Executive Headhunters Blog

8 Questions to Ask a Managing Director in an Interview

When sitting down for an interview with a Managing Director, it’s obviously important to know exactly what you want to ask them. But what’s the best way of getting the most important things you need to know out of your interviewee? As much as you might want to sit there and pick their brains all day, you only have a limited time conducting an interview, and the more detailed your interviewees answers are, the less time you have to ask the important questions. Efficiency is key to a successful interview for both you and the candidate, and the best way of achieving this is by making every question count.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 key questions you might ask a Managing Director during an interview to help identify whether they are the natural leader your business needs.

1. What are your long term goals, did you achieve them, and how?

A fairly standard interview question, and for good reason. Every good leader should have a clear set of goals both for themselves and their business. You need to know what kind of expectations your interviewee sets for themselves, and if their goals align with yours as a company. Encourage them to elaborate on if and how they achieved these goals, with as much detail as possible. Make sure they explain how they achieved their goals or are on track to achieve them, or if not, why they think they didn’t. This is a fantastic method of gaining insight into your interviewee’s work process and achievements, as well as allowing the candidate to demonstrate their own self-awareness by acknowledging and understanding the reasons for their shortcomings.

2. What has been your biggest challenge, and how did you overcome it?

This can tie in nicely to the last question, and that’s because every Managing Director will have had to face significant challenges to achieve their company goals, and if they haven’t you’ll probably have to question if their goals were ambitious enough in the first place. We know that there’s nothing wrong with admitting to struggling or feeling challenged with something, and showing how you overcame such a challenge can be very impressive. Asking this is important to ensure that the person you’re interviewing is aware of and open about what they found to be challenging, and how they are able to tackle such issues in a way that will instil confidence in you should they face similar challenges in your role.

3. How important is company culture to you and what measures do you take to maintain your desired culture?

Every workplace leader should have a good awareness of their company culture and environment. By structuring some questions around this, you can find out if they view culture as important and what their ideal culture is. You can also find out about their adaptability, for example if they like their workplace to be a very specific environment, and how this attitude will transfer and adapt to your company. This is a good way of determining whether the candidate will thrive in your company or whether they will struggle to adapt or create influence in an unfamiliar work culture.

4. What are your values as a company leader? How do you ensure these values are upheld by employees?

Company values lie at the core of a well-functioning business, but attitudes to core values vary massively from company to company. Especially in customer or client facing businesses, many leaders like to build their business around such values, often highlighting them on their website, publications, around the offices etc. Ask the interviewee what, if any, values they have outlined either for themselves, or for their business, and what measures they take to uphold them.

You can start to piece together your interviewee’s priorities as a leader by inquiring into why their specific values are important over any others, and how this benefits their company. You can then find out more about their leadership skills and priorities by asking what actions they take to uphold these values with their employees across the business. If you want to go one step further, try and lead into a discussion about the values of your own company and how they would adjust to these, or what influence they would like to have.

5. What features make a good leader? Would you describe yourself as a good leader and why?

Think of this as a variation of the age-old ‘Name someone that inspires you’ prompt. Though you should feel free to utilise this, it may be more useful to focus on what qualities the candidate finds to be inspirational, as these qualities are what they are likely to try and emulate. Anyone can name someone who they think is a good leader, but it shows true insight for the candidate to be able to state why someone is a good leader. You can then inquire into how the interviewee views themselves, which of these qualities they share, or what other features they have that make them a good leader in order to get an idea of their perception of themselves.

6. Would you describe yourself as a risk taker? Describe some of the risks you have taken as MD and the results

This question usually garners divisive answers, but it can be an important factor to take into account. When hiring for a senior management or director level role, you’re probably going to want an individual who is not afraid to take risks, but at the same time one who isn’t careless or brash. How the interviewee answers this question will be interesting, as depending on the individual and the opportunity at hand, risk-taking can be perceived as a positive or negative quality. Asking them to describe risks they have taken to you also shows what actions they consider to be risks and for what reason.

7. How do you build rapport with your workers? Why do you think this is effective?

We know that, as managing director, the way you interact and build relationships with employees, other directors, and board members is crucial to your success. But relationships obviously aren’t just built overnight. Ask the interviewee what conscious efforts they made to build a rapport with workers in their business and why they think this method is effective. Find out if they like to be friendly, engaging, professional, distant, etc., and measure this against your company to see if their leadership style will fit with your current employees.

