The answer is in the consultative approach.
Have you ever wondered what an executive recruiting firm is for, or why a company would choose to engage with an external firm to conduct their search? Growing numbers of organizations are turning to executive recruiters to help them source the best available talent rather than advertise their vacancy on job boards. It's true that working with a specialist recruiter can help you gain access to that hidden candidates (meaning, gainfully employed people who may be open to a change, but haven't started looking yet) and save you a LOT of time (most clients say their recruiter saved them several weeks of time in sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates for important roles).
We feel that the consultative approach an executive recruiter takes is just as important. When your organization partners with an executive recruiter, this recruiter should act as an extension of your organization. This recruiter should take the time to understand the DNA of your organization, as well as the reason for the vacancy, the hard and soft skills needed in your next hire. They should be able to tell your organization's story which will attract candidates who otherwise wouldn't have applied to the position.
Have you ever thought about how many organization structures this recruiter has seen over the course of their career? This recruiter is most likely very qualified to take in your list of must-haves, and nice-to-haves, and then help your HR team define a strong job description that will open the talent pool enough for you to attract the perfect person to your organization. Here's our advice to get the most out of your relationship with your executive recruiter:
Your recruiter knows you have choices. The initial call is to ensure the partnership between recruiter and client will be a good one. Recruiters have vast networks, if they aren’t the best person to fill your position, they can most likely refer you to someone who can. Some firms have an inquiry form to fill out on their website, or just email/call them directly.
Browse the job board
Check the recruiting firm's career page or job board to get a sense of the positions the firm typically handles. You'll see why other companies choose to engage with this firm, and get a sense for if they'll be experienced enough to find candidates for your role and within your industry.
Connect on LinkedIn
Once you find an experienced recruiter in your industry, connect with them on LinkedIn. Most recruiters post about candidates they are working with, as well as the roles they are currently filling. You'll get a sense for how deep this persons network runs, and when the time is right for you to fill a position at your organization, you'll know exactly who to engage with. You also might see a candidate that you'd like to get to know better before you post your role publicly!
The Consultative Approach
The importance of a recruiter’s consultative approach can't be understated, and that is what the bulk of my video interview with Lindsay dives into. In closing, Lindsay drives home the main message she'd like to send to all companies: If you choose to engage with an external executive recruiting firm, think of the recruiter as an extension of your brand, an extension of your marketing arm, as an extension of your human resources team. The wealth of knowledge that the specialized recruiter can bring to your organization will help you make sure you are positioning your open roles in an engaging manner to attract candidates that will be successful long term.
Have thoughts or questions on engaging with an executive recruiting firm? I'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment below, or send me a note by clicking the contact button below.