What Is The Role Of An Executive Search Firm?

02 Feb What Is The Role Of An Executive Search Firm?

Too many organizations remain unfamiliar with the vital role executive search firms play in businesses across industries. With companies facing stiffer competition for talented employees by the day – particularly in executive and other leadership roles – a working knowledge of the role executive search firms play in the success of a company has become essential. 

In this blog, we’ll break down executive search firms’ key responsibilities, explore common advantages and disadvantages, and provide actionable tips for choosing the ideal executive search partner for your organization.

What Do Executive Search Firms Do?

Executive search firms are recruiting agencies that exclusively partner with organizations dealing with challenging executive or specialist vacancies. 

Executive search firms take advantage of their niche in the recruiting world by developing data-driven strategies, advanced technologies, and diverse, expansive networks that position them to access hard-to-reach candidate pools of top leaders and specialists.

Executive search firms then leverage their connections and access for the benefit of their clients. They connect organizations with members of their networks that represent fantastic performance, cultural, and leadership fits, saving their clients time, money and stress. 

Executive Search Firms’ Advantages And Disadvantages

Working with an executive search firm provides a host of advantages and a few disadvantages that organizations should be aware of before signing any contracts. 

Executive search firms’ primary advantage is their complete immersion in the executive and specialist talent markets. Their complete focus on serving the highest rungs of the corporate ladder allows executive search firms to reach deeper into tough markets and leverage their access more effectively than in-house or generalist recruiters typically can. 

Executive recruiters’ hard-earned networks and invaluable access translates into faster hires, lower recruiting costs, and better placement outcomes for organizations that choose to partner with them – a priceless trio during the ongoing War for Talent.

However, organizations should also be prepared for the downsides of partnering with executive search firms. The primary disadvantage of partnering with an executive search firm is cost. Most executive search firms charge 25-35% of the vacancy’s first-year salary. This makes them roughly 5-10% more expensive than most generalist recruiting agencies

Combined with the larger compensation packages offered to executive hires, this structure can lead to recruitment fees that are a bit steeper than your organization may have gotten used to while acquiring lower-level hires. 

How To Choose An Executive Search Firm?

Choosing the right executive search partner can make or break the success of your hiring push. 

Decision-makers should invest time, attention, and care into interviewing potential search partners to verify their performance records and reputations before even considering trusting an organization with a task as pivotal as executive search.  

Here are three essential qualities to look for in an executive search firm before committing to a partnership.

1) A Solid Track Record

The best executive search firms will be eager to point towards a list of wins when meeting a new client. Don’t be afraid to ask executive search firms about their successful placement rate, their placement retention rate, and other crucial metrics during discovery meetings.

If a potential executive search partner balks at your performance-related questions or offers vague, non-specific responses, you may be better off partnering with another firm.

2) Wide-Ranging Industry Experience

An executive search partner with experience in your industry is great. But an executive search firm with experience across multiple industries is even better. 

Organizations that are looking to fill niche, specialized, or complex roles should seek out search partners with a strong history of successfully placing candidates across industries. Why? Because an ability to effectively and efficiently serve multiple industries signals a deep, multi-faceted candidate network.

3) A Well-Defined and Data-Driven Search Process

Effective executive search firms invest significant amounts of time and money into developing replicable, data-driven search processes that empower them to consistently generate high-value placements for their clients. 

Once the best executive search firms develop a reliably winning strategy, they begin to tweak and refine their process for each client to further enhance the success of their program and the value of their placements.

If you encounter an executive search firm that can only provide a general outline of a vague recruitment process, your money may be better invested elsewhere. 

How Medallion Partners Gives You An Executive Hiring Advantage 

Medallion Partners is a premier boutique executive search agency with 15+ years of experience generating top-tier placements. 

Our talent acquisition specialists have successfully placed exciting and innovative candidates in exciting positions across industries using Medallion’s tried-and-true executive search process. Our careful strategies and post-hire support practices have led to over 98% of our placements still being in their roles after two years. 

Our team is ready to put their deep networks and unmatched commitment to client success to work for you. If your business is facing a painful, costly, or complicated vacancy, reach out to us today to see how we can help.

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