Making the Best Choice or Choosing the best Candidate : Concept IllustrationWith today’s renewed supply of possible candidates, employers are cautious not to make the hiring errors of the past couple of years. Contrary to popular assumptions, many companies are continuing their search for new faces with diverse skill sets and innovative approaches to improve the bottom line. These are companies and industries that are not being as heavily impacted by the past recession and see “now” as an excellent time to seek new talent. Other companies see “now” as an excellent opportunity to find new employees as there is assumed to be an abundance of individuals seeking employment.  To ensure that the mistakes of the past are not repeated, employers are looking for the ideal “fit” when hiring new employees.

In today’s market there are plenty of people looking for employment; however, employers are faced with the difficult task of finding individuals that meet their standards and expectations. Many of the best candidates are still gainfully employed and not actively seeking employment.  Employees may be staying with their employer in anticipation of layoffs and consideration of severance packages. Others may be concerned about starting with a new company during economically uncertain times; with the fear that the last to arrive is often the first to go. These potential employees need to be informed of the stable opportunities that are available for them and be encouraged to apply. An Executive Retained Search firm is competent as a third party, and is informed and knowledgeable about the advantages of working at a particular company.

An Retained Search Executive firm is often the best resource for employers looking for senior executives and key decision makers.  A search firm is hired not only to find the best candidates possible, but also dedicates the time and effort to ensure the candidates are found in a timely, efficient and professional manner. Once under contract, the firm is an extension of the company they are representing and their professionalism can make a difference in finding the best candidates. Search firms have the resources to track and identify candidates that most individual companies do not have.

The best Search firms use a team approach for screening potential candidates. This allows for multiple perspectives, which contribute to a more accurate assessment of candidates to meet the client’s needs. This multi-perspective approach is utilized in several steps of the search process from pre-search meetings, identifying and recruiting suitable candidates, reading and selecting appropriate resumes and finally in the interview processes.  In today’s market, a considerable amount of time needs to be allocated for evaluating candidates and
determining suitable fit.

Search firms are able to work with companies, not only to find the most qualified candidates, but to find the best fit of individuals for the corporation. This process involves getting to know the individuals who will work closely with the successful candidate, and developing an understanding of the culture of the company. Using a formal assessment process, the search firm is able to identify the working characteristics, skills, and the work ethic needed for the role. A Search firm’s goal is to find the most qualified candidates, who will adjust well to the company’s work ethic and culture. They add an enhanced credibility to the process, as they bring an unbiased perspective as a result of being independent.

The process of identifying and presenting suitable candidates is an essential part of a Search practice. An Executive Search firm has access to an external network of individuals that the typical company would not have, thus providing quick exposure to the marketplace.  After carefully examination, recruitment specialists contact individuals in the industry who may be interested in the position themselves or know of people in their network who would be suitable for the position. Not only does the Search team identify potential contacts, they work to spread the information about the position through various networks.

When suitable candidates are identified, the firm meets and interviews the individual candidates. If the search firm finds the candidate presentable, they will prepare a summary of the evaluation and provide the hiring manager with this assessment. Next, the company will interview the candidate, and if they are satisfied, move on to the next steps in the hiring process. The search firm will contact the references of the candidate and conduct independent reference checks. A detailed and confidential summary of these checks will be prepared for the benefit of the hiring manager and company. The final result is a successful candidate, who is highly qualified and an appropriate fit for the company.

A distinct advantage of working with an Executive Search firm is as professionals they typically provide some assurance as to the success of the individual and can provide a formal process to enhance the success rate of new hires as well as addressing issues when individuals are not. This includes providing reports to the Hiring Manager that provide the executive with insight and guidance on how best to coach their new employees.

The ultimate goal is for the company to find the best leaders for their organization. Search firms can take the time and effort needed to assess candidates to find the preferred fit. It is the goal of the Search firm to not only find the best fit, but also to ensure that the individual is aware of the quality of the hiring organization and their stability in today’s marketplace.