Executive search or “Headhunting” as it is commonly nown soetimesgets a bad rep. This is probably something to do with he coke snorting stereotype protrayed in TV “dramas” on the subject. However, in reality, executive search firms are some of the most professional in the recruitment industry.
The Basis Of Executive Search
Typically executive search assignments differ from traditonal contingent recruitment for two main reasons.
Firstly, the assigment is on an exclusive basis. Contigent recruitment is often a bun fight between recruiters to deliver the best candidate the fastest. However, in executive search the recruiter is “retained” exclusively by the client and works only on that vacancy. No other recruiter is engaged by the client.
The fees also work differently.
In contingent recruitment the fee is on a success only basis. On an executive search assignment the fee is often paid in three installments.
The initial 33% is paid on acceptance of the assigment. The second third is paid on product of an acceptable short list of candidates and the final installement when the successful candidate starts work.
What Sort Of Vacancies?
Executive Search tends to be for higher level vacancies or for specialist hires or where there is a liklihood of needing to actually prize someone away from an existing role.
Traditioal contingency based recruitment relies on existing databases and advertising to find candudates. An Executve earch Consultancy will use certain techniques to actually go out to the client’s competition and actively try to “eek out” the right candidate.
Indeed, part of the brief to an Executive Search firm might include specific staff at specific companies that the client might want to hire. In such a situation where the requirement is to “head hunt” a specific member of staff from a specific company, an Executive Search assigment is always called for. For confidentiality if for nothing else.
Specifics In Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing, as a niche, has really grown to become a major recruitment market in its own right since its inception over twenty years ago now.
I talked to Chris Mason a Founder and Director at Recruiters Intelligent People. Chris and Founder Partner Doug Bates have found themselves moving more into Executive Search as Digital Marketing has matured.
“We were very early adopters of the market”, he explains, ” initially Digital Marketing was an after-thought in the IT department which is how we got into the niche. An IT client asked us if we had any idea how or where to find a speciliast Digital Marketer”.
“After one sucessful placement, Doug did some research and we liked the look of where Digital was going. We read loads of stuff by visionaries like Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs and decided we liked the look of it…so we because expert recruiters. Probably the first speciifcally Digital agency”.
“As the market has matured, we have found the job rioles becoming much more specific and de-marked. For example, even five years ago, the term Growth Hacker was unheard of. Now, it’s one of our main areas that we recruit into”.
Headhunting in 2021
Given that specialisation has moved on apace, we have found, particularly over the last 2-3 years, clients asking for hires that are more and more specific.
We are often asked to “go and get” a specific person. For example, we were asked to go and head hunt a specific video content person for a new start up. The only way to take on such assignments is by doing an Executive Search campaign.
Also, with more senior and de-marked roles, there is a much more defined and sometimes very small talent pool to fish in, so we will only accept an Executive Search assignment. Doing it this way not only protects the client in the market, it also gives us some security on the supply side knowing we can do the job properly and confidentially without the stress of knowing the work might be for nothing.
I think Executive Seatch works well for both us, the client and indeed the candidate who also has far better protection of his confidentiality as well.
You can find Intelligent People Executive Search by clicking the link.