Ten Steps in the Executive Search Process

Posted on 10-17-2018
executive search process

Finding the right professional to fill an executive level position at your organization is no small task. After all, executives are critical to the success of a company: A bad hire can compromise operations from the top down, while a good hire can propel the organization to new heights. While there are standard steps that the executive search process typically follows, as a leading executive search firm Kirby Partners provides a full-service approach and uses technology to make the process as efficient and successful as possible.

Executive Search Process

  1. Initial Meetings. Once the hiring organization has retained the executive search firm with a signed exclusive contract, a first meeting is scheduled. This provides the executive search firm with important data such as timeline and search requirements, as well as company mission and strategy.
  2. In-depth client analysis. Before beginning the search, the search firm performs a deeper analysis of the hiring company. This involves meeting with other executives at the organization, identifying opportunities for the new executive, and gaining a deeper understanding of the role and company culture.
  3. Creation of a candidate specification. This document, based on in-depth market research, provides detailed information about the competitive environment, as well as the job responsibilities, the company, and any potential opportunities for the executive. It also outlines the desired educational and career requirements for the role.
  4. Creation of a search strategy. The search strategy determines which organizations to target to find the right candidate — as well as a list of off-limits companies. These are usually clients or partners of the hiring firm. The search strategy also takes factors such as location, organizational culture, and company ranking into account. Resources that are used include social and professional networks, industry networks, LinkedIn, and the executive search firm’s own database of candidates.
  5. Candidate search. Candidates are first screened to assure they meet all requirements, then contacted to determine their level of interest. During this stage, the executive recruiter also gauges what it would take for a candidate to make the move to the hiring organization.
  6. Interviewing and reference checking. The executive recruiting firm conducts in-depth interviews with the candidates and checks their references to verify that all information is correct. Only the strongest candidates are selected to move on in the process
  7. Writing of candidate profiles. A written candidate profile is created for each person who will be presented to the hiring organization. This profile contains educational and career information, as well as an analysis of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to the position’s requirements. Each candidate profile is presented to the client, after which a short list of the strongest candidates is created.
  8. Interviewing of short-listed candidates. The hiring organization meets with the short-listed candidates and selects several finalists. After thoroughly checking their references, a final candidate is selected.
  9. Extension of an offer and negotiations. The executive search firm provides counsel and helps negotiate a mutually agreeable deal.
  10. Onboarding and integration.  In some instances, the hiring organization may request that the executive search firm assist in the onboarding and integration of the new hire. Once this has been achieved, the job search is marked completed.

Working with a good executive search firm can yield a significant ROI. It can save you time and resources while maximizing your chances of finding the right person for the role. And in the long run, this can have a profoundly positive impact on your company.  We look forward to sharing more about the Kirby Partners process and what sets us apart; contact us today to learn more.


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