Executive Recruiting For Dummies
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Your ability to quickly hire top talent to capitalize on market changes allows for value creation on a startling level — and professional recruiters help to enhance that ability. Professional recruiters spend all day, every day finding the specialized candidates you need. They're attuned to you and your competitors, as well as industry and market trends. These pros focus full-time on your search, employing all the tools at their disposal.

They'll also handle all the financial negotiations with the candidates you choose. The end result of these efforts is successful, long-view hires of executives who will set your company apart and help you soar.

Satisfying stakeholders

There are several stakeholders in any executive search, from internal staff to external candidates. A solid professional recruiter can satisfy all these stakeholders. Internal staff take comfort in knowing that the professional recruiter is doing everything possible to fill their need, and that the resulting candidate will be on target. And candidates will view a search conducted by a top executive recruiter as a credible one, making it much easier for you to select from the best of the best.

Easing your burden

Today's internal HR function must contend with an intensely competitive marketplace, a fluid and mobile workforce, an unpredictable global environment, the demands of investors and stakeholders, and the economic fallout when strategy fails. In other words, its hands are full. Fortunately, professional executive recruiters can help lighten the load of HR.

Professional executive recruiters work closely with internal staff to assemble position profiles that fit your business culture and leadership models, while remaining sensitive to changing workplace and workforce issues as well as evolving management styles. They then turn to their corps of library and market researchers, as well as their own leading-edge information services and database resources, for direct sourcing of world-class candidates. Finally, they mount aggressive one-on-one marketing campaigns to deliver your opportunity straight to the targeted executives highlighted by their research. The upshot? HR is freed from these responsibilities.

Reducing opportunity cost

A good recruiter can shorten the time to market in several ways. One is by identifying what aspects of your company will appeal to (or repel) candidates, and matching candidates accordingly. Another is by expertly defining your need and identifying what the ideal candidate really looks like. Finally, a good recruiter can warn you when you've set your sights on a purple squirrel (the perfect — and nearly impossible to find — candidate) and explain the impact that searching for such a candidate will have on the hiring effort and on the salary you'll need to pay. The bottom line? Recruiters help you market your company and position to attract the best candidates. That saves you time. Opportunity cost is often exponentially more valuable than the cost of the search.

Being nimble

Back in the dark ages (a few years ago), a talent search was like a two-dimensional board game. The process was so simple and structured, even less-skilled members of the HR staff could handle it. Now, talent searches are more like videogames. It's zap or get zapped, all in real time. In such a fast-paced environment, you must be able to clearly define your mission — no wasted energy and no blurred vision. That means you need a team of people who think in three dimensions — nothing else will do. A good recruiter can do just that. A good recruiter — someone who's ready to take on a fast-paced, complex world — can help you seize new opportunities as they arise, enabling your organization to move more nimbly and quickly.

Building trust

A good recruiter excels at establishing trust with your internal clients and stakeholders, often acting as a sounding board. But good recruiters are good at building rapport with potential candidates, too. This helps the recruiter to sell the position, mediate discussions, negotiate, resolve issues or questions, and close the deal. It also helps the recruiter to assess the likelihood that the candidate will accept the position if offered. A recruiter who has built trust with a candidate is much more likely to find out if that candidate is leaning toward rejecting your offer, enabling the search team to address the candidate's concerns before it's too late.

Being discreet

When you need to keep your search confidential — maybe an individual is about to be let go, but you need to fill his role as soon as he leaves — a professional recruiter is the way to go. Professional recruiters can probe the market, reach out to employees at competing companies, and even guide candidates through the early stages of the hiring process without revealing your company's identity.

Inviting continuous improvement

Why stop recruiting after you fill the job? Far better to keep your staff focused on the core business but put a recruiter on the lookout to replace the weakest players on your team. That way, you'll see continuous improvement. When you use a professional recruiter, you don't have to just hire one position at a time. You can be hiring always.

Bringing competitive intelligence

Because of their deep industry knowledge, search firms can be an excellent source of market knowledge on topics ranging from compensation to organizational structure to talent mapping. No internal HR professional will be able to uncover this type of information!

Increasing retention

Recruiters are experts at identifying a candidate's intrinsic motivation for considering a new job. They can home in on a candidate's hot buttons and sell to her, improving your chances of hiring the right candidate for the job. And when you hire the right candidate, that candidate is more likely to stick around, increasing your retention rate.

Odds are, there's only one "best" candidate for your open position. That candidate should be handled by an experienced recruiter — someone who does this 20 times before breakfast.

Getting your money's worth

Professional recruiters employ rigorous techniques to locate, identify, and evaluate top candidates. They'll also work on your search exclusively. In effect, you're paying for this exclusivity. It enables the recruiter to focus on your needs and your needs only, which in turn produces both qualified candidates and quick results. What other professional group guarantees its work — some for up to one year — even though it has little control over the quality of the hiring manager or whether the hired executive likes the company or his direct supervisor? What other professional group is willing to work on a pay-for-performance basis? If you find one, let us know!

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

David E. Perry has completed more than 1,000 searches on five continents negotiating over $300 million in salaries. His near perfect success rate is 300% better than the industry average? one reason why The Wall Street Journal dubbed him the "Rogue Recruiter."Mark J. Haluska works internationally to fill positions from upper- middle management to president and CEO -level positions. Mark is a self-taught recruiter and has packaged deals as high as $4.2M.

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