Karen Greenbaum is a Forbes Counsel Member and President and CEO of the Global Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC).
Executive Search firms are specialised management consultancies that are retained by a client on an exclusive basis in an advisory capacity. An executive search consulting firm partners with a client to identify, assess and select the very best possible candidate. It is the experience and reputation of executive search firms to attract highly accomplished, passive candidates, many who are already happily employed and convince them to consider a new opportunity. Thus, trust and confidentiality are paramount in an executive search. Executive search consulting provides significant benefits beyond the successful acquisition of executive – level talent, including assessing the organisation and its culture, integrating a new leader for optimum success and advising executive leadership and Boards. A contingent recruiter on the other hand is focused on identifying potential candidates and helping a client narrow a candidate pool.
Summary of Article
Greenbaum discussed how CEO’s and C-Suite Executives often identify failure to attract and retain top talent as their No.1 business issue. The key to success is having the right leaders leading in the right way. Aiding this are executive talent search and assessment providers, who can “profoundly impact businesses.” Karen shares with the reader “what to look for before signing an agreement with an executive search firm.” She discusses the following;
- How deep is the executive search firm’s access?
- Will they ensure confidentiality?
- Will they be objective? Business leaders seek external counsel and strategic advice often because they are too close to the action themselves and seek other angles. A quality executive search consultant will bring depth and breadth of experience – beyond one firm, one industry, one market and even one position.
- Can they help you attract the best?
- Do they have expertise? A quality executive search consultant will have an experienced – backed understanding of the market, the industry and the evolution of key functional leadership roles. With changing requirements, often it is essential to not only look for talent within an industry, but outside the industries. This is where years of experience and understanding of how to assess for learning agility becomes critical.
- What are their assessment capabilities?
- Will they help you prepare for succession?
- Can they minimise risk? Highly qualified executive search consultants reduce the risk of making the wrong hire. “The risks associated with an unsuccessful hire can be catastrophic. The selection of the right trusted adviser ensures that the entire process is a success.”