Either you have an executive on board that is just not cutting it, or you’ve just learned that you have an employee who is leaving. In either case, you have to replace the incumbent with someone new. Perhaps because of the confidentiality of the situation, or maybe because you need help in selecting the right candidate, you’ve decided to use an Executive Search firm to help fill the position. So now what?
How do you select the best firm to find your new executive? Here is a list of the criteria you should consider:
- Fees. Although fees should not be the only factor, it is definitely important.
- Prior experience with similar positions. If you are seeking a new CFO or Controller, it is important that the firm has prior experience with similar positions. For example, a firm that primarily searches for Sales and Marketing professionals may not have the expertise to find a CFO.
- The search counselor. The firm may have experience in filling similar positions, it is important the Search Counselor assigned to the engagement also has experience in filling similar positions.
- Size of firm. This is not as important as one may think. More important is the talent and experience of the recruiter who is assigned to the engagement.
- Industry experience. Prior exposure to filling positions in a specific industry, such as Government Contracting, Professional Service, Retail, or Non-Profit will be helpful.
- Is the search local, regional, national or International? One might select a specific firm if it is expected that the successful candidate currently lives and works locally. An entirely different firm might be selected if it is expected that the person would come from a different geographic location.
In summary, your search firm selection will be determined by a number of factors. Considering the above items and others will help a firm pick the best firm to conduct their search.