What Executive Recruiters Do

Executive recruiters work with companies to identify, screen, and present candidates for executive level openings. They typically work on VP, C-suite, and Board level roles. Executive recruiters are most often retained by the company they work for, but can work on a contingency basis.

Executive recruiters work for the companies they conduct searches for. These companies pay them to find the best candidates for their leadership team. It’s important that candidates understand that recruiters of any sort (in-house, contingency, retained) do not work for them. That being said, candidates should develop a positive relationship with an executive recruiter that reaches out to them. The recruiters have the relationship with the companies and hiring managers. If a candidate treats an executive recruiter poorly, they will not be contacted the next time there is an opening in their field.

Executive recruiter is often a synonym for a retained recruiter. Retained recruiters mostly work on critical searches for their clients. These searches are often confidential and never made public. The only way a candidate will know of the opening is if they are contacted by the recruiter working on the search. These searches are also exclusive to a single executive search firm.

Many executive recruiters have either worked in the search industry for years or have been in a specific industry vertical for years. The commonality these two backgrounds share is a large network of experienced, qualified people. Executive recruiters are paid to find the best candidate for each specific opening. To do this, executive recruiters are able to tap into their network to identify passive job seekers. These candidates are currently employed and not actively looking to leave their current role.

Passive job seekers are not always interested in an opening presented to them. If the role doesn’t appeal to them, they may refer someone they know to the executive recruiter. In fact, many top executive recruiters will not add a new candidate to their database unless they are referred from an existing candidate. Just as the majority of the openings executive recruiters work on are private, many executives prefer to work with executive recruiters for their discretion. The ability to keep their job search confidential is a key factor for many executives while looking for a new position.

Another element executive recruiters are paid to determine is culture fit. At the executive level, experience is almost a given. These people would not have reached this level in their career unless they had the requisite experience. Executive level hires have a disproportionate influence on a company’s culture. As a new leader they will be looked up to by the rank and file employees. What is their leadership style? How do they communicate? Are they collaborative? These are the types of questions executive recruiters will ask during the screening process to determine whether or not a candidate who looks good on paper is the best candidate for the company.

Executive recruiters are paid to filter out all but the best candidates to present to the company. They may start with a list of 100 potential people, filter it down to a short list of 10 people they will speak with, and present the top two or three to the company. This not only saves the company time and resources, the candidates they are meeting are the best of the best for their opening.

To learn more about what executive recruiters do, send us a note. The executive recruiters at Sheer Velocity are customer focused providing personal attention and tenacity. With our proprietary DNA mapping process, we increase your chances of finding the right candidate.