Executive Search Firm
Working with an executive search firm: How human resources personnel can be good clients for their recruiters.
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Working with an executive search firm: How human resources personnel can be good clients for their recruiters.

Working with an executive search firm is a very important part of any senior-level candidate search. To make sure the consultations go smoothly, human resources personnel should be aware of how they can best work with their chosen recruiters and head hunters. A successful relationship between an executive search firm and human resources requires a good deal of trust, respect and the ability to work together from both recruiters and client alike.

Working with an executive search firm successfully requires human resources personnel to understand how to work with their recruiters.


Before meeting with the executive search firm, human resources needs to do their research. They should be prepared to give the recruiters a very detailed description of the open position, an outline of all desired traits and characteristics for a candidate and a list of all available resources. They should also be prepared to introduce the head hunters to all the key decision-makers in the selection process.


During the search process, the executive search firm will need human resources to assemble their own search committee to assist the recruiters. This should be a team of key personnel involved with the recruitment process who understand the selection criteria and assessment guidelines. Key people should be designated contacts between the head hunters and the rest of the team and this person needs to be readily available to provide information or feedback on the process.


Once the executive search firm has procured a short-list of candidates, human resources needs to be ready to oversee the interview process. The recruiters will not be referring regular job applicants; instead their candidates will be busy executives who are sacrificing their time to meet with the client company. Human resources personnel should give each candidate the VIP treatment, make sure their time is used efficiently, and try to sell them on the company. More than one well-qualified executive has been turned off from a company by inefficient or poor treatment.

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