What Should I Ask An Executive Recruiter Before Hiring?

What Should I Ask An Executive Recruiter Before Hiring?

What Should I Ask An Executive Recruiter Before Hiring?

Making an informed decision is always a good business practice, but it’s especially imperative when choosing an executive search partner. 

Choosing the right partner can put your organization on the fast track to higher performance, stronger morale, and growing profitability. But making the wrong call can be catastrophic – costing your organization thousands of dollars, painfully stretching your time-to-fill, and harming your staff’s long-term cohesion, performance, and longevity.

Fortunately, arming yourself with relevant, revealing, and hard-hitting questions can help you separate high-performing search firms from their less impressive competitors. This blog will cover some crucial questions to ask every potential executive search partner before you even consider signing on the dotted line.

What Is Executive Search Vs. Recruiting?

Understanding when to opt for an executive recruiter instead of your in-house recruiter or typical staffing partners can save your organization valuable time and money. 

Recruiters’ vital contributions to the ongoing success of businesses across industries can’t be understated. They provide efficient and effective services that empower organizations to maintain a full and productive roster, from industry specific roles to sometimes even mid-management roles.

But the same tools, techniques, and strategies that make in-house and general recruiters ideal for placing candidates into roles at earlier rungs of the corporate ladder can create roadblocks when it’s time to recruit a new executive or highly specialized team member. 

Conversely, executive recruiters’ strategies, tools, techniques, and processes are all created and refined to exclusively identify, engage, evaluate, and onboard top-tier executives and hard-to-find niche specialists, such PhD level researchers. 

By specializing in these high-complexity placements, executive recruiters can invest significantly more time, energy, and resources into understanding the fast-paced, high-stakes executive talent market

What Makes a Good Executive Search Firm?

The best executive search firms share numerous qualities. Learning to spot these qualities can help guide your search for an executive search partner and ensure your final decision is informed, measured, and built on sound reasoning.

What Should I Ask An Executive Search Firm Before Working With Them?

Here are a few questions to ask an executive search for before deciding to work with them to fill a role at your company. 

What is your executive search process?

The best executive search firms use strategic, data-driven processes with excellent track records of generating successful placements. 

Beware of potential executive search partners that present vague, poorly thought out, or highly subjective methods for identifying, engaging, and evaluating potential candidates. A successful executive search company will have a well-laid out and tested process.

How do you meet DEI goals?

Executive search firms should have well-defined strategies and a history of supporting the success of their clients’ DEI initiatives. 

The best executive search firms leverage their global connections and hard-earned access to exciting executives, experts, and specialists to generate pools of talent that include diverse individuals from every walk of life. 

How long do searches normally take?

Time-to-Fill is a crucial performance metric for executive search firms. 

Elite executive search firms routinely compress the entire search, selection, and onboarding process into as little as 90 days – saving their clients months of climbing costs and performance issues. 

What is your placement rate?

Obviously, you want to find a firm with a high placement rate. If the firm doesn’t want to share this information, it could be a red flag. A good firm will have kept track of their placement rate and be happy to share it with you.

What is your retention rate for placed candidates?

A high placement rate doesn’t mean much if the retention rate is low. A high retention rate for placed candidates indicates that the executive search firm can find great cultural and personality fits in addition to finding a candidate with the right experience. 

What niches do you normally focus on?

While most generalist recruiting firms focus on one or two related industries, executive search firms tend to work across sectors

Medallion Partners, for example, has successfully placed executives and experts into new roles in industries that include:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Medical Devices
  • Financial Services
  • Banking
  • Private Equity
  • Consumer Goods
  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Technology
  • Nonprofit
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Medical Equipment
  • And more. 

What is your fee structure?

Fee structures can vary significantly between executive search firms, so clarifying payment structures and processes during the interview process is essential.

Most executive search firms charge 25-35% of the vacancy’s first-year compensation. Some firms only include salary in their definition of “compensation,” while others consider the role’s salary, benefits, perks, bonuses, and more when generating their project fee. Medallion Partners stands out in a competitive market by only charging a percentage of the placed candidate’s first year salary.  

What do you charge for successful placements?

Some executive search firms charge additional fees for successfully placing a candidate at your organization. Be sure to clarify with your point of contact whether your organization will be on the hook for extra payments at the end of the project to avoid any unexpected budgeting issues. 

Do you offer any help to candidates after they take the job?

The best executive search firms understand that successful placements aren’t finished once a contract is signed. 

Instead, they consider placements successful when their candidates have enjoyed a low-stress transition and rapid assimilation into their new environment, team, and company. 

Some executive search firms, like Medallion Partners, offer bespoke transition and assimilation services that empower executives and specialist hires to put their best foot forward from day one, thanks to personalized and attentive support, care, and guidance from our team.

How Medallion Partners Stands Out

Medallion Partners uses a unique and potent blend of advanced technology, data-driven search strategies, and executive and expert access to generate one-in-a-million placements for our clients. 

If your organization is tired of lackluster executive performance and costly C-suite churn, reach out today to learn more about our transformative executive search process.