Executive Recruiting Process

When you work with an executive recruitment firm, they’ll conduct the executive recruitment process — also known as the executive search process — on your behalf. While this process may look different between agencies, it typically follows a similar structure:

1. Client Research

The first — and arguably most important — step in the executive recruitment process is the initial consultation and subsequent research. The appointed recruiter will meet with all essential members of your business to determine the requirements for the role. They’ll want to know all the necessary information, including skills, qualifications, main responsibilities, reporting relationships and more. They use this information to create a detailed job description and candidate outline to aid their search.

The recruiter will take this time to understand your company’s culture and management style to assess what type of candidate will work best. This is vital to reduce the chances of a poor cultural fit. The recruiter may also want to know more about your industry and will supplement your insights with further research to gain a clear understanding of the market and business environment.

2. Strategy

Once the recruiter has a good idea of the business and the role that needs filling, they’ll work with you to outline the executive search strategy. This strategy is essential to guide the search process and align choices with business objectives. The search strategy may cover:

  • Target companies
  • Off-limit companies
  • Target job titles and roles
  • Outreach channels

3. Candidate Search

Armed with their research and strategy, the recruiter will begin to find relevant candidates for the position. Depending on what was established in the strategy, they’ll look for candidates in their own databases, on job sites and social networks and through other connections who may refer interested parties.

4. Assessment

Once the executive search firm has a pool of candidates to work from, the recruiter will begin evaluating and reaching out to the strongest ones. The evaluation process may include:

  • Prequalification: The recruiter will assess candidates to ensure they fit the job description and role before they reach out. Initial contact will help determine if the candidate is interested in the position and if moving forward with further assessment is beneficial.
  • Interviews: Following prequalification, the recruiter will conduct rigorous interviews with prospective candidates to dive into their career history, gauge their interest and pitch your business and the role in a positive light. Passive candidates may need extra persuading to leave their current positions, and it’s the recruiter’s job to discover what will attract these candidates and convince them to make the change.

5. Presentation

Once the recruiter has assessed the talent pool and narrowed it down to the most qualified candidates, they’ll create descriptions for each and present them to you. Using these descriptions, you can decide who to interview yourself to narrow your options further. The recruiter will help you schedule and navigate interviews with the finalists to help you find the best one for the role and your business.

6. Closing

Now that you have your desired candidate, it’s time to send them an offer. The recruiter will act as your intermediary throughout these final steps. Before they contact the candidate with the good news, they will conduct thorough background and reference checks to confirm and provide extra insight into the candidate’s experience, achievements, character and performance.

The recruiter will also assist with the compensation package that reflects the candidate’s value to the business and help with compensation negotiation. If the candidate is successful, you’ll need to make a final payment to the executive recruitment firm. However, some agencies may assist post-hire by following up or even training the new hire.

How Long Does the Executive Recruiting Process Take?

The length of the recruitment process depends on the complexity of the position requirements and the size of the talent pool. In general, a professional executive search firm should produce candidates within two weeks, and the entire process should be completed within three months. However, this may take longer if fewer candidates are available or if certain steps in the process — like interviews or evaluations — take longer.

Hire a Specialized Executive Recruitment Firm

Because of how challenging hiring is for some industries, it’s important for you to consider partnering with a specialized executive search firm that knows your industry and has the right experience and connections to find the best candidate. Optimum Supply Chain Recruiters offers specialized recruitment services for the supply chain and logistics discipline — we’ve helped businesses like yours hire executives and leaders for over 30 years.

We’re not a typical executive search firm. With our experience in the supply chain industry and our meticulous six-step process, we guarantee to provide qualified, vetted candidates for you within 10 days. We have three different recruitment service options for you to choose from, depending on your requirements. Specifically, our Dedicated Engagement service is a unique hybrid of contingency and retained search for positions above the manager level. You’ll receive a dedicated senior recruiter and research analyst whose top priority is to fill the role. We have a 98% fill rate for this service, and we’re so confident about our ability to find the perfect talent that we also offer a 90-day guarantee.

Fill your open position with OptimumSCR or call us today at (800) 300-7609 to learn more about our services.

Hire a Specialized Executive Recruitment Firm

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