Executive search firms help companies conduct the specialized recruiting required for these top leadership positions. Does every company benefit from using a search firm for executive recruiting though?

Executive Search Requirements

If your hiring team does not have procedures in place for executive recruiting, it may be more advantageous to get some help. Executive recruiting should include the following aspects: reputation management or employer branding, a simplified application process, and frequent contact throughout the process. Specialized knowledge about how and where to source executive candidates also comes in handy for executive recruiting.

If your hiring team or HR department has some or all of these techniques in place, you may not need an executive search firm. Here are some other things to consider when deciding whether to hire an executive search firm.

Cost vs. Value

What will it cost your company to do executive hiring in-house vs. using a search firm? Knowing the cost of your executive search efforts is important and will tell you whether you should use a firm or conduct efforts in-house. In-house costs include software tools, social media site-building, website building or rebuilding, and what is usually the biggest cost—labor hours for all the time it takes for existing employees to do these preparatory activities.

Besides considering which option would be less costly, companies must also examine their goals for hiring. If they have other motivations for handling employer branding, social media development and online application availability in-house, it may be advantageous to do so, especially if hiring or HR team members have the skills required to complete them.


Executive searches that take too long will result in desired candidates getting away before they can be hired. If an executive search firm can find quality candidates more quickly, it may be worth the cost of a firm. Streamlining the in-house process can be another option for companies that just need a little tweaking in order to hire executive-level employees effectively.

Finding Passive Candidates

Executive search firms often have more connections with passive candidates—those who are not actively looking for a new job—and can tap into their pipelines to search for candidates that might not otherwise be on a company’s radar.

Search firms are also experienced in how to present opportunities to executive candidates in such a way that they are more likely to consider them. Companies may be able to accomplish these objectives as well; it is important to know your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to executive recruiting.

Confidential Searches

If the company wants to replace an executive without word getting out until the candidate is in place, a search firm may be used to help keep things quiet until the new executive is ready to step into the position.

ThriveTRM can be used by both internal hiring teams and recruiting firms to track each step of the recruitment process. Discover solutions for search firmsVC / PE firms, or in-house recruiters today!

Collaboration Executive Search ebook