Seven questions to consider when choosing your executive search firm.
- Will the search firm be a credible ambassador for your organization?
The firm you hire is a direct reflection of your company. Spend time with the principals to gain an understanding of how they operate in the business community and to gauge their level of professionalism. Be sure their image and reputation are consistent with how you want your business represented.
- Who will be responsible for conducting and managing your search – the same person who sold you the project or a junior recruiter?
You want to be sure that the firm is putting its best people on your project and that it's a high priority. Unlike larger search firms, Drake Executive Resources does not need to generate heavy volume. Instead we concentrate on building solid relationships with fewer clients. We have no dedicated sales force. The same person you meet with initially will be responsible for managing the search process for your company. Each recruiter manages his/her own projects and stays involved throughout the process to maintain a high level of continuity. We do not pass off your important project to junior associates.
- What is the firm's search process?
You need to know upfront the search firm's process for understanding your needs and managing the recruiting process. Ask specific questions to find out how they identify and recruit potential candidates. Will they rely on their database or actively recruit targeted individuals for your position?
- Has the search firm saturated your industry, making it harder for them to recruit for you?
Large search firms may create a competitive disadvantage for their clients. Because they have such a high volume of projects underway at any given time, and often concentrate in certain industries, larger firms are often forced to recruit from their own clients. If a firm does not recruit from its clients, you need to know who their clients are and how these preexisting relationships could impact their search efforts on your behalf.
- How long will the search process take from start to finish?
Ask about their average time to completion. Understand their process and how often you will get progress reports.
- What about service after completion of the search?
When volume is the name of the game, recruiters move on to the next project as soon as yours is complete. Find out if they're interested in the ultimate success of the candidate they place with your company. Ask how often and for how long they will maintain contact with you and the successful candidate after the completion of the search.
- May I check your references?
Ask for three or four references from recently completed projects, and make the calls to verify that their process and their results are as they have represented.
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