Other factors include whether they conduct rapport building in the office, or if they organise special team building activities out of office. Of course, if the candidate can fully justify the way they build rapport, they may still be a good fit for your business. It all revolves around solid, convincing justification.

8. What is your current and ideal work/life balance? What measures do you take to control the work/life balance of you and your employees?

It’s no secret that being a Managing Director takes a lot of work. It’s a busy job that offers very little downtime, and it’s easy for anyone to get burned out from overwork, no matter what your role is. To be successful in a senior role such as managing director it’s essential that you are able to balance your own work and personal life, as well as understand how other members of your business do this. Find out how your candidate manages their time, how much free time they afford themselves and for what reason it is or isn’t ideal. It’s also important to find out how they do this for their workers, for example if they expect employees to sacrifice all personal life, or if they value the importance of free time. Make sure to find out how they do this, via rules, incentives, or holidays for example.

Don’t Forget to Create a Dialogue

Most importantly, you shouldn’t feel the need to be too rigid with your interview questions. Trying to initiate a dialogue is ultimately the best way of allowing your interviewee to open up naturally and gives you a more complete view of who they are, how they think, and how they interact with other professionals. Allow yourself time when interviewing your candidate to have a more free-form discussion on a topic of your choice. This should give you a good idea of their critical discussion and conversational skills, even if the topic isn’t necessarily directly relevant to the job.

These are just some of the options you have when interviewing a Managing Director, but what’s important, no matter what specific questions you ask, is that you put your candidate to the test and get the information you need out of them to make sure that the candidate that you decide upon is the right individual to take your company to the next level.

5 Tips for Understanding a Candidate’s CV

If you work in recruitment or HR, the chances are you know the pain of wading through hundreds and thousands of CVs in search of that perfect candidate for your role. Reading over CVs can be a long and arduous task, and it’s deceptively easy to get caught by ‘tunnel vision’, risking passing over a potential candidate.

Luckily, the whole process can be made so much easier simply by knowing what to look for. This may seem obvious, after all, if you’re looking for candidates you probably already have at least a general outline of what you want. However, this doesn’t mean you should simply ignore the things that don’t seem immediately relevant. We all know that even though all the information on a good CV should be important, you just don’t have the time to read every single line of every single CV.

To help out, we have provided a list of 5 important things to look out for on each CV that will streamline the searching process and help you gain a better understanding of the candidate.

Keep an eye out for bespoke / personalised CVs

To begin, let’s address the issue of personalised CVs. You may have encountered discussion on whether CVs should be personalised for each job or whether those applying should save themselves time and use the same one. As it can be rather time consuming, it’s not surprising that most people don’t personalise their CV, which means that those who do can stand out to you and really appeal to your business. Try to keep an eye out for signs that the CV has been personalised for your role, as it shows the candidate has made an extra bit of effort to show their interest.

Don’t be put off by those who don’t personalise their CV though, it’s not always necessary as many people choose the option of attaching a cover letter. If possible, always pay attention to any cover letters that are included, as it gives the candidate a chance to show you what they understand about your company and the position in a helpful, up-front manner. It also lets them directly tell you why they believe themselves to be suitable for the position, as well as show you that they have took the time to appeal directly to your needs..

Consider all experience, not just most recent

When you’re reading through countless CVs, it can be easy to fall into the trap of only really considering the candidate’s current or most recent role, and not paying much attention to the rest. Of course, it’s understandable why one would do this, as it can save a lot of time, and an individual’s current job is often the most relevant. However, it’s almost always worth taking an extra few seconds to look over the candidate’s experience as a whole.

This can be especially important if you come across a candidate who has worked in multiple industries or sectors. You wouldn’t want to pass over a candidate because you see that they’re currently only 2 years into a job in a different industry, without noticing that they previously had 5 years’ experience in a relevant role.

Not only can this give you an indication the different skills and experience they’ve acquired, but it can also show their adaptability. For example, a candidate with no experience in your sector, but who possesses experience in jobs around various related sectors may show levels of adaptability and flexibility that would be transferable to your advertised position.

Analyse how they describe their roles

Everyone knows that an individual’s previous roles are important, but many people neglect to take a look at how the roles are described. How a person describes their roles, job descriptions, and responsibilities can tell you so much about them as an individual and as an employee. When you read through countless CVs, the process becomes automatic, and it can be easy to forget that what you are reading was written by a human, not a machine.

The way that someone describes the details of their involvement in a role is indicative of the way they view themselves, and their attitude towards work. For example, in job descriptions individuals will often write more about what they were particularly invested in, or what they perceived to be the most important part of the job.

