Best practices for utilizing the services of an executive search

Bringing new talent to your organization is always a tough task, but it’s made even more difficult when you have to fill an executive position that requires a certain set of qualifications. At these times, many business owners turn to executive search companies to assist with the job; however, hiring the right firm also comes with its own set of challenges. If you’re considering retaining an agency to help, you should be aware of the best practices for utilizing the services of an executive search firm.

Do your homework.

Just as with any business relationship, you should carefully review the agency that you’ll hire to handle an executive search. Make sure they understand your specific needs and the qualifications for the position, as well as your industry.

Make sure you’re comfortable with the point person at your executive search company.

It’s important that you can work well with the individual who will be spearheading your executive search, as you’ll be in constant communication. You’ll need to know who is leading the process, reaching out to candidates, reviewing resumes and handling interviews. Also find out whether this will be the same person from start to finish.

Understand the impact of non-poaching agreements.

The best practices for utilizing the services of an executive search firm include an understanding of non-poaching pacts. These are agreements signed by an agency wherein they are prevented from hiring talent away from their former and current clients. The pacts may mean your company doesn’t have access to a certain executive at another organization.

Ask the right questions before retaining a firm.

There are certain basics that you’ll need to know about the agency’s operations. Ask how they handle the hiring process and where they initiate their searches. You should also find out what, if anything, the firm will do in the event that a hire doesn’t work out for your company.

Determine how billing will be handled.

There are a few ways that an executive search firm is compensated for their services. A contingency arrangement means that you pay when you hire a candidate they brought to you, typically, as a percentage of the executive’s first year compensation. A retainer-based agency will maintain a relationship with your company for a specified time period during which they work to fill a position. These arrangements require you to pay a certain amount in installments that coincide with certain hiring benchmarks.

Know what efficiency metrics an executive search firm uses.

The most respected agencies will present metrics to demonstrate their success, so you have access to hard numbers to find out how efficient they are at placements. Common metrics include time to fill a position, their executive diversity ratios and retention levels. You should also ask about the average salary of the executives they place with companies similar to yours.

The best practices for utilizing the services of an executive search firm take time and dedication, but the investment effort is considerably less than trying to find the right employee on your own. These companies are in the best position to find and recruit excellent talent, enabling you to get back to the job of running your business. Please give the specialists at KP Companies a call to hear more details about our executive search and other staffing services.