What are the benefits of Executive Search?

Recruiting high calibre candidates in the current economy is increasingly difficult. Since the world ‘reopened’ following the COVID pandemic, many businesses are growing and are looking to invest in new talent. However, so are all their competitors, and so you really need to ensure you use the best method of recruitment to attract the talent you need to succeed.

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We often speak with clients who have wasted a lot of time and money on traditional recruiting methods, because they initially thought they would get the same high calibre talent and results without spending too much. In reality they ended up with lost revenue through their time sifting through CV’s or interviewing low quality candidates. Some even switched recruiters and ended up going through the exact same process!  

One recruitment method that is not the traditional method but is well known for its accuracy in finding high quality talent is Executive Search. There are many benefits of executive search, but the three most important are likely to be its ability to find the best possible candidate for a role, its speed and efficiency, and its cost-effectiveness.

Executive Search is a very proactive recruitment process and mainly focuses on engaging with passive candidates. These are individuals who are not necessarily looking for a new job and are not looking at recruitment adverts or placing their CV's with contingency* database agencies.

Executive search firms have access to a much wider pool of candidates than most recruitment organisations, and their extensive networks mean that they can identify and approach the very best people for a role. This is often vital in senior positions, where the stakes are high and the margin for making a bad appointment are small.

Speed is another key benefit of executive search. Firms are typically able to identify and approach suitable candidates much faster than organisations could do on their own, meaning that the whole process can be completed in a shorter time frame. It is a very focused process and usually structured with project milestones, therefore, providing clients with total transparency and an ability to plan and manage their induction programme.

Executive Search can help organisations to:

  • Save time: executive search firms can conduct a proactive and targeted search for candidates, often identifying individuals who are not actively looking for a new job. This can save organisations time and money by avoiding an internal or contingency database recruitment process that “hopes” the right candidate will come along. The persistence and proactivity of executive search consultants, coupled with their in-depth knowledge of the market  provide guaranteed results in a mile-stoned project
  • Save money: executive search firms typically charge a percentage of the candidate's first-year salary, which can be offset by the time and resources saved by not having to conduct a complex and lengthy recruitment process. Appointing the candidate your business needs will ensure you enjoy a healthy Return on Investment
  • Network: Access a global pool of candidates: executive search firms have access to a global pool of candidates, which can be beneficial for organisations looking to fill senior positions. As experts in their industry, they are able to gain strong referrals from their network to relevant candidates
  • Customised approach: executive search firms offer a customised or bespoke approach to each organisation and position. They listen to your pains and needs and ensure a relevant process is developed accordingly to appoint the candidate you need
  • Live market intelligence: your executive search partner should want to develop a consultative partnership with you. They will be armed with live market data from your search which will help you to understand the talent landscape, salaries, your employer brand, strength of competitor talent etc... By using this data you will be able to attract an even better candidate than you set out to recruit, or perhaps reshape the role you had in mind. Ultimately your chosen candidate may be able to add even more value than you thought!
  • Total transparency: as you are investing in an executive search partnership, your consultant will be keen to be totally transparent with you. They should organise regular communication with you to provide all the research and data gained from the recruitment project. You will know exactly what your partner has done, how they have approached and benchmarked a candidate and how the process was delivered throughout each stage from start to finish. There should be no cloak and dagger approach here

If you would like to learn more about executive search or discuss your specific recruitment needs, please get in touch. We would be happy to listen and help shape a solution for you. 


*Contingency refers to the traditional type of recruiting agency – often where candidates are actively looking for a new role This type of agency would post your open role on job boards, possibly provide lesser screening, but usually works well for less senior level roles.

About the author
Doug Mackay
5 min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

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