The Steps of the Executive Search Process

Finding the right executive is one of the most important decisions that any business will ever make. This is why more and more businesses are outsourcing the executive search to top executive recruiting firms. Executive search consultant services go through certain steps in order to find the right talent to head up a company. Both job candidates and businesses would do well to understand the steps that top executive recruiting firms go through in order to find the right match for a company.

Analyzing the Client

This important first step begins when the executive placement agency meets with the client. At this point, top executive recruiting firms are trying to outline the requirements of the search, nail down timelines, understand the mission and strategy of the client, and get some idea of the corporate culture. As time goes on, the executive staffing agency will begin a thorough analysis of the company that is hiring them to search. They are looking to establish a clear candidate profile and understand how the candidate is expected to fit into the corporate culture and the organizational structure. They will also be looking for opportunities this position affords to a new executive, as this helps in attracting the right talent.

Analyzing the Market

The next important step for top executive recruiting firms is a deep analysis of the market so they can create an executive job profile that will attract the right talent. Market analysis looks at the competition, the business environment, and the types of executives that typically fill the sort of position they’re hiring for. Top executive recruiting firms typically have a team of skilled researchers who will look through the market and produce the documents that nail down the specifics about the candidate and serve as a reference throughout the search process. After the initial analysis, deeper analysis will be done. This deeper analysis identifies key companies that the executive search firm may wish to recruit from. It will also lay out all the avenues that could be explored to gain access to candidates.

Making a List

After the market and the client have been analyzed, it’s time to start making a list of potential candidates. Creating this list is known in the industry as “name generation,” or sometimes “talent mapping.” At this point, the list can be quite large. Talent acquisition services will then begin wading through this list looking for the best targets and identifying suitable candidates.

Analyzing the Candidates

Once the initial list is been made and weeded down, top executive recruiting firms will start setting up meetings with the candidates who are still on the list in order to reduce the list to no more than 10. Detailed interviews take place during this stage, in which the executive recruiting consultants explore the backgrounds of every candidate, conduct detailed interviews to discuss specifics of the job, and find out which candidates have the competency and interest to fill the role. When the list is finally narrow down, top executive recruiting firms will do a basic background check on remaining candidates before presenting a shortlist to the client.

The Shorter Short List

The next step involves meeting with a client and working together with them to narrow the shortlist to three or four potential candidates. Once this list is been generated, executive recruiting firms begin a very thorough reference check and background check, sometimes even hiring specialist firms to help them, in order to provide as complete a final analysis of the candidates as possible to the client.

Interviews and Offers

At this point, the clients themselves will take part in interviews and consideration of references, select a preferred candidate, and begin the process of negotiations on salary, benefits, and perks. Top executive recruiting firms may function as mediators to help make sure both parties are satisfied. Once the client has made their choice, and the candidate has accepted, some search firms will continue to help with the on-boarding process, if the client desires.

These are the basic steps that any of the top executive recruiting firms follow in finding the best executive talent for a business.