Consider these important aspects when choosing your Executive Search firm

Have well defined requirements

Start by defining what it is you are in need of; you need a well-defined requirement profile based on your company’s strategies and goals. What is need to have and what is nice to have? If you do not know what you need it will be difficult to look for a partner/headhunter who can give it to you.  Now, when this is done you are ready to start the selection process

Start searching and think long-term

A well-tested and safe way to start your search for a first selection of headhunting firms is to turn to your own network. Another alternative is to search online to find the highest ranked firms in your sector and/or firms specializing on the type of role you are currently looking for. 

Choose to meet with two or three firms to make sure your final decision is well grounded. Make sure that you have confidence in the firm that you choose and that you can imagine a long-term partnership with them.

Bear these four key factors with you when choosing your headhunting firm

1. Reliability

– Is the firm an established firm with a good track-record and selection of consultants?

– Does the firm have well established search processes?

– Will the firm be able to deliver candidates to you within the required timeframes?

– Do you feel confident that the firm can represent your company and brand well when meeting potential candidates? The right company/consultant will be able to function as a brand ambassador for you in those meetings.

– Does the firm offer you any kind of guarantee in the assignments? If not you might want to questions what the reason for that is.

2. Competence

– Does the firm have competence within your sector, for example Retail, IT or FMCG?

– Does the firm understand your requirements well enough to make a suitable role description? In essence, have they understood the current assignment correct?

– Is the firm operating on the right level for you? Meaning, is the firm working on an executive search level or are they more focused on keeping prices low by “searching” through ads only.

3. Long term relationship

To find a reliable headhunting firm that you can work with for many years to come will have both financial and qualitative benefits for your company. A firm that knows your business, your sector and your brand well is always preferred to one who does not, and on top of finding the prefect candidates this firm will be able to represent your company well in all external meetings.

A firm that shares your values in terms of CSR, sustainability, diversity etc. is more likely to be a good long-term fit than a firm who does not share your values.

If you choose a firm as a long-term partner you will end up spending less time explaining your business, your organization and your needs for each recruitment and the quality of your candidates will constantly improve.

4. Price

It can be a costly mistake to choose a headhunting firm for the wrong reason, such as price. Wrong recruits will cause unnecessary headache and cost your company a lot in terms of money, reputation and energy. When you look at the price, also look at what you get for that price. Only then will you know if the firm is the right fit for you.  


Stockholm 2020-02-05

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