Recruiting, like any other industry, has its difficulties. And depending on who you ask you will likely get a different answer. Fortunately, the toughest aspects of executive recruiting tend to fall into a few categories. The following three areas encapsulate the majority of difficulties cited by executive recruiters.
One of the toughest aspects of executive recruiting is defining and adhering to a specific process. This is an area where top firms differentiate themselves from the other executive recruiting firms out there. To truly be different requires more work and increased discipline. Simply doing what everyone else is doing is not enough to stand out.
A great example of this is advanced research capabilities. Putting in extra effort to find diverse candidates is a way top firms stand out by finding diamonds in the rough. These firms understand what their clients need by listening to their wish list and asking the right questions. Too often, firms will focus on qualifying candidates they have rather than looking at a larger pool of candidates.
Another related example is networking. Executive recruiters that rely on their ‘old boys network’ will be limited in their reach. Once again, the key is extra effort. Finding the best candidates requires time to get to know people and their true motivations and talents. Finding firms that invest this time will pay dividends. Which leads to our next topic, relationships.
Finding the right candidate takes time and patience. Many factors can affect a search that are out of the control of the executive recruiter. It is important to take a long term view and build a trusted relationship with clients and candidates. Some recruiters will simply source candidates based on a list of criteria, others take a sales approach…looking for any candidate, at any time, in any volume. While there are fewer of these recruiters in retained search, some do exist.
Executive level hirings are very specific and require specific job skills as well as a unique set of soft skills. To be successful, executive recruiters need to find candidates that meet both of these criteria. This requires an investment of time and energy. Relationships are not created in a day, week, or month. Find recruiters who are willing to put in the time to build these relationships.
The only constant is change. Employment trends are changing, employee demographics are changing, and most noticeably, technology is changing how recruiters do their jobs. The top executive recruiters embrace artificial intelligence to help them do their jobs, they work to understand millennials, and they stay on top of employment best practices.
Take technology hiring. The top candidates are typically available for less than two weeks. The reason is that there simply aren’t enough candidates for the amount of openings. Executive recruiters that aren’t up to date on the competition, compensation requirements, and candidates who are open to a move cost clients more time, lost productivity, and top tier candidates.
If you’re frustrated with executive recruiters who are struggling with any of these aspects, send us a note. Our recruiters invest the time and energy to handle these aspects and focus their attention on meeting your needs.