Retaining an executive search firm is critical to hiring the best talent on the market. But all recruiters aren’t equal. Do you know the difference?

Staffing Agencies” are great for temps but generally lack candidates with specialization. These are great sources for blue collar and white collar employees both short term and long term.

Recruiters (aka “Headhunters”) that work on a contingency basis only get paid when they produce results. They give employers a huge advantage compared to staffing agencies by providing stronger candidates, but are often concerned with one thing – getting paid. Competition between recruiters is fierce and many compete on speed and will lower their price, while presenting the same candidates their clients can find on their own.

In “Recruitment Process Outsourcing” (called RPO’s), an employer transfers all of its recruitment process to an external service provider. It’s great for certain employers, but in doing so, they give up control and decision making; which doesn’t work for everyone.

Unlike other types of firms, one that specializes in “Retained Executive Search” not only offers superior access to the best candidates, but actually helps raise the quality of each hire. By becoming an integral part of a search committee, they don’t just hear about an organization’s vision, strategy and culture, they become active participants vested in missions and outcomes.

Here’s how retaining an executive search firm pays off:

Trust – Before we even consider any other aspect, nothing is more important than trust. Choosing new senior leaders is a tremendous responsibility. The best recruiters are consultative and work with the search committee to engage stakeholders to become a partner in the hiring process. This transparency builds trust and the result is extremely effective in successfully integrating new leadership within an organization.

Credibility – When someone does the right things for the right reasons, that’s credibility. The best recruiters have often held positions in their niche before starting their recruiting practice. Unlike “career-recruiters” and generalists, they often have a further reaching network of professional contacts and can use their years of experience and industry insights to help their candidates take the job for the right reasons.

Expertise – When choosing a search consultant it’s important to use one that knows your space and can develop an efficient search strategy that achieves the desired outcomes. Similarly, it is the expertise of senior leaders which provides them with the ability to execute innovative, cross disciplinary strategies to the problems affecting each organization.

Relationship – Today, recruiters spend hour each day data mining names on LinkedIn, and scraping resumes off of the popular job boards while claiming access to “passive candidates”. It sounds good to the hiring committee but they soon get tired of seeing the same old candidates recycled over and over again. The best recruiters have developed real relationships with the folks in their industry and can create a list of candidates they actually know and can recommend highly in good faith.

To learn more about Higher Ed Executives Executive Search & Placement Services, please contact us today to schedule a free consultation.