Opinion

6 Steps to finding an effective executive recruiter

Employers

Appointing a new director is a significant investment; you need a recruitment consultant who is able to ease the pressures of making a senior appointment, while developing an understanding of your business, culture, organisation objectives and applying their market insight in their search.

Pure has been advising on and recruiting executive staff in the East of England since 2002, we understand the most effective strategies to finding the right candidate, and providing post-appointment support to the ensure longevity of the appointment.

The latest ICAEW/ Grant Thornton Business Confidence Monitor tells us that over the last 12 months, business in the East of England has strengthened. At Pure, we are seeing evidence of this through a rise in executive recruitment, which has increased by 75% since July 2014, particularly in Finance and IT.

With so much movement in the market, choosing a recruitment consultant who acts as a partner to your business can help you tackle challenges and go about recruitment with a positive, sustainable outcome in mind. We have put together the following guide to assist you when selecting your preferred consultancy.

1. Pursue recommendations

As in other areas of business, recommendations from trusted colleagues and associates are worth pursuing. From the outside, a consultancy with an impressive client list may seem like the ideal partner, but you need to investigate its reputation and track record in handling high-level recruitment projects. Talking to peers about their experiences can cut out a great deal of time spent searching for agencies, and reveal some consultants operating on a less visible level - working with clients through referrals.

2. Your trusted partner

Finding a recruitment partner that you can trust to be discreet and treat projects with confidentiality is fundamental to an efficient process, and to your reputation. New executive appointments do not happen that frequently, and a recruiter giving you a bespoke service will help you recruit a candidate who brings the business what it needs to grow. An astute and experienced consultant will scope out the new role with you, and shape a customised search and attraction strategy.

3. Investing in industry and developing talent

An executive recruiter that actively engages with industry and the talent pool is likely to have a deep knowledge of the market and potential candidates. If a recruiter is also providing professional development seminars or promoting best practice, it is a sign that it is investing in the industries it works in. This approach creates opportunities for the consultant to build solid industry relationships, while developing the business community, and helping to mitigate skill shortages for employers – and supporting staff retention.

This tactical style may be rare, but as the employer, you can be confident it will help your executive recruiter attract like-minded professionals who want to advance and grow.

4. Strong, diverse networks

Using networks to find candidates is a common recruitment strategy, but success often depends on the strength of those connections. Find out what networks a recruiter has. Are they regional, national or international, or all three? Are they all face-to-face or also online? A consultant using social media channels such as LinkedIn can significantly broaden their search, plugging into networks that, without social media, may be out-of-reach.

5. Candidates are treated well

A recruitment consultancy firm that gives its candidates the same attention as is given to its clients indicates that it is committed to supporting employees beyond ‘simply’ finding them new jobs. By closely liaising with candidates, they increase the likelihood of making a successful, long-term match between job seeker and employer.

6. Post-appointment support

The successful placement of a candidate does not have to mean the end of a relationship with your consultancy. A good recruiter provides coaching for new directors to ensure they are settling in well and making the best decisions for themselves and the organisation. Coaching also supports the period of transition, which can impact you, fellow executives, employees and other stakeholders.

The whole recruitment process starts with selecting the right recruitment consultancy. Your choice can determine whether the appointment is a long-term success, therefore, it is crucial to remain open to a new recruiter if you feel your strategies need to adapt to attract candidates in our competitive job market.

For more information on executive recruitment and executive coaching, contact Pure Executive’s regional offices here.