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When to Include an Executive Search Consultant

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

When it comes to finding the right person for a senior level role, you might be considering bringing in an executive search consultant.

But how do you know it’s the right time? And at what point do you abandon your normal methods of recruitment to try something new? Especially when you’ve successfully used them before at other levels in your business.

To help you decide when it might be time to bring in an executive search consultant, we’ve written up some key milestones you should be aware of.

When you’ve experienced a bad hire for this role in the past

Whether you’re looking to replace a bad hire into a senior leadership role, or you’ve felt the impact of a bad hire in a similar role before, you know how the wrong person in these positions can affect a business as a whole.

Whether it’s the financial cost of a bad hire, the impact it has on staff wellbeing or even the damage to reputation it can cause, the wrong person in this type of role leave it’s mark,

And, it’s very likely you won’t be looking to repeat this situation again.

As such, we’d recommend exploring the use of an executive search consultant at this point. Using an experienced consultant with specialised industry knowledge can significantly reduce the chances of finding someone who isn’t a fit for the role, or your business.

So, if you don’t want a repeat of a bad hire, and want to save money on the consequences of this type of scenario, it might be worth enquiring with an executive search consultant.

You’ve been advertising a role without success

Recruiting to senior positions is unique, in that you’re looking for a very specific type of person, with a very specific set of skills and experience.

In these types of positions, you don’t want to be taking a chance or settling on a candidate who might not tick all your boxes.

As such, releasing a job advert and waiting for the right applicant to come along rarely reaps the kind of results you’ll be looking for. You might be aware of this if you’ve found you’ve had quite a few bad CV’s across your desk recently.

In fact, the most effective way to find this type of individual is to find and approach them.

If you find you’ve been advertising a role for a while without getting any results, it might be time to speak to an executive search consultant. They specialise in performing specialised market research, specifically to find and place highly qualified individuals.

Your general recruiter isn’t delivering results

When it comes to general recruiter vs executive search consultant, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you commit to either.

Generalist recruiters can be very useful in a number of ways. They often have a large pool of potential candidates to choose from, and they can be relied on to fill entry level positions quickly.

However, at executive level, they just don’t have the specific experience, networks or strategies in place to find the type of candidates you’ll be looking for.

Due to the very specific nature of the positions you’ll need to fill, and the individuals you’ll need to approach, an executive search consultant provides a far more appropriate solution than a general approach.

While a general recruiter can no doubt provide benefits to a business at a certain level, if you’re employing at a higher level, a recruiter who specialises in this area is your best option for access to this calibre of candidates.

The applicants you’re getting aren’t specific enough

And, if you’re finding your general recruiter is sending you applicants without the right experience or industry knowledge, it’s probably time to start looking into a more specific strategy.

In order to find the most successful candidates, who deliver high levels of value, and who stay with your business in long term, you’re going to be looking for someone with industry experience, a past role in an executive position preferably and a very unique set of skills.

If your applicants aren’t meeting these criteria, it might be time to look into a search consultancy.

This could be happening for a number of reasons. It might be the advert or job description you’ve put out. It could be that your recruiter is too generic, or it might be that you’re waiting for that dream candidate to find you rather than the other way around.

Either way, if the applications you’re receiving aren’t going anywhere, it might be time to utilise the skill and expertise of an executive search consultant.

Next step: reach out to an executive search consultant

If you can relate to any of the issues we’ve highlighted above, it’s likely you could benefit from an expert executive search consultancy firm.

SPS International has experience in a range of sectors, researching, finding and placing top tier candidates in some of the most competitive industries.

Our teams use tried and tested strategies specifically to discover the very best potential candidates for senior leadership positions. So, if you’re getting frustrated with a slow recruitment process, or you’re just not finding the right talent to feel a very specific role, we can help.

Get in touch with a member of our team today, and we’ll work alongside you to find the right person for the right job.


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