It can also be a good idea to make note of how many different job titles or responsibilities the candidate names. Listing multiple responsibilities or titles per workplace can show great self-awareness, as well as understanding of what makes different roles and responsibilities unique. Awareness of one’s own abilities, contribution, and responsibilities is a great feature in a potential candidate, but one that is perhaps not immediately obvious if you aren’t looking for the signs.

Identify evidence and proof

So you’ve established what the candidate’s roles and responsibilities were and how they perceive them, but a question still remains; where is the proof? If someone can reinforce their influence and abilities by giving concrete examples of their actions and the positive effects, that’s a sign of a good candidate.

Often when reading through CVs, employers will simply take what the writer says at face-level, which is fine, as not everyone has the space on their CV to explain everything. However, it’s of course much more reassuring for you, the reader, if the candidate can clearly and concisely tell you;

  • What they did
  • Why they did it
  • How they did it
  • What effect this had

Obviously this is quite a lot to convey without getting too wordy, but you’ll find that when someone is able to include these things in their job overviews, they demonstrate a high level of understanding. This doubles up as evidence of not only writing ability, but also their ability to communicate, convey, and prioritise information in a concise, straight-forward manner, a skill that is of course highly valuable in many senior roles.

Find the candidate’s motivation

Perhaps the number one overlooked factor in CVs, motivation essentially influences an employee’s entire work ethic and enthusiasm for what they do. Unfortunately, you’ll rarely come across a specific ‘Motivation’ section, rather it has to be inferred.

Often you can get a sense of an individual’s level of motivation, as well as what specifically is a source of their motivation by looking for things such as;

  • Examples of situations where they showed significant drive in the workplace (e.g. implementation of unique or original strategies)
  • Volunteer work, or examples of going the extra mile
  • Impressive amounts of experience/dedication to non-workplace activities (e.g. second language learning, significant achievements in hobbies)

As we know, everybody wants their employees to have the drive to work hard and hit targets. As such, finding a CV that shows strong motivation to achieve something, whether it be in the workplace or as a hobby, is a fantastic indicator that the individual has the capacity to independently work hard to get results.

Though this list is by no means exhaustive, we hope to have highlighted some of the often overlooked yet undoubtedly important features of a CV, and provided some useful tips that you can utilise when searching through candidates. With this in mind you may be able to more effectively and efficiently analyse CVs and identify the best candidate for your role.

What to Consider When Recruiting a Sales Director or Sales Manager

Finding the right Sales Director or Sales Manager for your business can be difficult. The job market is incredibly competitive at the moment, especially for experienced salespeople. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, the US unemployment rate for sales and related occupations in March 2017 was the lowest since December 2000, over 16 years ago.

This means that the top talent get snatched up before you know it. You need to make sure that you can secure yourself the right talent before someone else does. But don’t be disheartened, you can make sure you still find the person you’re looking for, you just need to consider the recruitment process.

Here’s some things to consider when recruiting for a Sales Director or Manager position that could make your hiring process go a lot smoother.

The Searching Process

An inefficient talent search can end up wasting your time if you’re not looking for the right people. This means that you could lose top talent to another business, or that your perfect candidate might go unnoticed entirely. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind when looking for your next Sales Director / Manager.

  • The Candidate’s Current Role

An individual’s current role can tell you a lot about their skills, experience, and adaptability. Consider what the potential client is currently involved in. How similar is their current role to the role you want to place?

Remember, recruiting someone from the same sector or from a similar role can save time training, and may indicate that the candidate will ease into the role quickly. However, try not to exclude candidates just because they work in a different sector. Skills are often transferable, and just because a candidate may not have much experience in your sector, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t suited for the role.

It’s also worth noting that recruiting a new Sales Manager often isn’t as simple as just giving the job to the best salesperson. Naturally, a director role requires management and leadership skills that can only be picked up through training and senior level experience. Just because someone is an excellent salesperson, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re an excellent leader or manager.

  • Workplace Culture

Every office and company operates differently, especially when it comes to the workplace environment and culture. Before looking for candidates, consider where they will be working, who they will be working with, and in what capacity. Many businesses don’t account for workplace culture as much as they should, as choosing a candidate whose personality fits can make all the difference (you can help identify this using psychometric tests, which will be covered shortly).

  • Team Size & Customer Base

Consider how many colleagues the Sales Director will be working with. Ask yourself how many people they will be working alongside, and how many they will be giving direction to. Someone who has only ever worked with 3-4 people may not be the right person to lead a team of 10-20, and vice versa.

