The Not-So-Secret Recipe for Working with an Executive Recruiter
When conducting an executive search, organizations fall into two distinct categories: employers who are open to reconsidering their initial compensation package to hire the right candidate, and hiring authorities who prefer to settle with a less-ideal applicant to minimize employment costs.
While the former often yields more favorable results for all parties involved, the good news is that any organization can have a successful partnership with a search firm. The recipe for working with an executive recruiter is simple: a dollop of transparency, a cup of communication, and top it all off with a drizzle of efficiency.
A Dollop of Transparency
As an executive search firm, we understand how the hiring process can be unpredictable and time-consuming. We have witnessed hiring obstacles caused by internal miscommunication, unforeseen budget cuts, and shifts in priorities. No matter how dire the circumstance, employers must be open and honest with a recruiter to achieve a smooth hiring process.
We worked with a client company that publicly posted a salary range in their job description. After our team sourced and presented candidates within the scope, the employer told us that the target compensation was much lower than what they promoted. The lack of transparency led to disappointed candidates and a delay in the sourcing process.
To avoid misunderstandings, utilize the initial phone call with a recruiter to provide as much context about the position and company as possible. What are the “must-haves,” “nice-to-haves,” and “deal breakers” that are not apparent in the job description? Is a business merger or acquisition afoot? Is filling the role the company’s top priority?
Be realistic when relaying the hiring timeframe for the position. An organization may try to enlist a search firm early to get the ball rolling but fail to disclose that they do not plan to start hiring until months later. By failing to address this with a recruiter ahead of time, candidates who were already contacted for the opportunity will feel like they were strung along in the process, which does not bode well for the duration of the search.
A Cup of Communication
For a positive recruiting experience, employers must have frequent communication with their search firm. After a recruiter screens and presents a group of candidates to a client, discuss why each candidate would or would not be a good fit for the role. This allows a recruiter to refine the search even further.
Employers also need to actively communicate with candidates involved in the final stages of the hiring process. On occasion, hiring authorities try to stall the process due to internal reasons. Eventually, candidates will stop responding or checking up on an opportunity after waiting too long, and their interest in participating in the process dwindles.
If a search has made little to no progress, recruiters are faced with the responsibility of giving clients a reality check when their expectations are too high for the type of compensation package they are offering. When employers are unable to get the talent they want for their initial price, they may withdraw from communicating with their recruiter, making the search a challenge to complete.
Even if the reality check is a hard pill to swallow, recruiters really are trying to show their clients the bigger picture. The insights they share come from their day-in and day-out experiences recruiting for a particular industry or field in the current job market.
A Drizzle of Efficiency
Employers need to take efficiency into account when working with a recruiter. Before reaching out to a search firm, be sure that hiring internally is not a viable option. Some companies may also be at risk of having too many cooks in the kitchen when hiring a new executive. While it is great that leadership wants to be involved, keep in mind that accommodating a handful of busy schedules can result in a longer hiring process.
To maximize efficiency, hiring authorities must be confident in their decisions and timeline. Ideally, one member of the executive team will be assigned to serve as the primary representative of the company when speaking to and coordinating with the recruiter.
Mix Them All Together
Just because an employer enlists an outside recruiter to help take the hiring workload off their plates, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they can let go of the reins altogether. Our most positive experiences have come from employers who were willing to be hands-on and engaged with the recruiting process from start to finish. With a dollop of transparency, a cup of communication, and a drizzle of efficiency, employers are well on their way to creating a successful partnership with their search firm.
As Published in Gaming & Leisure Summer 2023 Edition.
Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 55 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; CBD; Facility and Concession; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Healthcare; Hotel and Resort; Nonprofit; Restaurant and Foodservice; and Travel, Tourism, and Attraction industries.
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