How Is Executive Recruiting Different?

Most people have heard of executive recruiters or “headhunters” as they are sometimes called. However, most people don’t understand the difference between an executive recruiting specialist and a general or in-house recruiter. Let’s dive into executive search recruiting and how it differs from other types of recruiting.

What Does It Mean To Be An Executive Recruiter? 

An executive recruiter is a professional who helps companies find and hire top-level executives and other high-level personnel, such as niche specialists. 

Executive recruiters may work for recruitment firms or in-house recruitment teams, and they are responsible for essential hiring and recruitment tasks like sourcing, evaluating, and presenting candidates for a wide range of leadership and senior positions, including executive-level roles. Executive recruiters emphasize finding candidates that represent the best performance, leadership, and cultural fit for their partner organizations, rather than simply filling a vacancy as quickly as possible.

What Is Executive Search?

Executive search is a process that is used to identify and evaluate potential candidates for top-level executive and other high-level positions within an organization. 

Executive search firms are typically retained by companies to optimize, streamline, and enhance their executive recruitment process and outcomes. To do this, executive search firms or teams use highly-refined methods and specialized tools to identify and evaluate potential candidates.

Once potential candidates have been identified, executive search firms or teams conduct candidate presentations, support and/or lead the interview process, verify reference checks, and carry out other essential assessments to evaluate candidates’ fit and aptitude for their partners’ vacant positions. Executive search specialists may also be responsible for convincing candidates to take on a new role as well as handling contract, payment, and relocation negotiations.

Executive Search Vs. Recruiting

Executive search and recruitment are related but distinct activities that are often used to fill executive-level and other high-level positions within organizations. The main difference between the two is the focus of the search and the method used to identify and evaluate potential candidates.

Executive search typically refers to a more targeted, proactive search for top-level executives and other high-level personnel. Executive search firms or in-house executive search teams are typically retained by companies to identify and evaluate potential candidates for very specific positions. The focus of the search is often on finding the best fit for the organization, rather than simply filling a vacancy.

Recruitment, on the other hand, tends to be a more reactive process that is focused on filling specific vacancies within an organization. Recruitment firms or in-house recruitment teams are typically responsible for sourcing, evaluating, and placing candidates for a wide range of positions. The focus of the recruitment process is often on filling a specific vacancy as quickly as possible, rather than finding the best fit for the organization.

What Is The Average Salary Of An Executive Recruiter? 

Like many professions, executive recruiter salaries vary significantly depending on a number of factors, including experience, industry, location/primary market, organizational structure, and performance. 

Recent data from and Glassdoor state most executive recruiters earn between $80,000 and $115,000 per year. The worst-performing executive recruiters earned an average of roughly $55,000, while top-performers brought home an impressive $130,000+. Independent executive recruiters and recruiters who work for executive search firms often earn higher total compensation, due to lucrative placement performance bonuses. 

What Are The Largest Executive Search Firms? 

There are many large executive search firms such as Korn Ferry, Robert Half, and Heidrick & Struggles. However, the biggest executive search firms aren’t always the best choice. Often, a more specialized boutique executive search firm can offer a more personalized and in-depth executive search process. 

How Medallion Partners Stands Out from Other Executive Search Firms

Medallion Partners is a world-class executive search firm with more than 15 years of experience creating top-notch placements. As a boutique agency, we provide “Big 5” outcomes and influence, while still maintaining a more personal and attentive level of care with each of our partners.

Our talent acquisition specialists are armed with the experience, expertise, and resources your organization needs to capture the best possible candidate for your hard-to-fill leadership position. We’ve successfully generated placements in nearly every industry, and our candidate retention rate after two years is over 98%, thanks to our assimilation and transition program. If you’re ready to elevate your organization with a transformative hire, reach out to us today!

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