4 Questions to Ask Retained Executive Search Firms


Retained executive search firms are essentially headhunters. Many high-powered companies will pay a retainer to one or more executive search services who will then seek out qualified candidates for the job in question. In fact, the number of jobs found by external recruiters jumped to 5.9% in 2013, double its 2012 percent
If you are in charge of dealing with a retained recruiter, it is important that you know the proper ways to behave. In order to assist you to attain the best results when retaining one of these firms, we’ve put together a list of questions you should ask.

  • What’s the firm’s search process?
    There are two important pieces of information to be on the look out here. How do they qualify the position, and how will they manage the search. It is vitally important that the firm you hire not only understands the needs job in question but also that they have the infrastructure to attract A Level candidates.
  • Who will be handling the Search?
    This is an important one because your results will be directly affected by the abilities of the person conducting the search. It is also a great way to know how seriously a firm will take your company’s needs: if they are shipping your search down to the greenest recruiter in their employ, then they might not consider it particularly important.
  • Do You Understand The Job
    While the recruiter in no way needs to be an authority on your industry and the job you are looking to fill, if they cannot even provide more than a rudimentary sketch, then there is no way they will be able to distinguish between a mediocre candidate and an exemplary one.
  • Do You Assess Soft Skills?
    Self awareness, adaptability, collaboration are all immensely important skills to have for anyone in the workforce. But these skills become even more important in a highly visible or leadership position, where they can have profound effects on your companies reputation and corporate culture.

Finding the right person for a high-level job can be remarkably difficult. If you are looking for a VP Sales, Energy Management or even food processing equipment operators. You owe it to yourself and your business to know exactly what types of questions to ask retained executive search firms in order to find the best fit for your search.

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