What Makes a Great Executive Search Consultant?

When it comes to finding your next high-flying executive, you want the best help out there. But what makes a great executive search consultant? When it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff, consider whether your prospective executive search consultant meets your high standards. We’ve pulled together the qualities we believe make a great executive search consultant.

Outstanding Industry Knowledge

When it comes to finding your next senior hire, you want an executive search consultant who already knows your operating environment inside and out. They should know what challenges the sector as a whole is facing, where your company sits within the sector, what steps your competitors are taking and where the opportunities lie for future growth. The candidates they decide to present to you will ultimately influence your future business and team strategy so it is important that you pick some with sufficient sector knowledge.

To keep abreast of such developments, a great executive search consultant is likely to attend regular industry conferences. As well as being brilliant opportunities to learn, these conferences are also an ideal place for consultants to meet the sort of people you want to hire: the key players within the sector. While they might not meet the perfect candidate for their current search, it’s all about building up a list of contacts for future searches, including yours.

Look Beyond The CV

For an executive search, there is likely to be a whole host of people with roughly the right skills and management experience. Any recruiter can pull together a pile of CVs that tick all the boxes. A great executive search consultant goes one step further by looking at what isn’t written down. They will take the time to talk to potential candidates and determine whether they would actually be a good fit for your company culture and leadership style. Part of that discussion should centre on the candidate’s vision for their department and the wider company, and how their values support that.

Obviously, to be successful at making these judgements the consultant needs to have a good understanding of your business. Ideally, they should have spent time getting to know you, your team and your plans for the future. Companies will frequently return to the same executive search consultant time and time again because that rapport and trust are already in place.

Willingness To Collaborate

As the client, your needs and requirements should always come first. What makes a great executive search consultant is their willingness to work with your internal teams or other consultants to achieve the best results. If your consultant is reluctant to engage with other people and discuss the search, it is a clear sign that they are prioritising their own business over yours.

An Experienced Team Behind Them

When it comes to executive search consultancy, few people work alone. The very best consultants will be backed by a team of research & intelligence specialists who work to identify potential candidates. With a list of candidates drawn up, the team supports the executive search consultant in engaging individuals and providing solutions to their concerns and reservations. Throughout the process, they will keep in frequent contact with candidates and provide personalised feedback. They also keep a close eye on competitor movements. It is important that you consider the quality of this team when you hire an executive search consultant as you want candidates to be given the best first impression of how your company operates.

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