Higher stakes for senior hires: When firms hire critical senior-level employees, the stakes are high. The basic salaries offered for these roles are often in excess of $100,000.00 and employers will be looking for a candidate who meets all requirements in terms of their experience, is the right fit for the position and will commit to the company for a significant period of time. For the employer, finding the right person is absolutely key as he or she will be integral to overall organizational success. The selection process therefore has to be extremely rigorous.
Specialist hiring strategies: Executive Search and Contingent Executive Search firms specialize in hiring senior professionals and therefore are used to dealing with all the issues that typically arise from recruiting at this level. For example, there is normally only a limited candidate pool to choose from because these professionals are often treated well by their existing employers and very rarely put themselves on the market. It is therefore very difficult for businesses to find these types of professionals, which is why many use search firms to do it for them.
Retainers verse no retainer: Not all executive searches require a retainer. Most Executive Search firms require a retainer up front as a sign of commitment. This assures they are compensated for their time and effort. Contingent Executive Search firms on the other hand still need the commitment of the client but do not require a retainer. This assures that the client only pays if the Contingent Executive Search firm finds and places the right employee.
The recruitment process: After an exhaustive search, we will typically interview between 15 and 20 candidates before narrowing these down into a shortlist of three or five. Each individual on the shortlist is discussed and submitted with full details of the applicant’s relevant experience, their strengths and – if any – weaknesses for an interview with the client. Critically, we will also outline exactly what each individual is looking for from the position, preventing potential for any mismatches of expectation.
During the recruitment process, we provide feedback to both the client and candidate after each interview. This enables questions or concerns on either side to be addressed and therefore ensures that momentum is maintained throughout the process. Once a job offer is made, we can play a full and thorough part in the salary negotiations having already provided guidance on expectations to both sides at the outset. Due to our day-to-day conversations with senior executives and our clients, we have an accurate understanding of an executive’s worth.
The benefits: The benefits of using a search firm are numerous. The time and techniques along with the search firm’s highly-specialized experience-ensure that the clients will find the best person available for the senior vacancy they are looking to fill.
Bob Walther, Founder and CEO of Wal-Staf Personnel Services, has been providing Contingent Executive Search services for select clients for four decades.