  • What Training Are You Prepared to Provide?

This can be a huge factor in deciding who you are going to look for and shortlist. You may want to decide whether you are looking for individuals with potential, or those who already have all the skills and sector knowledge. Being open to providing training for recruits can broaden your pool of prospects, as it reduces the need to be overly specific in your talent search and miss out on potential outlying candidates.

The Interviewing Stage

Once you’ve done some research and narrowed down your candidates, it’s time to move on to the interviewing stage. It goes without saying that this stage is crucial to understanding whether a candidate is perfect for the job or not, and you’ve got to get the most value possible out of each interview. After all, arranging and conducting interviews can be very time-consuming. The following are a few strategies you might want to employ when conducting your Sales Director interviews.

  • Conduct Multiple Interviews

If you have the time, it’s always a good idea to utilise a multi-stage interview process. The specifics of this depends on your preference, but generally it’s useful to meet prospects for at least two interviews, using a different format for each. This gives you a much more balanced and in-depth view on the candidate.

  • Create a Discussion

Often employers can make the mistake of being too rigid with their interviews. If you restrict your interviews to a basic question-answer format you might not get the most out of your candidate. You can often find out much more valuable information about them by trying to create discussions rather than simply questions and answers. This is especially important in sales roles, as it allows you to gauge an individual’s personality and communication skills, which are vital for successfully dealing with clients and leading and motivating colleagues.

  • Use Competency-Based Interviews

As mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to utilise different interview formats, especially if one of these is competency-based. What this means is to conduct part of your interview in a format that serves to measure the candidates technical merit rather than simply test their knowledge.

This will give candidates a chance to demonstrate their sales and management skills. There are numerous ways to test competency including group exercises, written/spoken tasks, and roleplaying. You can also ask candidates to describe specific experiences or give examples of times they have achieved something relevant.

  • Utilise Role-Playing

One of the key skills you’ll want your Sales Director to have is the ability to analyse situations and react appropriately. Using role play and practice situations can be a great way to allow the candidate to demonstrate their abilities to you. You can conduct the role playing yourself during the interview, or set a task for candidates to carry out between themselves, it’s up to you.

  • Consider Standardised Format

We’ve touched upon creating discussion in interviews in order to know candidates more personally, however when deciding the overall interview format, you should consider standardisation. By using the same format for each candidate, you create a fair process that allows candidates equal opportunity to sell themselves to you. It’s also a good idea to use the same set of questions for at least part of the interview process, as doing this allows candidates answers to be directly compared.

  • Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are a handy, standardised way of measuring your candidate’s personality and ability. By using personality tests during the interviewing or shortlisting phase you can gain insight into your candidate’s thought process, preferences, and behaviour.

You can also use linguistic and numerical reasoning tests to measure their verbal and mathematical abilities, which are essential for the sales director role.

Before conducting these tests, it’s useful to think about what type of results you are looking for. For example, what type of personality is right for your office or role? Have any other employees taken psychometric tests, and if so how do their results compare?

We’re Here to Help

Senior level sales executives are in high demand, so if you want to find the perfect candidate, be thorough in the searching and interviewing process. You may also consider using a headhunting service to find the right candidate. Headhunting agencies can be a great aid as they know exactly what to look for and where to look, and can save you time and money by handling the whole process for you.

If you are struggling to find your ideal Sales Director or Manager, feel free to contact us at Executive Headhunters, we will happily find the perfect candidate for your opening.



Difficulties in Engineering Recruitment and the Impact of Brexit

Despite various headwinds currently buffeting the UK economy, demand for labour still exceeds supply in many areas, especially regarding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Recruitment figures paint a gloomy picture in the UK at the moment, and the situation doesn’t seem to be improving in the near future.

The UK Commission’s Employer Skills Survey (ESS) highlights how the number of vacancies has reached 927,000 in 2015 alone. This shocking figure is surprisingly not triggered by a shortage of workers, but rather a crippling skill shortage. An increasing number of Brits are lacking the necessary basic skills to be retained and this has made it very challenging for employers to fill their vacancies (1.4 million in the UK in 2015).

It’s no secret that the engineering sector is, as always, causing particularly bad headaches to both recruiters and employers. Most people recognise how valuable engineers are to the economy, and yet searching for top engineers is like looking for needles in a haystack.

