Why should executives always be recruited through a search?


Recruiting a talented executive is an intricate task. Every organization deserves the best possible leader. CEOs and board chairpersons who prepare recruitment are dreaming of almost perfect candidates who cannot wait to start working in their company.

However, the problem is that these almost perfect – for nobody is perfect – executives do not grow on trees. You cannot simply pluck them as you walk by, first you have to find and identify them, and then make them committed to the company. Search is the most effective way of accomplishing this.

The beginning

Let’s start from the very beginning of the search service. The search consultant must understand the customer’s business and needs. In an ideal situation, the consultant has worked in executive positions in the customer’s sector earlier in their career. An experienced consultant who has worked in executive roles understands what is relevant quickly and also knows how to challenge the customer to specify a clear and realistic profile.

The customer might have vision and expectations for the leader. An experienced search consultant is able to find the vision and, if needed, shake it up a bit. They take into account the business situation and customers, the organization’s needs and the personnel. The consultant also has a vision of what kind of a leader would succeed in the position the best. This means that the customer is not alone with their thoughts but receives the best possible support. A carefully specified profile ensures that we find the best applicants for the search. Well planned is half done!

Benefits of a search

The benefit of a search, compared to an advertised search, is that the focus is on quality instead of quantity. You do not need a hundred “poor” candidates, if you already have ten or twenty “good” ones. By “poor” and “good”, I am not referring to the personal characteristics of the people, but simply to how well their expertise and experience match the job description.

Search is like a precision tool that finds the most relevant talent. Even those candidates who are too busy to browse job advertisements. A skilled consultant knows how to approach these executives and promote the open position in an appealing but realistic way. They communicate actively and keep the candidates interested. The search consultant’s task is to engage the candidates and keep them informed and satisfied during and after the process, for example, by offering an opportunity for a personal feedback discussion to all participants. This helps the customer, who can rest assured that everything is in control, focus on their core business and enjoy the process.

Search is definitely worth the cost. A capable leader who meets the organization’s needs promotes business better than someone who is not quite as qualified. In other words, the employer gets a good return on its recruitment investment.

The authors, Päivi Montgomery and Sari Salojärvi, work as search and recruitment wizards at MPS.

The authors, Päivi Montgomery and Sari Salojärvi, work as search and recruitment wizards at MPS.

Stay tuned!