photo by Leo ReynoldsRecently, clients have asked me how recruiters work.  And lo and behold, I received an email asking if I wanted to run an article on my blog about how recruiters work.

I rarely feature guest posts for two reasons: I don’t have time to evaluate them for fit with my blog, and I want only to provide really valuable information to my readers. This met the criteria of being really valuable, and because there’s an infographic, it was quick and easy for me to review.  Then I asked for text to fill it out, and my guest blogger, Matt Zajechowski of Digital Third Coast Internet Marketing, sent something short and full of good content.  I hope you get something from this.  

Infographic on Recruiting Process

Executive Recruiting: How it Works

As with any job opening, executive positions can take a while to fill. The hiring company typically needs to promote the open position, review the resumes and cover letters of applicants, interview several qualified candidates, and then make their final decision. But because they’re recruiting someone who will oversee the entire company’s operations and employees, they need to take even more time going over candidates’ qualifications and ensuring that they’ve found the right fit. This whole process can eat into valuable time that the company could be using to focus on other goals, which is why many large companies have started working with executive search firms.

What is an Executive Search Firm?

Executive search firms essentially serve as matchmakers between companies and executive candidates. These firms employ consultants who are responsible for building networks of relationships with people in executive positions, making it easier to find qualified candidates in a reasonable amount of time. They first send someone to meet with the hiring company to determine what requirements and preferred skills that company is looking for, and then they work to find candidates who meet the company’s needs.

Hiring companies typically pay executive search firms for their services in one of three ways. First, they might pay the firm on retainer, giving them full payment up front. Some executive search firms will also work on container, where they receive part of their payment up front and the rest on the completion of their services, or on contingency, where they do not receive any payment until they placed an executive with the hiring company.

How an Executive Search Firm Places Candidates

As mentioned above, the first thing an executive search firm needs to do is meet with the hiring company to learn more about the position and requirements. While learning about the position, the firm representative will also be thinking about how to market the position to make it appealing for the most qualified candidates, especially since some of those candidates may already have secure jobs with another company.

The executive search firm will promote the position using consultant-candidate communications and will also actively research potential candidates using firm-wide tools and resources. When they have a large enough pool of applicants, they will review resumes and cover letters to narrow the pool down to several of the most-qualified candidates who will be invited to interview.

In most cases, the executive search firm will select several finalists based on their in-depth interviews and demonstrated ability. The firm will present these finalists to the hiring company, and it’s up to the hiring company to evaluate these candidates and make a selection, at which point the executive search firm will verify that candidate’s background information and qualifications.

Once the hiring company extends a job offer to their selected candidate, the executive search firm will facilitate acceptance and help the company and candidate negotiate an agreement that works for everyone.

Want to learn even more about the executive hiring process? Check out the new infographic from Executive Recruiters PierceGray.