Indeed, a current study commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering highlights how the British industry is in desperate need of more STEM graduates each year (approximately 100,000 simply to maintain current rates), however it’s currently receiving significantly fewer than required (approximately 90,000)(TheEngineer.co.uk)

Despite the high salary perspective, not enough students feel attracted to studying STEM subjects and pursuing a career in related areas. It’s hard to come to grips with how this can be the case. In general, students tend to perceive STEM subjects to be more difficult than humanities and for this reason may be more prone to choosing subjects that they believe will easily secure them a place in universities.

In fairness to governments and businesses, quite a few initiatives have been designed to try and tackle the problem at its roots. For example, the Tomorrow’s Engineers program is, in theory, a great opportunity as it aims to promote STEM careers and help bridge the gap between academia and work experience for engineering students (Telegraph).

Unfortunately though, most of the efforts to make STEM careers more attractive have so far shown barely any real effect as they have been carried out in isolation. Indeed, it seems too few businesses and schools fully appreciate the importance of investing in these activities and those who do often operate without coordinating their efforts to other businesses.

To add fuel to the fire, Brexit will certainly raise further uncertainties in its wake. The EY ITEM Club even warns British citizens to brace themselves as the era of easy employment is over. In fact, they predict the rate of unemployment will rise to 5.4%, which will likely have a significant impact on living standards.

Nobody yet quite knows what the future has in store for us, but if Britain is somehow cut off from receiving skilled employees from abroad, the already staggering skill shortage will certainly exacerbate.

So, for those who haven’t yet decided to abandon the sinking ship and move to the Caribbean, is there still a spark of hope?

Firstly, wherever the ‘Brexit Train’ is heading, it is absolutely essential to ensure that the free movement of people to Britain is not hindered in any way. Only in this way can Britain continue to benefit from skilled foreign employees. However, this is not looking promising, with BBC News stating that free movement between the UK and EU will end by March 2019.

Secondly, businesses need to understand that they can’t always take care of recruiting employees entirely by themselves. Some roles are harder than others to fill and working with experienced headhunters can often decrease the number of sleepless nights trying to find an ideal candidate for a role.

Last but not least, it is important that businesses, government, and academia alike concentrate their efforts, now more than ever, on making STEM subjects more appealing to students, and de-mystifying the unfortunate reputation they have achieved. Though there are numerous ways to achieve this, perhaps the key area of focus should be ensuring that students leave university with more proficient skills, a clearer picture of how they can add value to companies, and most importantly; a flexible mind set.









Why Companies Use Headhunters: Insight From An Executive Headhunters Case Study

When a company has a position that they need filling urgently, they generally have two choices; Search for candidates themselves, or hire a headhunting agency to do it for them. Obviously, there are advantages to conducting the search process independently.

For example, some companies would rather save money and let their in house recruiters or HR department handle it. Some companies prefer to be in complete control from beginning to end, to make sure that they get to look over every potential candidate. And that’s completely understandable. However, other companies choose to hire executive recruitment firms to handle the work for them.

But why exactly? Why do businesses choose to use headhunters to find a suitable candidate for their role? To answer this, let’s look at one of our previous case studies here at Executive Headhunters.

If you take a look at our collection of case studies, you can see that numerous companies and businesses approach us here at Executive Headhunters with positions they are looking to fill. As an example, let’s talk about our experience with award-winning engineering practice Fluid Structures.

First, some background. Formed in 1999, London-based Fluid Structures specialises in working closely with architects and designers in the process of making, fabricating, and sequencing unique and innovative structures. They are involved in various projects including, but not limited to, the engineering of structures such as staircases, housing, and high-rise hotels. They cover a range of projects with budgets from £50,000 all the way up to £100 million.

When Fluid Structures approached us, they were looking to hire an Associate Director with an ideal deadline of the end of 2018. This was important because they are a rapidly growing business and were urgently looking for a new executive recruit to meet their needs.

Their vision was that the new recruit would have the opportunity to advance to the position of Equity Director within 3 years. As such the role offered fantastic career advancement for potential candidates.

The ideal candidate would have several vital qualities including:

  • Strong engineering background
  • Passionate to work as a part of the senior management team
  • Proven leadership of teams of senior engineers / architects
  • Extensive experience in producing structural engineering solutions, taking into consideration project stage and type
  • Able to inspire and motivate others
  • Outgoing, able to fit with company dynamic

In response to this challenge, Executive Headhunters conducted a talent search across various sectors in order to find the ideal candidate who met every specified requirement.

Our attention was primarily directed at senior engineers and top performers around the area of London, where Fluid Structures is based. We carried this search out using our access to excellent resources and contacts.

