When to use a head-hunter

When to use a head-hunter

As a business you might have set processes for when you engage an external party to support on recruitment. However, it may not always be so clear cut on when you opt for an executive search process vs when you use a recruiter. So what is the difference and when should you select the executive search route? 

To get you started, here are the top 5 scenarios of when our clients have opted for a Search for a specific role as opposed to the more traditional contingency recruitment that they typically enjoy with us.

  1. Senior Level Hire: where the research-led methodology can really open up the talent pool to the passive market, a diverse range of experiences and backgrounds, explore other sectors and access an international market. 
  2. Confidential Nature: the direct, targeted approaches allows us to keep the process confidential until an announcement is ready to be made to market. 
  3. New Divisional leads: the emphasis on the research side allows us to look with flexibility and breadth where no precedent is set for a role. 
  4.  Succession Planning: the presentation of the market map allows you to assess the market in line with your potential upcoming skills gaps well in advance of their being an immediate need. 
  5. Change Management / Interim: have external talent can be the best option for a fresh perspective to lead a major change programme

Want to know more about why these choices have been made? We have broken this down into two core areas of difference for you between a typical recruitment process and an executive search: a) how will your potential candidates arrive at making an application and subsequently b) what will be their experience up to the point of you meeting them… 

Board Meeting

Key differences between Recruitment and Executive Search 

Talent Attraction

  • With a typical recruitment process you can expect a managed advertising campaign, qualifying of candidates, additional proactive searches and the utilization of the database from your recruitment consultant. A very well-rounded process, with thorough insight into the candidates, a rigorous look into the active market with some exploration of the passive market. 
  • With an executive search, you can expect a full market map of talent in the field. This encompasses all profiles relevant for the role – both active and passive – uncovering those who may not have put themselves forward and research into other sectors, giving everyone an equal chance to be approached. You should expect market insight, benchmarking and breadth. 

Talent Management

  • In a recruitment process, the candidates will be qualified for the role and then briefed on it in full. The advert will have given them a flavour of what to expect and then the Consultant will build on that with their knowledge from your briefing. 
  • In an executive search, the role may not be advertised at all. The candidates will be specifically approached by the Consultant and screened for appetite to move and competency. Depending on the level of confidentiality of your role, they will be briefed as appropriate and interviewed in full. 

Here at Inspired we offer both methodologies and are well placed to advise which of the services is likely to render the best results for you, your budget and timelines. 

If any of the above sounds like something that’s on your agenda currently, please don’t hesitate to contact our Search Director, Abigail Barclay, for a confidential discussion: 

Abigail Barclay Search Director contact details




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