4 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring an Executive Recruiter

Executive recruiters improve the process of finding an outstanding candidate for your job opening. There are a few ways they accomplish this:

  • They simplify the search process, since they have completed many searches before.
  • They locate candidates you would not be able to find on your own, such as network connections who may not be actively looking for a new position.
  • Thanks to a dependable process, they identify top candidates in a fraction of the time.
  • They ease friction throughout interviews and negotiations, acting as an intermediary.

These are all benefits you can expect from working with an executive recruiter—as long as you choose the right firm. Unfortunately, we commonly see clients make mistakes when hiring an executive recruiting firm. That kind of misstep amounts to wasted time, money, and effort.

Here are a few things to avoid when hiring an executive recruiting firm.

Do Not Make These Missteps

If you do not know what you are looking for in an executive recruiting firm, it is easy to enter into a contractual relationship that is not the right fit for your needs. Avoid these mistakes:

  1. Not agreeing on metrics from the outset. Too often, we hear grievances like, “This retained firm took our money and ran.” While an unfortunate situation, it can be easily avoided by choosing an executive recruiting firm that outlines metrics from the beginning. Ask the firm about key performance indicators (KPIs) and how they measure them. When you can agree on measurable goals, you are more likely to have a successful partnership.
  2. Choosing a recruiter who is afraid to ask tough questions. Executive recruiters often have difficult conversations with candidates about compensation, relocation, career goals, and more. They may have to ask you equally challenging questions. If the recruiter you choose is not open to those conversations, you may not get the outcome you desire.
  3. Selecting an executive recruiting firm that does not demonstrate deep knowledge of your industry. Ideally, you have the option of a reputable executive recruiting firm with demonstrated experience placing candidates in your industry. If not, your executive recruiter should at least have put in extensive research to understand your specific needs. Can your recruiter identify with industry-specific information to have an in-depth conversation with a seasoned candidate If not, they are not the right choice.
  4. Not having faith that the executive recruiting firm will tell you when they are not the best fit for your needs. If you do not believe that the executive recruiting firm you select would be honest with you about their capabilities, they are definitely the wrong choice. At Ciresi & Morek, we only agree to begin work with a new client if we are confident we can complete the search they need quickly and effectively. Choose an executive recruiting firm who puts your needs above their book of business.


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