Why the “search” element of Executive Search is critical.
The “search” element of Executive Search, or “sourcing” as it is sometimes known, is possibly the most crucial stage of the recruitment process.
What is sourcing?
The stereotypical view of recruiters trying to find candidates for a vacancy usually resembles searching for a needle in a haystack. A well-meaning recruiter will be busy scraping various job boards for CV’s that could be a potential match, or throwing out a range of adverts to hopefully try and attract suitable candidates. This approach works occasionally, but is often very “hit and miss.”
Sourcing, on the other hand, involves proactively headhunting passive candidates by researching and mapping the sector. The aim is to unearth candidates who are not looking for a new opportunity and persuading them to leave a comfortable job for a new option.
Talented sourcers will maintain a balance between keeping up to date with the latest market developments, being aware of the relevant “movers and shakers,” and knowing how to contact those potential candidates as soon as a suitable opportunity arises.
Sourcing underpins all types of recruitment but is best used to support retained recruitment. This provides the client with guaranteed, in-depth research to ensure the market is thoroughly investigated and suitable potential candidates are identified and approached. Clients in specialist markets find this approach highly beneficial as it means they have the reassurance that all potentially suitable candidates for their vacancy have been identified and contacted.
How does it work?
When a client engages us to fill a vacancy, our Search team begins by taking a thorough briefing from the hiring manager. At this stage, the research team assess the requirements of the role and identify key skills and experience required from the ideal candidate.
Mapping potential candidates
With the candidate profile in hand, the Search will begin by mapping and identifying key organisations and individuals within the relevant sector(s) for us to approach. We take an open approach to speaking with potential candidates which means that as well as contacting individuals with a view to converting them into candidates, we recognise the importance of networking across the sector. We will, therefore, seek referrals and recommendations from well-networked individuals with in-depth market knowledge.
A thorough search exercise will take 3-4 weeks depending on the role in question. During the search, the client will have dedicated and exclusive resource focusing solely on their vacancy in order to find exactly the right candidate. We understand that finding the right talent is more than a matter of just finding matching skills and experience. As part of the search process, we assess the personal style and fit, personal characteristics and the “little extras” that make all the difference in ensuring that both the candidate and client are fully comfortable with each other before progressing further in the process.
Ensuring quality throughout the process
Here at Gilbert Meher, our Research team provides the client with a shortlist of suitable candidates to review and progress to the interview stage as appropriate. Our Search team is involved throughout the remainder of the process and facilitates the interview stages as well as any psychometric testing that may be required.
Following this, we will debrief with the client to receive and provide feedback and ensure two-way communication between the client and candidates. Based on the overall process, various meetings and interim reports, the client will decide which candidate they would like to make the offer of employment to.
Finally, if you are considering partnering with a recruitment agency to source the top talent in your market, get in touch. Specialist teams at Gilbert Meher have a vast network of contacts across a number of sectors.
Author: Rabiya Ali -Head of Research at Gilbert Meher