5 secrets to successful executive search

July 22, 2016


Since GenSearch is obviously dealing with the topic on a daily basis, we thought it’s maybe time to give away some insights into what we’re really doing and how it works. Executive search is a highly advanced form of recruitment and follows some rather different rules than average recruiting. Executives are not just like any other candidate and finding the perfect fit can make a huge difference in a company’s success. Do you want to hear (or read) some secrets?


1 Do candidate research right


At the beginning of almost every search is a research process that involves a lot of aspects. You can’t just browse around to find your perfect candidate. You need to be in the possession of the right tools and the right knowledge before hand. Industry expertise is a big factor here, although it differs depending on the position in question. Some searches require better knowledge about the requested skills and the task itself than industry knowledge. But overall the research process in executive search requires a number of expert skills. Our mission is to attract, convince and present high-caliber passive candidates to our clients who can perform in a new role right away. In order to do so quickly, you can’t start from scratch every time – experience and expertise are a strong advantage.


2 Be the master of Supply & Demand


In the executive search business you need to balance incoming searches and candidate requests to always be able to serve both sides in the search. That means you need to have a very close eye on supply and demand and you need to be very aware of industry developments to anticipate supply and demand before the searches even come in. That also involves that you need to network a lot and just have your finger on the pulse of the industry. Numbers, like financial performance of companies, numbers of jobs created, performance of particular industrial sectors, etc. are a big factor here too. And just as the executive search professionals have to balance supply and demand, so do companies and candidates.


3 Never lose track of the results


Both the company and the candidate have to work result-oriented and map themselves out in numbers. The client company needs to be aware of the investment into a new hire, and its results in terms of revenue increase and cost reduction potential whereas the candidate has to be prepared for goal-oriented salary negotiations. Keep the eyes on the prize! When you want to conduct an executive search process it’s best to be very specific with how much money you want to invest with this new person or how much money you as a candidate can save or bring the company. Often it makes a match more specific.


4 Matchmaking does not mean love at first sight


Never underestimate the work it can take to match candidates to a job. It’s very essential in executive search to have an open and honest exchange with the search party as well as the candidate. A lot of times there needs to be an open conversation about the targeting and the research process to be able to meet the character of the search in order to present the right individuals. This means that you should not only address the obvious targets but also candidates that can be a bit “outside the box” but still relevant and highly interesting.


5 Understand the company’s motivation


The core of a lot of executive searches is the underlying agenda behind the search. Good executive search knows how to understand this motivation and what it means. This can influence a search quite a bit. Understanding the client’s motivation is very helpful to adapt the perspective of the searcher and put it together with the market availabilities (as a whole including available qualifications, work experience, salaries, etc.). That’s essentially a big quality of a good executive search.

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