Six Factors for Selecting an Executive Search and Professional Recruiting Firm

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When choosing an executive search or professional recruiting firm, your company is not simply looking to fill an open position but rather solve a business problem or achieve desired business outcomes with an extraordinary new leader. Selecting the right firm for your organization is a critical business decision as it impacts your company’s culture, strategy, and business success. Leveraging our 20 years of experience in the industry, Human Capital Solutions has outlined six factors for selecting an executive search and professional recruiting firm.

1) Industry Expertise and Functional Knowledge

According to a client survey conducted by the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC), executives indicated that a firm’s industry and functional knowledge are essential factors to consider when choosing an executive search firm. To find a qualified, top-performing leader for your organization, it’s crucial to identify a consultant who understands your company’s goals, desired business outcomes, industry, and a clear vision of success.

The HCS team comprises subject matter experts that have experience in the industries for which we recruit – healthcare, the industrials, life sciences, technology, and private equity. Our managing directors are connected to industry thought leaders and understand the industry-specific challenges that businesses face today.

2) Firm Reputation and Credibility

Before selecting an executive search or professional recruiting firm, it’s critical to do your research. Your executive search consultant should serve as a “trusted advisor” that provides strategic insight and minimizes risk. To understand a firm’s reputation and credibility, turn to peers, ask for references, and research the company’s online reviews.

It’s also important to check the firm’s credentials. For example, AESC members have been carefully vetted and adhere to AESC’s rigorous quality standards. Human Capital Solutions is a proud member of AESC. HCS is committed to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, integrity, and competence and will reflect and demonstrate these attributes throughout every phase of the search process.

3) Well-Defined Process and Assessment Methodology

Successful search firms have well-defined processes and innovative tools to help them identify, evaluate, and place top candidates. To ensure a positive executive search and professional recruiting experience, ask about the prospective firm’s search process and assessment methodology. Having this conversation on the front end of the search allows for more transparency, efficiency, and accountability.

HCS has built a proprietary business platform with tools that successfully align companies with top professional talent. HCS starts by taking organizations through a proprietary discovery process, where we learn about culture, values, unique needs, and the true impact that employees have on the company. In addition, there is a process behind candidate discovery. Armed with your organization’s voice, we can help your company hire high-performing players that intimately match your company culture. We determine the candidate’s mutual interest, qualifications, career stage, values, competency, and organizational alignment using our assessments and evaluations.

4) Facilitation Process with Clients and Candidates

The best executive search consultants serve as “trusted advisors,” sharing insights and market trends relevant to your company and industry. The best advisors have a strong facilitation process with clients and stay in touch on an ongoing basis. Perhaps just as important is the facilitation process with candidates. The search firm your organization selects will be representing your company and brand, so you want to make sure they prioritize the candidate experience and positive candidate communication.

5) Quality of Deliverables

Before launching your search, ask the search firm to outline what deliverables will be provided for each candidate presentation and throughout the process. Does the firm simply pass along a resume, or do they include written assessments and reports that provide more information about the prospective candidate?

For example, HCS conducts a mutual interest and prequalification assessment and has a proprietary tool called the Candidate Summary Value Proposition Matrix © (CSVP). The CSVP aims to clearly lay out a candidate’s background, highlighting their specific, position-relevant experience and qualifications in a SOAR format – Situation, Organization, Action, and Results.

6) Proven Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Research shows that companies with an inclusive workplace and diverse workforce have better profitability and productivity than those that don’t. Business leaders worldwide understand that diversity, equity, and inclusion fuel creativity and innovation. Being the employer of choice today requires organizations to have a pipeline of diverse talent at all levels. Also, you want to ensure your organization engages a firm that prioritizes DEI.

Talk to Our Team of Subject Matter Experts

Selecting the right search firm for your company is a critical business decision. If you’d like to learn more about our offerings, processes, or the industries we serve, contact our team of consultants.

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