What is the Process of Executive Search?

What is the process of executive search

What is the Process of Executive Search?

It’s never been more time-intensive, stressful, or expensive for companies to find executive talent than now. 

HR departments are stretched too thin to devote the attention, energy, and thoroughness required to fill executive roles. As a result, businesses suffer from poor performance, cultural mismatches, and costly turnover. 

These challenges have led to a growing push by businesses across industries to begin investing in executive searches for talent, a bespoke executive placement process that trades “wide-net” recruitment tactics for refined, strategic, and impactful practices that attract the top 10% of professionals in your industry. 

Attracting Candidates: Recruitment vs. Executive Search

Organizations have made the costly mistake of conflating day-to-day recruitment with an executive search for far too long. 

Talented in-house recruiters play a crucial role in the growth and success of any company. But the unfortunate reality is they often lack the global reach, unique market insights, and executive experience to effectively attract, onboard, and retain top-tier candidates. 

Executive search specialists abandon ineffective tools like oversaturated job boards, tired internal databases, and lackluster referral networks in favor of data-driven search processes, intense market research, and access to networks of one-in-a-million executives across the globe. 

What Is Executive Talent?

The first step to consistently attracting and onboarding executive talent is understanding executive talent. 

Many organizations consider anyone applying to an executive role “executive talent.” But for Executive Search Consultants, the term only refers to the upper echelons of executives – the people making outsized impacts in their organizations and waves in their industries. 

These candidates have track records of success, are excellent cultural fits, and possess exceptional leadership abilities. The only problem? 86% are gainfully employed and not actively seeking a new role.

What Is an Executive Search Firm?

Executive search firms are organizations that live, breathe, and sleep executive talent acquisition. 

Unlike formulaic recruitment firms that only aim to fill empty seats, executive search firms see each open role as a complex and unique consulting project. These firms leverage their vast networks, data-backed strategies, and executive experience and insight to identify and attract the absolute best candidates for the position at hand. 

The best executive search firms also trade in discretion – an invaluable tool when approaching industry leaders that haven’t publicly signaled that they are open to exploring new opportunities. 

How Executive Search Firms Find Candidates: A Step-by-Step Guide

The executive search process can vary depending on which firm you choose as your partner. 

However, there are a few hallmarks of an effective, refined executive search process that can help your organization identify a high-performing, strategic firm committed to a successful placement. 

  1. Strategize

Effective executive search firms approach each project as a new and unique challenge. 

That means that instead of applying routine solutions, firms like Medallion Partners invest time in assessing your business needs, gathering extensive global market data, and clearly defining the search process. Common steps in the strategy phase include:

  • Analyzing your organizational structure
  • Identifying cultural and diversity needs
  • Defining the total reward
  • Creating the job description
  • Determining time-to-hire
  • Establishing an interview schedule
  • Identifying decision makers 
  1. Search

After your executive search partner has created your unique executive placement strategy, they’ll officially begin their search. 

The best executive search firms start their search by researching the global candidate market to identify qualified candidates with a high chance of cultural, mission, and leadership fit. 

Then, they’ll begin to discreetly and professionally engage with these candidates to gauge their openness to exploring new opportunities. As your search partner steadily qualifies candidates, they’ll start promoting your position, company, and culture.

The Medallion Matrix 

Once your executive search partner has established a pool of qualified, interested candidates, they’ll begin the evaluation process to determine finalists. 

For the best odds of success, your executive search partner should use a data-driven system to evaluate candidates – not subjective impressions or “gut feelings.” 

Our system, the Medallion Matrix, considers 16 unique criteria across three evaluation segments (Execution, Leadership & Cultural Fit, and Hireability) to ensure we’re placing the right person in the right role. 

Our data-driven evaluation matrix is a vital facet of Medallion Partner’s 99% placement satisfaction rate.

  1. Secure

Once candidate finalists have been identified, evaluated, and approved, elite search firms will launch a final round of candidate reviews that often includes predicting assimilation, verifying references, and validating background checks.

Once a candidate clears the final review, it’s time to make an offer! Your executive search partner should reach out to your ideal candidate with the total reward offer, relocation benefits, and assimilation services. 

If the candidate accepts the role, your executive search partner will immediately begin supporting your new team member through their resignation, relocation, and company and cultural assimilation. 

  1. Succeed

The best executive search partners understand a successful placement isn’t guaranteed simply because the paperwork is complete. That’s why executive search firms like Medallion Partners offer complimentary onboarding strategies, support, and success planning for day one and beyond.

We offer comprehensive, 365-day executive talent transition and assimilation support that allows your new hire to focus on the new job, while we handle the stressors of transitioning into a new role, company, and community. 

Want to Learn More About Executive Search?

Hiring for high-level roles can be a time-consuming and frustrating process. At this level, the stakes are high, so it is imperative to find the right candidates. There is a reason that 98% of the catitidates placed by Medallion Partners are still with their companies after two years. We don’t just find the perfect candidates, we help them with every part of their transition, both professionally and personally. Contact us today to learn more about our process and how it could help your company find the right people for even the most difficult-to-fill roles.