What is Executive Search?

Executive search is a specialised branch of recruitment, closely aligned to management consultancy. The service is deployed to identify and attract candidates for senior level appointments at C-Suite, Board, VP and Director level.

The execution of senior leadership roles has a large impact on organisational performance and is a key differentiator in whether a company meets their strategic goals. The risk-reward ratio in a senior leadership hire is high. An expectation in partnering with a search practice is the candidates presented offer more options and higher returns than could have been achieved by alternative methodologies.

How executive search differs

Executive search differs from traditional contingency recruitment in several ways. In contingency recruitment a fee is contingent only on a successful candidate being placed. Once a position has been identified, the contingent recruiter will advertise and search their internal database for qualified candidates. This works well for mid-level and individual contributor positions. The contingency recruiter will be focussed on a functional skill set such a product managers or developers. They build up database of open roles and candidates, creating a marketplace and then play matchmaker. Companies will often use a range of recruiters on open positions in combination with their own internal recruitment efforts.

Using contingent recruiters can limit risk, provide more candidates, and add valuable speed to the process. The contingent recruiter can offer more than one open position to prospective candidates. This is a high turnover, high intensity form of recruitment. A dash to the finish line as recruiters create as many interviews for candidates as possible to maximise their chance of success.

An executive search practice operates on a retained basis. The client retaining the practice via an initial fee to conduct the search on an exclusive basis through to conclusion. So why choose executive search?

Access to the best leadership talent

Exceptional leaders within an industry are unlikely to be in the open market. They will be performing extremely well in their current roles and are well looked after by their current employer; especially given the mission critical roles they play. They are unlikely to be looking at job boards, adverts or have the inclination to reply to a generic linked-in message request.

To gain access to these leaders a high-level approach is required by a consultant that understands both the industry and role in depth. As the role is exclusive, this allows the consultant to invest time upfront to understand the company, remit and what success looks like for this position. This provides the consultant with both the credibility and knowledge to attract exceptional leadership talent and speak intelligently to prospective candidates. When talent has been identified they are predominantly exclusive to the client.

Greater probability of success through best practice

In determining how to assess leadership talent in a recruitment process, executive search firms should be able to add value to the clients existing systems in determining who is the ideal fit for their position. Through the assessment process the candidates will have been vetted and referenced at a much higher level and crucially aligned to an organisations mission and culture. Expectations have been set a high-level and the hiring process deployed becomes an integral part to on-boarding. Providing both the candidates and client with the best chance of a successful long-term relationship.

Management of the hiring project

High level executive search done well is a time-consuming process. The hiring manager for a senior level role will be a C-Suite leader and time is their most precious resource. An executive search practice will maximise the time invested in the search delivering the greatest returns. This enables the hiring manager to balance the needs of the search with their other commitments.

Your strategic talent partner

Working with a high-level executive search consultant provides c-suite, board members and human resource leadership with an incredibly valuable sounding board for talent centric leadership challenges. In having a talent partner in the market, they can gather valuable insights into both current and future leadership solutions.

Sienna Edge partners with technology enabled organisations in areas of social impact such as education to achieve their mission through the acquisition of exceptional leadership talent.