Amongst a shortlist of potential suited candidates, there was one individual who was perfectly suited to the role. This candidate had expertise in managing big budget projects with large teams of engineers, as well as an excellent client-orientated focus on business development. They also possessed 10 years’ experience in the industry.

However, perhaps the most significant aspect of this was that this candidate wasn’t actively looking for a new role. This means that it is unlikely that they would have been found without the use of a headhunter, as many companies mainly look at applicants who come to them, or are marked as seeking work.

Fluid Structures were impressed with our shortlist of prospects. So much so that they decided to hire not one but two candidates. In fact, they were so satisfied with our service that they later hired us to fill another position for them.

So what can we take from this?

Well, as you can see, headhunters are experts at identifying prospects who are a perfect fit for the desired role. Often several of the candidates who are shortlisted are ideal, as seen by our experience with Fluid Structures. This means that the company is able to be involved in the crucial selection process, and select from a shortlist of only the most ideal candidates.

The truth is that many companies think that they’ve tried everything. That they’ve looked everywhere worth looking and found everyone worth finding. This is often not the case. One of the main reasons that clients use headhunting firms such as Executive Headhunters is the ability to find talent that aren’t actively searching, as was the case with Fluid Structures. This is largely appealing for businesses as most simply don’t have the time or the resources to conduct such thorough talent searches.

We are delighted that Fluid Structures were pleased enough with our headhunting service that they decided to use us again. And this is not a rare occurrence, many companies simply need to use a headhunting service before they understand how useful they can be.

There’s a reason businesses continue to use headhunting services, as they can help your firm save time and effort whilst finding the perfect candidates for the job. This often results in a very rewarding and satisfying experience for both the company and the headhunter.

Executive Search Firms - Are They Worth it?

So you or your company are looking to recruit for an executive role.

Chances are, this role is very important, so you’ve got to make sure that you hire the perfect person for the role.

You may want to take this into your own hands, or perhaps you’ve considered hiring an executive search firm to help out. But the question is; are these firms worth your time and money?

Well, in short, the answer is yes.

Hiring an executive search firm can greatly increase applicant search effectiveness, and drastically reduce the time and effort required on your part.

If you or your business has a position that urgently needs filling, here’s a few reasons why executive search firms are worth considering.

While it’s true that some executive search firms can be costly, the potential time and effort saved is significant.

Essentially, a headhunter’s role is to go out and find the best possible candidates for the desired position. They then give you a shortlist of what they believe are the most suitable candidates for the job. At this point they can help you through the interviewing process and final decision stage.

This means that you can select from the finest candidates, whilst saving you massive amounts of time, as the firm handle the searching, interviewing, and arranging.

It makes sense that you’d want to hire the best to look for the best. Executive search firms specialise in seeking out the ideal candidate, even if that candidate isn’t actively looking for a new role.

If you’ve ever recruited for a position before, you’ve probably advertised on the usual job sites; Reed, Indeed, Total Jobs, etc. You may have also scoured LinkedIn, but unfortunately these options largely only get the attention of those who are actively seeking a new role.

For search agencies, this isn’t a problem. The top executive search firms have extensive networks of contacts and associates, and can take advantage of this to contact and pitch your advertised role to talented individuals who perhaps didn’t even know they wanted a new job.

In addition, executive search firms are experts at contacting, negotiating terms, conveying the benefits of the position, and thoroughly interviewing candidates. However there are so many options for executive search firms, how do you know which one is the right match for your business?

It goes without saying that different firms operate using different methods and criteria. Some specialise in specific areas and industries, whilst others work across various sectors (e.g. Executive Headhunters). This can be fantastic if you are open to finding individuals with extensive and varied skill sets.

Remember; being too narrow in your search isn’t always the best option. If you only search within your own sector, you may be missing out on the perfect candidate. At this point you may be asking; are there any downsides?

Well, this service doesn’t come free of course, though fees and payment structure varies from firm to firm.

Many headhunters work on a staggered fee basis, meaning you pay part upfront, and part only when they have found a candidate that you have agreed on. However, you may also encounter additional fees depending on the service.

In addition, when you hire a headhunting agency, you are effectively sacrificing time for quality.

A truly thorough talent search can take up to 6 weeks. This may seem like quite a long time if you were looking to hire someone immediately, but unfortunately searching through and getting in contact with potentially hundreds of candidates does take time. Patience is a virtue.

Executive search firms are a worthwhile investment if you and your business are searching for the perfect candidate for your role.

Just make sure that the agency you decide upon is the right match for your needs.