Executive Search


Lorenz Illing


Be Aware of the Magnitude of Hiring the Right or Wrong Executive

Regardless of industry, business model and company size, having the right execuitves and leaders on your management team is probably on of the most important competitive advantages you have to fight for. Outstanding executives and leaders are those who shape a companies culture and direction, leverage the companies resources to the edge and adopt disruptive innovations fast in order to roll past the competition. 

Imagining the consequences and costs of having not the right executives in charge, the value created through a good executive search consultancy becomes quite perceptible.

Decide on a Partner ­– Not on a Service Provider

By selecting an executive search consultancy you not only decide on a simple service provider but a partner, which ideally will stay at your side as a consultant for many years. The more the consultancy knows about you and your business, the better it can provide its service of finding the best executives and experts fitting to your unique wants and needs. 

Besides the experience with the vacant profile of yours and the deep knowledge about your specific business and market characteristics, also challenge the complexity and holism of the provided executive search process. Now having shortlisted the best consultancies on basis of ther professional skills and experiance, choose the one you trust and can build up a long-term partnership with. 

Carefully Decide on a Fee Structure

Recruiting firms are paid either on the basis of a successful outcome (i.e. you hire the person suggested by the recruiting firm), on the basis of their efforts (e.g. in hours or days) or a mixture of both (i.e. you pay a fixed fee for the search process and a provision in case of a successful placement). Advantage of the success-based model is that it lowers the financial risk of the client company to a minimum. Hence the financial risk stays at the recruiting firm, which as a consequence can lead to diminishing the most resource- and labor-intense activities and shifting the concentration on a time-driven rather than a quality-driven search process. 


Don’t Only Focus on Cost

Cost considerations should not play the major role in the discussion about the right recruiting consultancy. Much more important is to identify the recruiting firm, which is most likely able to identify, convince and finally place the best fitting executive. Choosing an economic consultancy might sound financially attractive in the first place but a wrong or sub-optimal executive placement can have a negative impact which exceeds by far the hiring cost due to lost performance, cost of re-hiring and confusion/disorientation of employees regarding the direction of the company. 

Don’t Forfeit Your Image at Your Candidates

Some executives search firms offer their service on a hundred percentage success base so some clients tend to assign several search firms with this fee structure at the same time for the same vacancy. The client’s financial risk stays at the same low level because only the successful serach firm needs to be recompensated. Additionally the speed of the search and the quantity of candidates is expected to increase because not only one but several search firms are actively scanning the market. Nevertheless, the possible downside is to forfeit the companies image at the most wanted candidates. Being approached from different executive search agencies for the same position might let the employer appear unorganized, unprofessional or too desperate. 

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