Professional Vocabulary

Professional Vocabulary of Executive Search Industry

Executive Search Consulting has professional vocabulary with initial terms coming from English language. The following is a list of most commonly used expressions.


Curriculum vitae, the European name for a document, which describes details of the candidate regarding education and professional history. In America the same document has the name resume.

Executive Search

The work process conducted by an Executive search firm, in which the most suitable person is selected for a top management position in a company.


The candidate files. The files are formed of cv-like information that the candidates have given confidentially to the consultant for a specific purpose. The labor legislation carefully specifies what kind of information can be collected and kept and when information needs to be destroyed. Executive search companies are obligated to report on their registers to the Data Protection Ombudsman.


Follow-up discussion after the selection, monitoring of the chosen person’s work success at the new job.


Used as the synonym for executive search consultant, sometimes used as the professional title of recruitment consultant.

Long List

The list of suitable candidates matching the job profile gathered by the researcher.


The companies that the executive search firm have as clients, which can not be contacted by the firm for ethical and contractual reasons.

Candidate Profile

Summary of skills and competencies expected from the suitable candidate.


In Finnish executive search companies part of company staff are usually researchers. They are information service professionals specialised in business and economics. The task is to identify suitable target companies and candidates according to the candidate profile.


Recommending references, based on names given by the candidate himself, who are willing to present an evaluation of the candidate’s work and success.

Short List

The group of candidates who’s qualifications and personal qualities match the candidate profile criteria and who will thus be presented to the client company. The short list usually has three to five persons.

Aptitude Evaluation

The leadership skills evaluation can be deepened with aptitude evaluation based on psychological methods. With the top management recruitment, the acquired merits carry bigger weight than evaluation results; hence the use varies a lot.

Assignment Summary

A document in which the consultant has written down important factors regarding the search after initial discussions. These can be for example the company’s future plans, factors concerning organisational structure and governance, the search profile of the candidate, timetable, work reporting and special confidential issues. The Assignment Summary, accepted by the client, directs the consultant’s later work significantly.