Executive search, in general, is a much higher level of service than your average recruitment process. Its focus, thoroughness and complexity is aligned to the significant level of investment involved in recruiting high calibre, senior and executive roles. Here are some tricks of the trade that top executive search consultants follow for success.

1) Research:

Research is fundamental and the key to a successful executive search project. Market insights enable consultants to find the best candidates for their clients, focusing research to really understand their client, the role, the industry sector and the pool of target candidates. For best results, it’s important to implement a process that includes thorough industry intelligence and research to not only discover who your client is and what they are all about but also their industry competitors.

2) Consultative approach:

To really excel within executive search, a consultative process is paramount. This means becoming fully immersed in your clients’ company cultures, becoming their trusted advisor, being passionate about their challenges and dreams and striving to achieve success together.

Your approach should be all about proposing data backed solutions, working together to understand obstacles and working creatively to remove them. Become an extension of your clients, carrying out employee benchmarking to ensure you really understand their superstars. This is invaluable when assessing potential new employees.

3) Body language:

Understanding body language is one trick of the trade that can’t be missed out of this blog post. By investing time to meet with potential candidates face to face, you can gain a better understanding of them. Seeing the whites of someone’s eyes and “pressing the flesh” cannot be substituted if you really want to get under an individual’s skin. By reading body language, you can assess how suitable a candidate is for a role, whether they will integrate well to your client’s culture as well as understanding their confidence in their own abilities.

4) Building relationships:

Building strong relationships with your clients is crucial, as success comes from the journey you provide your candidates. Appointing a senior executive is a significant investment for both parties; for the client because the success of their business relies on getting the recruitment right and for the candidate because the move has to align with their career goals.

Being a successful executive search consultant means going above and beyond what’s expected. These ‘tricks of the trade’ aren’t really tricks at all, but proven, thought out processes driven by a passion for our work.

Author: With over 17 years’ experience in headhunting, Doug is the founder of Collingwood Executive Search, a business that is reshaping the perceptions of senior level recruitment.  Doug and his team know that finding talented individuals who fit an employer’s vision, culture and aspirations means more than simply filling a job role. 

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