Identifying a credible search firm is just as important as finding the right employee. After all, the decision to hire an employee can make or break a team. So how do you find a search firm which aligns with your vision and ensures that you find the right candidate?
The following steps will help you zero in on the right firm —
Scrutinize the process
All search firms have their own way of prospecting candidates. Each firm follows its own process to shortlist and reach out to a candidate. This process varies across firms. So it is important to identify how a firm works. First, you should consider looking their prospecting model—how the process qualifies a candidate for a position and culture of the company. Second, how does the firm reaches out active talent. Will the firm rely on job boards and databases? What’s their strategy to bring in top talent for the role in question?
World’s top executive search firms have sophisticated prospecting process which drives them to better candidates. In recruitment, the chances that you will find the find the right candidate is highly reliant on the process.
Check the culture of the firm
The firm you hire will be a direct representation of your brand and culture. So while hiring an executive search firm take the professionalism of the firm into account. Find out what’s their reputation among other clients. Get to know the firm’s values and level of professionalism. This will further help the firm to gain access to professionals.
Find out who will lead your search
Executive search firms have dedicated teams that handle recruiting. You will need to find out who is leading the search requirements. Are involved recruiters credible? What experience do they hold?
Does the firm understand your industry and position in question?
Executive search firms specialize in recruiting for a specific industry. While some offer services for multiple industries, boutique firms specialize in one industry. It’s up to you to decide which firm to go for. Seek past results of the firm and see their close rate for the position in question.
Drill down to search metric
As the contemporary saying goes, “numbers don’t lie”. A quantified approach to recruitment is a more effective approach especially when hiring an external firm. Ask the firm about its “average time to fill”. How frequently can you expect reports? How long will it take before you interview the first question? These questions will paint the future picture which is important to consider to avoid clashes or interruption of your work.
Metrics, after all, show the true picture of a business. Rely on them.
In brief, no matter how much a search firm vouches for itself, the final decision rests with you. Result or closing the position is important, but how the firm closes the position is more important. Hiring search firms for the first time can be a lot of work. If it’s your first time, it should be taken with a bit of salt.