Are You Expecting Too Little from Your Search Firm?
In an era when every job counts, and corporate fat has been ruthlessly trimmed, wouldn’t it make more sense to demand the utmost in quality, service and performance from an outside search provider?
Expecting More, Getting More
Many employers focus on what is often the least critical function, matching a candidate’s skills to the requirements of the job – as bulleted within the typical position description. Of course, some jobs are largely skills-based, but most at the managerial level hires and above depend on more than the successful performance of a task.
A seasoned recruiting firm’s process should not only assess personal skills in light of job requirements, but also match both specific past experience to future job needs and managerial style to corporate culture. The goal: identifying candidates who are an exceptionally close fit and will add value to the company.
This holistic approach to executive search requires a close collaboration between the outside recruiter and the internal hiring authority. The email exchange of job descriptions and résumés doesn’t get the job done effectively. It depends on a strong working relationship and open communication.
What to Require of a Search Professional
There is always a firm or individual willing to provide poor service for a low fee. In contrast, genuine search professionals base their livelihood on providing client companies their time and their expertise, so they gravitate to clients who will value both and reward them accordingly.
If you too value superior search performance, here are some factors to consider in selecting the right individual and firm:
How long has the search firm been in business? (Individual practitioners may be at different stages of their own careers, but they should be part of a firm that has played the recruiting game for a long time and knows the ropes.)
Does the firm have broad national/international capabilities and industry specific experience?
Has the search consultant taken the time to get to know you, your company and your industry?
Does the consultant provide a detailed document that confirms the mutual understanding of the search requirements?
Has the recruitment process been explained in depth, and does it seem on target?
Does the consultant’s sense of urgency and commitment match with the company’s?
Has the consultant earned your confidence and respect?
In return, are you willing to grant exclusivity and pay a fair fee?
The cost of any bad hire – in terms of poor decisions, lost profits and reduced productivity – can be astronomical. Professional recruiters help get it right the first time. Demand much of the search firm; your company’s future may depend on it.
Get the highest return on your recruiting investment.