How to Choose The Right Executive Search Partner?
You can influence the quality, speed and costs of hiring key personnel for your company. The homework has to be done well beforehand and one should focus on choosing the right partners, before the acute recruiting situation is at hand. It is vital to clarify beforehand how the successful cooperation should function.
It is sensible to choose one or two executive search partners, depending on the company needs, and build long-term and thorough cooperation with them.
There are large executive search companies with international networks as well as one man and woman offices in Finland these days. One very important guarantee of quality and operational reliability is that the chosen office is a member office of FEX Executive Search Firms’ Association.
You Have to Know Your Client
The job of the right executive search consultant is to represent your company objectively in challenging assignments to the right and most suitable candidates.
It is important that the consultant knows your operational organisation, your business, your company culture and the key personnel participating in decision making to be able to do high quality work. If this is not so, you have to use enough time to brief and guide the consultant.
You will inevitably have to tell the consultant sensitive information about your work and objectives.
Aim to clarify and to familiarise with the business of the consultant company, the background and the potential limitations. Ask information regarding the “Off-limit”-clients. By choosing the right partners for your company you save time for yourself, cut the direct and indirect costs and get a better result in recruitment.
Consultant Has to Understand The Nature of Your Business
Find out the consultant office background by discussions and interviewing your potential references. This way you get to know the consultant’s background, processes, references, quality of work and the ethical principles of work.
If this is not told to you, it should set the alarm. Check also, if the consultant company professionals have experience in your industry and geographical region.
If the consultant is known for many previous assignments in your industry, it is good to ask him to tell his ”Off-limit” companies, since the consultant cannot contact people in these companies. It is not sensible to use a consultant, who cannot contact your competitors or central companies in the industry.
Also make sure for yourself, who execute the actual search. There are companies in which the consultant only takes care of the sales work, but the execution is completed by entirely or partially different people. Make sure that everyone participating in the assignment has the necessary competence to carry out the assignment.
Scrutinise The Search Process Beforehand
Make sure that the search process is clearly presented and that the consultant reports on its progress regularly. The basis for assignment is always a written contract.
Also examine the invoicing precepts of the executive search process. Normally they follow the international practice, in which the fee is a portion of the annual salary of the chosen person. According to general practice in the industry, the fees are mostly fixed in Finland and they are agreed beforehand when confirming the assignment.
It is important to carefully familiarise with the consultant company, choose the right partner or partners and build a long-term business relationship. Thus every executive search can be started quickly and vital information regarding company business and key personnel’s expectations are already known by the consultant company. You save the time of key people in your organisation and speed the process completion time.
Brief the consultant and thoroughly present your business – it is like depositing money in the bank.
Observe The Time Factor
Typically executive search takeseight to ten weeks, depending on the assignment. In addition to this, you have to note the time taken for company decision making, dismissal period and the initiation period of the person before fully productive work.
All this counted together means that it can take up to nine monthsbefore the new key person can start the job.
It is important to maintain a continuous and active dialogue between the consultant and the company during the process, since during the search process and interviews there often is a need for more information. Respectively issues may arise in the midst of the process hat might require quick reactions and re-evaluation.
One important value added factor is that the client will be presented with enough candidates who fit the profile, usually three or four, from which the company can choose the most suitable one(s) for the final decision.
It has to be remembered also, that the candidate is also choosing a company. Sometimes the selector forgets this aspect. Buying and selling is business between two players, and both parties have to view the end result of the process as a victory.
At the final selection stage, it is important that the company makes clear decisions in a sensible timeframe. Waiting for even a few weeks in the process causes significant uncertainty among the candidates. In the present labour market situation this increases the risk of the candidate withdrawing or choosing another employer.
Consultant Represents His Client
The executive search consultant is a representative of the client company, its business card so to speak. Hence it is important to make sure that the representative is suitable for your company and has the necessary competence to complete the assignment in such a way that it adds value to you.
Good results don’t only arise from a good consultant, but require excellent dialogue and cooperation from all parties. Through long-term partnership, the consultant relationship grows to be true expertise and professionalism, value added for your organisation.