The Process of Executive Recruiting

If you’re running your own business and need to fill a middle or higher-management position, such as CFO or CMO, you’re probably going to need to do a lot more than simply posting a job opening on Craigslist. While there’s nothing wrong with using online job boards and classified ad sites for filling some positions, you may need to look elsewhere for the type of candidates who have the educational background and years of professional experience necessary to fill an executive role—especially since some of your best candidates may not be actively searching for a new job.

So how do you attract your ideal candidates? Many companies have found that the best way to find the best match for their position is to work with an executive recruiting firm. There are several key benefits to choosing an executive recruiting firm: for one thing, the hiring company does not need to set aside as much of their own valuable time and resources during the hiring process, and for another, executive recruiting firms typically already have the built-in network connections necessary to bring in high-quality candidates.

If you think you may want to hire an executive recruiting firm, it’s best to understand their recruiting process first.

Step 1: The Hiring Company Defines Their Requirements

The executive search firm will meet with the hiring company in order to learn more about the duties, qualifications, and core competencies necessary for the executive role. This initial meeting will also help the executive search firm determine how to present the open position as an attractive opportunity for top-tier candidates. Finally, the executive search firm will work with the hiring company to develop a strategy for finding the candidates that best meet the position description.

Step 2: The Executive Recruiting Firm Develops a Pool of Candidates


After gathering all the necessary information from the hiring company, the recruiting firm will get to work promoting the position and gathering candidates. If the recruiting firm has worked with other businesses in the hiring company’s industry before, they will most likely already have a strong network of potential candidates. The firm will also have a team of consultants reach out to potential candidates and interview those who are most qualified.

Step 3: The Hiring Company Chooses a New Executive

Once the executive recruiting firm has narrowed down their pool to the most qualified candidates, they will meet with the hiring company to review each candidate in a “scorecard” session. Based on the input from the recruiting firm, the hiring company may choose to conduct their own interviews of several candidates before selecting a finalist. At this point, the executive recruiting firm may help facilitate negotiations between the hiring company and candidate and assist with the on-boarding process.

How Executive Recruiting Firms Are Paid

There are several different types of executive recruiting firms, and you’ll need to decide which firm’s payment method works best for you and your business.

The first type of executive recruiting firm is one that works on retainer, meaning that the hiring company pays their entire fee upfront, regardless of whether the firm finds a successful candidate or not (although retainer firms with a good reputation should have a strong track record). In most cases, these firms will work exclusively for the hiring company until they have matched and on-boarded a candidate.

The second type of executive recruiting firm is one that works on contingency, meaning that they are not paid until the hiring company successfully on-boards their new executive. Typically, these firms do not work exclusively for one company, and some companies will even hire multiple contingency firms who then compete to bring in the best candidate.

There’s also a middle-of-the-road option: the firm that works on container. This means that the hiring company pays part of their fee upfront and the rest when the executive position is filled. Make sure you understand all the different payment methods before choosing an executive recruiting firm.

It’s important to fully understand the executive recruiting process in order to choose the right firm to meet your needs. If you want to learn even more about this process, check out this infographic from PierceGray

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This is a post from a CEO Blog Nation writer. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

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