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Specialist Executive Recruitment - What is it and what are the benefits?

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Finding the right recruiter for your executive level position isn’t a decision you should take lightly. And, with many offering industry specialist services, it becomes a question of whether you really need something so specialist?


Depending on the nature of your industry, a specialist executive recruiter might be a good idea, particularly if you’re in a niche area that requires a lot of specific knowledge.


To find out whether you need to look for a specialist executive recruiter, we’ve outlined what they are and how they operate. Keep reading to find out more.



What is a specialist executive recruiter?


A specialist executive recruiter specialises in filling executive-level positions within an organisation. They typically work within an executive search consultancy firm, which specifically specialise in finding top talent for C-level, VP-level, or other senior executive roles.


Executive recruiters are responsible for identifying and attracting high-level candidates for specific executive positions within an organisation. As you might expect, placing a this kind of candidate requires a more


They work closely with clients, typically the hiring organisation or company, to understand the job requirements, company culture, and desired qualifications for the position. They then conduct extensive research and networking to identify potential candidates who meet those criteria.


Often these potential candidates are already embedded in a role and company, so, without being approached by a specialist executive recruiter, it’s very unlikely they’d respond to traditional recruitment methods such as job adverts.


Executive recruiters also often have a deep understanding of the industry they specialise in and maintain a vast network of industry contacts. They use this knowledge and network to source, attract, and evaluate potential candidates for executive positions.


Specialist executive recruiters must possess excellent communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills. They should also have a deep understanding of the executive job market and be able to quickly identify top talent for their clients. Additionally, they must be able to work under tight deadlines and manage multiple searches simultaneously.



How do specialist executive recruitment agencies find candidates?


As we’ve mentioned, finding an executive candidate is quite different to traditional forms of recruiting.


Rather than taking a more passive approach of advertising and waiting for the highly-skilled, transformational leader to come to you, a specialist search consultant will go out and find them.


Of course, there’s a huge amount of research and industry expertise needed to navigate the executive market to find a candidate who not only has the right skills to be a leader, but the specific sector experience you need to reach your business goals.


It can take years for a search executive to develop the industry experience to be able to fully understand the needs of a specific business when it comes to finding someone with the right experience to fill a senior role.


This is one of the key defining characteristics and search methods of a specialist recruiter like a search executive.


They might also have a strong network of contacts in these specific industries, which they are likely to have built up over a number of years.


These networks might be utilised to find potential candidates or to understand where there might be opportunities to discover new contacts too.


From the research phase, it’s a matter of direct outreach. This requires excellent communication skills and professionalism to build relationships that could help to place a candidate within your organisation.




Do you need specialist executive recruitment?

If you’re looking to recruit to a high level position within your organisation, it’s definitely worth considering an executive search consultant.


The cost and risks of a bad hire at this level are very high, so it’s often a smart idea to turn to a professional service who can support you in finding the right person, who will stay with you in the long run and deliver value to your business.


However, if you’re in a particularly niche area, it becomes even more important to find a specialist recruiter with experience in your particular industry.


Research shows that a new hire who has experience in your industry will adapt more quickly and bring value to your organisation sooner than others hired without industry experience [1].


So, when your executive hire is likely to be one of the most expensive, it’s important they get to grips with your business as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary cost.


Therefore, a specialist search consultant with contacts in your industry and a strong understanding of your needs will make this process faster, and far more efficient.



At SPS International, our executive search consultants specialise in a range of industries, providing unique expertise that will help you find an excellent candidate for your business.


Find out more about the industries we specialise in right here:


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