Executive headhunters are human resources personnel engaged in specialized recruitment. Their goal is to attract skilled senior executives. The talents they pool in have to fill strategic roles like Chief Information Officer (CIO), Human Resources Director (HRD), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Finance Officer (CFO), and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), among others.

Essential Points to Consider in Looking for Executive Recruiters
Andrea Piacquadio

Executive search is different from recruiting junior talents. For the latter, companies partner with a recruitment consultancy on an as-needed basis. The purpose of their partnership is to fill vacancies with suitable applicants.

The successful candidates must first meet the agency’s standards. If they pass, they will be the ones who’ll apply for the role offered by the company.

Contingency recruitment works by filling various vacancies within the organization. But, recruiting for senior leadership teams is different. This team is only for the brightest, most promising people in the industry.

The problem here is that these highly-skilled people are not openly seeking jobs. They’re either retired or already employed by the best companies. To get these people on board your company, you need the help of executive recruiters.

How do executive searches work?

Executive searches work by finding the perfect match for the company and the role. In this case, it doesn’t matter if the candidate is out there actively searching for a job or not. The organization develops a long-term relationship with the firm doing the executive search. The latter serves as an extension of the former. This is how the recruiter understands the needs of the company.

What to look for in an executive headhunter

Many firms offer executive recruiting services. This could make finding the right one tricky. So, here are several tips to narrow your search and point you in the right direction.

Industry expertise

It’s not easy to find a qualified leader for your organization. The executive headhunters you’re working with must be experts in your industry.

They should be familiar with the various ins and outs of the trade to know what to look for in a leader. If they’re industry experts, there is a higher chance that they’ve already built a solid network. In this case, it would be easier for them to scout the best people to bring on board.

Industry experts have the right resources to dedicate to your vertical development. Their resources include senior partners who understand every organization’s different growth and success drivers.


You need thought leaders and trailblazers to occupy senior positions in your organization. These are people and talents everyone in your industry are talking about. These are also the leaders heading the companies that you envision to be.

You need credible executive headhunters to persuade this kind of people to join your team. C-suite executives are likely to return the call of someone at par with their seniority level.

Well-defined headhunting strategy

Reliable executive headhunters present a well-defined hiring strategy. The entire process is not a walk in the park.

It’s a complex, challenging process that requires identifying and evaluating different individuals. The goal of the process is to determine which of them meets your unique needs.

Finding the next company leader is a shot in the dark. It’s both a science and an art. This is why the best recruiter must know how to get the best candidates in the market. It’s not enough that they consider those available within their network. There’s a massive difference between ‘great’ and ‘good’ executive talent pools.


Your hiring efforts lie in the quality and credibility of your headhunter. It’s not an easy process. Yet, if you find the best people to lead your team, the efforts and complexities will all be worth it in the end. So, invest time in looking for a reliable executive headhunter. When you find the right one, everything else will fall into place.