Talent acquisition can pose a challenge for many organizations, especially when it comes to hiring senior executives and candidates with specific skill sets. Securing these types of professionals can demand a combination of recruitment strategies. One such approach is combining the expertise of internal human resources (HR) professionals (or corporate recruiters) with that of executive search consultants who specialize in a firm’s industry. Working as a team, these professionals can complement each other’s efforts throughout a search, resulting in an efficient hiring process and the acquisition of an ideal candidate.
All recruitment professionals know that the most important part of a hiring process is the preparation stage, which includes understanding the company’s goals and initiatives, and developing a position description and ideal candidate qualifications that address those objectives and plans. It is during this stage that corporate recruiters can provide valuable insight about the company, and its goals, operations, markets, and organizational culture. Concurrently, the executive search consultant can offer his/her insight of the marketplace, competitor firms, and prospective talent pool. They can also offer an outside perspective of the client’s organization, reputation, and corporate culture.
While company recruitment sites, LinkedIn, and other types of social media can be effective hiring tools for some positions, they are certainly not the best strategies for securing highly-talented candidates who are passive regarding new career opportunities. Finding these types of individuals takes strategic leveraging of resources and experienced executive search consultants are known for their skills in this area. Not only do they have extensive networks of pertinent industry contacts but they can be more aggressive when sourcing candidates beyond what is be typical for HR professionals. They understand how to overcome the limitations of a talent pool and how to identify candidates across a much wider space.
Executive search consultants also realize that, sometimes, the best candidates may come from different industries than that of the client organization. They refer to these individuals as “non-traditional” candidates. Sometimes it is these “out of the box” professionals who have the right abilities and experiences to make a positive impact and stimulate progress.
Any person who has ever been responsible for hiring knows that evaluating candidates goes beyond assessing their technical skills and experiences, and that it can be their intangibles which can determine their success. These intangibles range from a candidate’s motivations and career goals to their ideal cultural fit. Working in tandem during this stage, HR professionals and executive search consultants can be very productive in the evaluation of candidates. HR professionals bring their first-hand knowledge of their corporate cultures and the traits of their successful employees, while consultants can dig in to candidates’ intangible qualities, discovering their motivations, personality traits, and possible family issues that could impact their place-ability and overall fit with the client organization.
It is important to realize that just because a candidate is interested in learning more about a new career opportunity doesn’t mean they are going to accept an offer if presented one. Upper-tier professionals could be exploring multiple opportunities so it’s important to remain strategic in attracting them, and selling them on the client organization and its opportunity. They will have different abilities, motivational factors, and compensation packages, which requires different types of pursuits. Working together, a corporate recruiter and search consultant can navigate these factors. Ultimately, they will assist in determining a slate of final candidates, and structuring an offer and attractive compensation package specifically designed for the right professional.
When corporate recruiters and executive search consultants are joined in a recruitment process, each can provide immense value through their strengths and perspectives. Working in unison, they can generate an efficient, timely, and successful hire of an ideal candidate who can significantly impact a company’s bottom line.
*Note: Since the release of this blog, our posts on recruitment were noticed by Cleverism, a leading educational website. If you're involved in recruitment, don't miss their article From Good to Great: How to Become a Badass Recruiter. We highly recommend it!