Hiring and retaining the best talent is one the key HR processes within any business organization. However, with the growing competition levels and the straining of the corporate recruiting functions to the limit, most organizations choose to outsource their executive search and talent acquisition process. This essentially involves hiring the services of professional executive search firms for finding, attracting and even negotiating the hiring terms with the most suitable candidates for the high-profile and senior level roles.
Given the large number of companies offering such services, finding the best executive search firms can be somewhat complicated. The best way to simplify the process is for the business organizations to evaluate the capabilities and competence of the search firm to make the right choice. Discussed below are the 7 key questions that business organizations should ask the executive search firms to evaluate them:
1. How does the company approach the recruitment process?
It is important for the business organizations to seek detailed information about the search firms approach towards the recruitment process. This includes the efforts made by the firm to understand the recruitment needs of the company, the methods used for accessing the candidates and its skill and ability to arrange and conduct the interviews. It is also important to understand the details about the tools and processes used by the firm to perform the search in the right manner and methods used to attract the candidates.
2. What is the actual result percentage of the search firm?
Most executive search firms are quite good at providing verbal details of their achievements and capabilities. However, simply relying on these verbal claims cannot help business organizations to make the right choice. Rather, it is important for the organizations to focus on the actual numbers and figures to understand ability of the search firms to provide the desired results. Search firms that are not able to provide the actual facts and figures of the results achieved by them, are not worth being considered for high-profile recruitment.
3. What is the type of resource pool used by the search firm?
Every executive search firm has its own resource pool of candidates suited for various job positions. It is important for the business organizations to verify the type of resource pool used by the company. This includes gaining information about the general quality of the candidates they deal with. It also includes accessing the market reach of the firm in order to find the best candidate. The business organizations also need to consider the tools and strategies used by the firm and their collaboration with best market research companies in India or abroad for enhancing and updating its resource pool.
4. The average time taken by the company for completing the recruitment?
A search firm that takes too long to complete the recruitment process is definitely not the best choice. This might lead to significant loss of productivity within the organization resulting due to the lack of an authentic decision making authority. At the same time, it is important to thoroughly access the qualities and capabilities of the candidates recommended by the firms within an extremely short time. In such cases, the business organization might end up bearing the brunt of making a wrong hiring decision.
5. What type of customer service and responsiveness do they offer?
Seeking information about the type of customer service and responsiveness offered by the executive search firms is essential for its objective evaluation. It is advisable to opt for a search firm that offers timely synopsis and summaries about the shortlisted candidates. In addition, they should provide a consistent evaluation of candidate skills, their needs and expectations as well as any criteria they might have for job acceptation. It is also important for the firms to provide a prompt response to any calls or messages from the client organization.
6. Can the firms be trusted to offer discreet services?
Many times a business organization might not want to advertise its search for a high-profile candidate. Moreover, some companies choose to work from behind the scenes until the appointment of a candidate is confirmed. In such cases, it is essential to choose the best executive search firms that can be trusted to offer completely discreet services. The firms should be able to operate as an extension of the client organization while maintaining the confidentiality of the clients.
7. What is the cost of services being offered by the search firms?
The cost of services is a key factor in helping the business organizations evaluate the executive search firm they intend to hire. The costing offered by top firms depends on the exact nature of the services they offer. It is advisable to avoid hiring a search firm that charges a flat rate irrespective of the services sought by the client. Opting for firms that offer varying service packages with a set price is a better option. Alternately, business organization can hire search firms that work from project to project.