Insights

How Executive Search Firms Cultivate Candidates

Posted by Reed Flesher

Executive search firms need to find what often seems like a needle in a haystack. Identifying the right executive candidate for a particular business can seem like an insurmountable task, but that’s an executive search firm’s specialty–sourcing talent and then cultivating it to bring out the optimal candidate for each executive position.

Cultivating Candidates by Planning Ahead

If executive recruiters waited until they were hired to start compiling candidates for an open position, they would forever be behind the curve in sourcing this highly specialized top talent. That’s why many executive recruiters are consistently building a robust and diversified talent pool that they can source from when new opportunities arise.

While there are typically only a few types of executive positions, each organization’s  unique size, culture, and industry position has a direct impact on the type of executive sought by the hiring team or search firm. A tech startup, for example, requires a CMO with a very different skill set than a Fortune 500 retail company.

It’s vitally important for recruiters to get to know as many people in executive positions, as well as professionals one level down, as possible so that they have a chance of matching the right executive with the right open position. For those that need help storing details about different candidates, Thrive TRM allows users to create detailed profiles of everyone in their network and then create reports based on any criteria to instantly show you a list of possible candidates for a given position.

Using Every Opportunity to Network

You never know where you might find the next executive candidate, so it pays to get to know people through a variety of methods. Not only should executive recruiters attend executive-level conferences and networking events, but they should get to know people they meet on a day-to-day basis, because you never know where you might meet the next potential executive candidate.

Asking about the colleagues of those you meet can also be a productive strategy. Questions like “who is the marketing executive you know” can begin to familiarize you with names to form the basis of the talent network recruiters need. You can then reach out to some of these names on professional networks to initiate relationships so future contact will be welcomed rather than questioned.

Use the Company’s Own Networking

Asking to be introduced to those in close association with a company’s executive leadership team can be a way to find candidates, either among those associates or by asking them for referrals. Those in close contact with the company are most likely to know its culture and needs, making them some of the better candidates for the position if they have the qualifications.

While the company may question why it needs an executive recruiter if that recruiter is using their own network, it’s important to remember that recruiters free up valuable time for leadership teams to focus on the tasks that matter, rather than talent acquisition. Recruiters have also honed the process of talent sourcing and convincing passive candidates to consider the position, which adds value even when internal networks are used.

Use Software Tools to Streamline and Track

Software tools like Thrive TRM simplify the process of cultivating candidates by making communication with candidates and hiring teams instantaneous and perfectly organized. Comparing candidates is easy with the reporting and tracking functions of Thrive TRM, and it integrates with other popular tools like Slack and ATS systems to make the whole process come together seamlessly. We invite you to contact us at any time with your questions about executive recruiting software solutions.

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