Trying to fill a key executive position without the help of an executive search firm is a lot like listing your house “for sale by owner”— it may feel like there are major advantages to the DIY approach, but hiring an executive search firm usually yields great benefit.
Imagine you want to put your family home on the market. Since your home is by far your biggest asset, naturally you’re trying to maximize profits on the sale. You also don’t relish the idea of giving up control of such an important process, so you decide to DIY the sale and place your home for sale “for sale by owner” (FSBO).
Selling this way allows you to “own the timeline” and determine when and where to advertise. At the same time, you avoid paying a real estate agent’s commission, which is typically six percent of the sale price.
As an added benefit, you’re in control of showings and open houses. By deciding when to schedule showings and open houses, you don’t have to keep your home “show” ready 24/7.
Despite these reasons for the FSBO approach, research shows that real estate agents can actually add significant value to the home selling process. Take this with a grain of salt given the source, but according to Realtor.com, the average sales price of an FSBO home in 2016 was $185,000, while sellers who worked with an agent enjoyed an average sales price of $245,000 — that’s $60,000 higher!
The higher sales price of homes sold through an agent reflects, in part, the value a real estate agent can add to the home selling process.
Reasons some organizations DIY their hiring instead of working with an executive search firm
Just like some homeowners believe an FSBO approach will give them a better outcome, many organizations start trying to find executive candidates on their own.
Common reasons we hear for not hiring an executive search firm include:
- Wanting full control over the process
- The belief that a recruiting firm won’t understand their unique culture
- Attempting to save money
- The perception that they have all of the right resources to find candidates on your own (with LinkedIn at everyone’s fingertips, it can seem deceptively easy to source candidates on your own.)
- Feeling like a recruiting firm can’t “sell” their organization the way they can
- Difficulty getting the organization aligned on the need to use a search firm
Though some of these reasons can be valid, a good executive search firm can work around these challenges while adding significant value to the process.
Why use an executive search firm?
In a candidate-driven market, most hiring managers indicate attracting top talent is their number one challenge.
After posting their executive job online, organizations quickly find themselves inundated with resumes, mostly from unqualified candidates.
Often the best candidates are already employed and not actively looking for a new role, so they’re typically missed by traditional in-house recruiting methods.
While an internal recruiter has important knowledge about the organization’s culture, data shows that they often struggle filling more technical and executive positions. Hiring managers overwhelmingly report that internal recruiters don’t have an adequate understanding of the jobs for which they recruit.
It’s important to note that making a hiring mistake can be expensive (by some estimates as much as 30% of the executive’s first-year annual salary).
While on the surface it may seem that you’ll save money and have more control over the search process, it’s important to fully consider whether you’ll get the expected benefits from taking the DIY approach instead of hiring an executive search firm.
Why partner with Kirby Partners for your executive search needs?
As an award-winning executive search firm, here’s how Kirby Partners adds significant value to your executive hiring process.
Providing access to passive candidates
Frequently top candidates are already employed so they’re unlikely to be looking on job boards for a new position.
Our team regularly communicates with leaders at healthcare and cybersecurity industry events so we know which executives aren’t actively seeking a new role, but would consider it if the right position came along.
At Kirby Partners, a key part of our strategy is identifying and reaching out to “passive” candidates who would be a good fit for your organization rather than solely posting your opportunity and seeing who applies.
Offering guidance on exactly what you need in a leader
If you’re like many organizations and don’t have full alignment on your needs (or have differing opinions), we’ll help you define exactly what you need in a leader. Sometimes
it’s a slightly different candidate profile than you have in mind who would be most effective.
Top executives need to possess the technical and soft skills for their role — plus, they need to be a good cultural match for your organization.
We focus exclusively in healthcare and cybersecurity so we know the market and can advise you on the candidate pool. To ensure a diverse slate of candidates, your position will be posted on our website, social media accounts, and on select diversity job boards, including diversityjobs.com
When your position is marketed through multiple channels, using the right messaging and high-quality visuals, it gets noticed. Not all backgrounds of candidates are well-represented at the executive level.
We help level the playing field by conducting research to identify profiles of up-and-coming leaders and executives in other industries who may possess the qualities you are seeking. (We believe diverse teams make strong teams. That’s why Kirby Partners had taken the Parity Pledge for our hires.)
Sharing knowledge about the candidate pool
Kirby Partners knows which candidates look good on paper, but are unlikely to succeed in your organization.
Some candidates might look good on their résumé but prove to be challenging to work with for any number of reasons.
Perhaps they have a hard time fitting into a new company’s culture, or maybe they fail to keep up to date on new developments.
Experienced executive recruiters such as the Kirby Partners team are aware of these factors and can save organizations a lot of time and resources by not including this type of candidate in their selection process.
We conduct thorough reference checks, and dive into the potential of each candidate to see whether their career objectives are a match for the position.
Ensuring cultural fit
Visiting your organization in-person or virtually and meeting with stakeholders for your position is a critical part of our process. We excel at asking the “right” questions to help us understand your business, dive into the requirements of your role and familiarize ourselves with your company culture.
That way, we can select candidates who possess all of the required qualities to thrive in the position.
Crafting a competitive offer
Our executive recruiters know the competitive landscape — plus, they know what’s important to our candidates. That means that once your organization has selected a candidate and wants to make an offer, our recruiters can offer advice regarding a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as other perks.
Across the country cities and states are enacting salary history bans, forbidding hiring authorities from asking job candidates about their compensation and benefit histories—this new legislation will be “game changing” for hiring organizations.
We’re here to help you navigate these changes and attract the best candidates to your organization.
Evaluating your internal talent so everyone is treated equitably
If you have internal applicants, we’ll review their candidacy and will help you identify anyone whose leadership potential may have been overlooked.
Managing your employer brand
Just like a homeowner stages a home, it’s in your company’s best interest to present itself in the best light possible.
We excel at helping you craft an exceptional candidate experience and onboarding process to set your new hire up for success.
Finding top candidates is a time-consuming process that often involves multiple people and several steps.
Working with a top executive search firm like Kirby Partners offers many benefits to organizations — and those benefits far outweigh any perceived advantages of a DIY search.
By working with a team of experienced professionals whose job it is to select and place top talent in the right work environments, you can find the executives you need to help drive your organization to the next level.
We’ve helped healthcare organizations “Hire for Impact” since 1989.
We’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you to add value to your next executive search. Contact us today for more information about our services.