Why Companies Are Turning to Search Firms

There was a time when business leaders resorted to working with headhunters only for the seemingly impossible job searches. Today, companies are changing their perception when it comes to executive search firms with the numbers indicating this trend strengthening over the next decade.

The Evolution of Corporate Talent Acquisition

As business and hiring practices continue to evolve, the plight of the headhunter looks to be one of longevity, and business owners may find themselves increasingly reliant on them to fuel their company with fresh talent.

While the value of personnel is better understood and appreciated than ever before, the availability of talent seems more scarce by the minute, and company leaders are finding it harder than ever to find top talent using traditional methods, so they are turning an eye towards headhunting firms.

Traditionally, internal recruitment teams have filled the vast majority of roles for a company, yet the increasing complexity of today’s job descriptions are proving to be more difficult for corporate recruiters to manage than in years past. Nowadays, there are too many roles at most large companies for a handful of corporate recruiters to adequately recruit for. This is especially true for upper-level positions – that may not need to be filled frequently, and a corporate recruiter may not have experienced this type of job search.

For a company to have the breadth and range an executive search firm possesses, they would need to employ an entire search firm internally – fully equipped with the tools, licenses, and operational processes necessary to find the right talent. Recruitment firms with specialized teams of recruiters are far more likely to have the experience to find and, more importantly, qualify candidates for specialized roles.

The Headhunting Advantage

Based on the survey responses of nearly 4,000 corporate talent acquisition leaders, 61 percent say their team will stay the same or decrease in size in 2017. One reason for this is companies are still warming up to the idea of using search firms for positions that are not commonly filled. While an organization with a large sales team may have no trouble filling average sales roles, the internal recruitment team may struggle to find a director of compensation with the right experience. Not being exposed to the wide range of compensation talent like a headhunter, the internal team is likely to look for individuals with the same job title, and underestimate the importance of the type of experience, varied exposure to both specific and broad-based areas of compensation, and the importance of finding an individual who has worked with a similar company. In the medical field, there are general practitioners and then there are specialists — the headhunter is the specialist.

One clear advantage headhunting firms have over corporate recruiters is the ability to reach out to passive job seekers. Passive job seekers are professionals who are not actively looking for a new job but may be open to new opportunities. Eighty-five percent of professionals in 2017 are open to new opportunities. With recent developments like LinkedIn’s “Open Candidate” tool that allows professionals to indicate they are open to conversations with recruiters, the ability to recruit from a company’s competitor is easier than ever for a recruiter. While headhunting firms excel at this, corporate recruiters have limited resources. It takes a much more proactive approach to attract this level of talent than the average active job seeker.

Companies also have a better understanding of the cost of a bad hire these days, so using a headhunting firm to avoid hiring mistakes is paramount. Poor hiring decisions can cripple a company’s growth. Because hiring mistakes are more cost producing to an organization than previously thought, companies are extending their hiring process longer and taking more precautions to guard against making poor personnel choices. This, however, can be a double-edged sword as time-to-hire increases and jobs stay unfilled longer.

While companies are willing to put more effort into finding the right candidate, they still need to fill the jobs in a relatively similar time frame. This is where the speed and efficiency of an executive search firm is attractive to business leaders. The lack of bureaucracy and a focused approach, typically lead to faster time-to-fill and quality candidates.

Finding your Talent

If you identify with any of the information above, it may be time to reach out to a headhunting or executive search firm. Look for the firms that specialize in your industry. The detailed approach recruiters within those companies will take is necessary to you finding the correct talent to fill an open position.

It’s ok to be a bit overwhelmed if this is your first time navigating the world of working with a headhunting firm. We can walk you through it. Just shoot us a note and we’ll get in touch with you to help you get started.

The right talent is out there – and it’s our job to find it.

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