According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta has an abundance of large business organizations; in the 2018 fiscal year, this top-10 national city had twenty-six Fortune 1000 companies that generated over $415 billion in sales. The Peachtree City has also strongly encouraged middle-market companies to scale, adding even more fuel to this dynamic growth engine located in northern Georgia.
With this positive and expanding business climate, many companies encounter one very important obstacle: hiring the right leaders and executives. Talent recruitment and long-term retention are vital in order for Metro Atlanta to sustain these growth levels. Without sound guidance and a proven hiring process, companies (on occasion) make the costly and inconvenient mistake of hiring the wrong candidate.
There are several different ways that an organization can utilize outside professional search services as they seek to fill open executive-level or specialized positions. Recruiting can be a lockstep start to finish process or it can be a collaborative effort with multiple touch points. It all depends on the unique and varied needs of your particular organization.
An Executive Recruiter and a Headhunter: What is the Difference?
Sometimes the terms “headhunter” and “executive recruiter” are used interchangeably, but there are key differences.
Headhunter firms typically work on behalf of the candidate, not the hiring company. Headhunter candidate recruiters typically work for an executive search firm that has been hired on a contingent basis; they only earn a placement fee if the hiring organization hires one of the provided candidates. Because of this operating model, their focus is often on identifying individuals who possess the needed skill sets. Headhunters also work with candidates that are in transition (unemployed) or actively seeking a new position.
Companies will contact a headhunting firm when they are having difficulty identifying quality candidates or have missed out on a recent hire. However, this can mean that the external firm is unfamiliar with the intricacies of the professions and industries at hand. Because headhunting firms only earn a fee following candidate hire, organizations may even choose to use more than one headhunting company to increase candidate flow and have a wider pool to choose from during the selection process.
On the other hand, executive search firms (called retained search firm in many circles) and their recruiters often work with both companies and candidates. They have more experience within specific industries and understand the unique acumen for leadership positions. These professionals also have a larger network of both potential candidates and companies as they develop lasting relationships with each party, usually over a number of years.
What Does An Executive Recruiter Do?
Although most large companies have an internal staff responsible for hiring, contracting with an executive search team gives them access to additional resources that it may be difficult to replicate in-house. Executive recruiters work with organizations seeking to hire top talent on a retainer basis, meaning the company pays them their expertise and contacts in the profession. Because of the ongoing relationship, executive recruiters often have a much better understanding of the intangible qualities an organization is seeking in a top-tier candidate.
The search for executive-level candidates can take many months, and the executive search firm invests significant amounts of time doing background research to identify the top candidates in the desired industry. Although it is a time-consuming process, organizations are willing to invest the time and money required to identify the very best candidates available to fill major leadership roles within their organization. This is how companies can avoid wasted time, energy, and money on the wrong fit.
Finding The Right Executive Recruiter
Executive recruiters also work directly with individuals who would like to be considered for available executive level positions. It is always best to find a recruiting firm that has expertise in the industry that you are targeting. Establishing a good relationship with an executive recruiting firm and making regular contact to keep them abreast of changes in your qualifications and interests is usually the best way to ensure consideration for positions that may not be advertised in traditional ways.
Working with an executive recruiter is a great way for companies and individuals to take their employment search to the next level. Executive recruiters perform a vital function in the job market by connecting talented job seekers with the top-tier organizations that are looking to enhance their workforce with the most talented and qualified candidates.