One of the keys to the successful running of any enterprise is knowing when an expenditure is going to be worth it. The natural inclination of most successful businesspeople, obviously, is to balk at the prospect of paying for something they’re not convinced they need.
For something like contracting an executive recruiting firm for a high-level hire, the fact that listing a position and interviewing candidates is something that can be and has been done in-house can make the hirer even more hesitant to pay a third-party. When it comes to C-level hiring, however, engaging a recruiting firm is some of the best money you’ll spend for your business, and the cost of not doing so can be much, much greater.
1. Recruiting Firms Find Better Candidates Faster
The secret to success for the good executive recruitment firms is a familiar one: networking. In the more rarified air of C-level recruiting, the specialist recruiter knows most everyone in the industry. They know the businesses and their quirks and cultures—they even know many of their secrets. An executive recruiter is often among the only people who know that a talented executive is unhappy and looking for a change.
If you’re hiring for a C-level position in a data analytics firm, for instance, the analytic recruiting specialist from the recruiting company you engage knows who in that space is looking for something new. The recruiter also knows whose personality would complement the rest of the management team, who looks great on paper but doesn’t work well with others, and everything else worth knowing. And those aren’t insights helpfully included on resumes.
That means a golden shortlist of the most experienced, accomplished, relevant, and culture-simpatico candidates, instead of an avalanche of resumes ranging in experience.
2. Unbiased Consideration
One of the benefits of working with a third-party recruiting firm is that they’re outside looking in. The closer to the top the position is, the more fraught the candidate considerations can be. There are internal alliances, friendships, animosities, favors owed, favored underlings, and all of the other machinations of a workplace. Most of the time, it’s not even Machiavellian maneuvering. It’s a preference for a well-liked coworker who’s terrific at wooing clients but is entirely unprepared to be VP of the ecommerce division.
And when your ecommerce division’s short a VP, the recruiting firm’s ecommerce recruitment guru is going to be calling the digital marketing and profit optimization savants rather than making a well-meaning but ill-fated hiring decision.
There is any number of reasons that it’s in the best interest of a business to keep the filling of a position quiet. When hiring discretion and confidentiality is imperative, a third-party recruiting firm is invaluable.
4. It’s Their Job
For most hiring decisions, the in-house HR team assigned to sort and vet applicants do a great job. C-level applicant hunting, however, is simply a different beast. As the executive recruiter truism reminds us, the best candidate for the job already has a job.
It’s possible that the executive, officer, or VP your firm is looking for is checking job boards and taking calls from the HR hiring manager, but extremely unlikely. The prospect of the aforementioned resume avalanche and several dozen unqualified hopefuls clogging all communication with requests for an interview, despite not quite meeting all the qualifications, might be a bit more the reality.
And while they’re sorting through this deluge, HR still has to perform all of their other job functions. Not so with a recruiting firm, where a recruiter’s job is bringing you the best candidates available. Which, if not priceless, is close to it