Knowing how an executive search firm works allows employers to make optimal use of the search process. Executive recruiters follow a precise system when searching for candidates. This system garners them the best candidates to suit your firm’s needs. However, companies must also understand this process in order to give the recruiter as much information as possible to help them deliver top-notch prospects.

After you have hired an executive search firm, make sure to collaborate on a written report detailing exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate; personality traits, what professional and life purpose directs them, what motivates their work, their most productive work environment, and whether their qualifications meet the demands of the position. Once this report is completed and both parties know what type of prospects they’re looking for, the firm will conduct their search by utilizing the following factors.

Sourcing candidates

This is where the search firm’s extensive network comes into play. Search firms have a variety of resources used to locate candidates. These resources may include industry research, databases of candidates, active research teams, industry and market information, and Internet tools to narrow down the vast professional landscape to the target market. Search firms will also consult the company if they want to consider prospects that are currently employed by their competitors. The firm can then target these companies as well.

Screening potential candidates

Once the sourcing process is completed, the recruiter will then screen qualified candidates in order to present the hiring company with a prime batch of potential candidates. The screening process is typically conducted through face-to-face or telephone interviews with each prospect. This is where the firm will get a strong idea of which candidates fit the ambitions, purpose, and culture of the employer.

Interviewing with the hiring company

After an extensive and rigorous screening process, the executive search firm will present a concise list of candidates to conduct face-to-face interviews with the hiring company. These prospects will have been thoroughly vetted by the search firm, thus they should have extensive knowledge of each candidate’s personal qualities and qualifications. Before conducting any interviews, the recruiter will discuss with you the personality of each candidate, what they aim to achieve in life and in business, their business mindset, how they would fit into your firm’s culture, how their purpose aligns with that of your company’s, and how their qualifications and previous work history meets the standard required for the position. The recruiter should continue to be an active member of the hiring process and help you prepare for the interviews.

Evaluating and selecting

Once you have finished thorough interviews of the candidates, review each candidate with the recruiter. Discuss each individual’s strengths and weaknesses and how they will mesh with your company. You will also want to make a prediction of their future career and how they will contribute to the success of your company. And finally, before making an offer to the selected candidate, the executive search firm will help you conduct the necessary background checks.

Y Scouts is an executive search firm that helps nonprofits and social enterprises find exceptional leaders. Contact us if you are looking to find an exceptional leader. To be considered for exceptional leadership opportunities with our clients, please take the first step by joining the Y Scouts Leadership Community.