Hiring the top executive talents is essential in maintaining an organization’s status and reputation. You have to place great people on top of the organization to keep your company progressing. But recruiting top executive candidates can be straining. One option is to outsource higher-level recruitment to executive search firms. This process involves getting the services of executive recruiters for sourcing and finding the most fitted candidates for your company’s available executive positions.

Given the large number of executive search firms in the Philippines, finding the best one for your company can be complicated and be a lot of work. There are a lot of things to consider: should you go for multi-national firms or go for the small firms? Can the firm deliver your requirements? Should you opt out for “bundled” packages or is it better to do it per candidate? Cutting down your choices will be hard and the process can be overwhelming. To help you ease the hassle, we summed up 5 key questions you should be asking when sourcing for an executive search firm

Know The Process

When executive search firms pitch their company and services to you, they will always put their best foot forward. Keep in mind that the best firms will consistently deliver after the deal is closed and the contract signed.

Before sealing the deal, you must first know if your prospect choice’s process is in line with what you have in mind. Put these questions into consideration: how do they manage the search process? How do they assess qualified candidates? Where do they primarily get their leads for candidates to fill in the open positions?

To help you better, here’s a checklist on the must-knows about the firm’s services:

  • The firm has a high past success rate for all jobs with your company or similar firms in your industry. Where success is measured in quality of hire, speed, cost, the retention rate, manager satisfaction and the performance of the hire.
  • They must have verifiable track record of successfully locating and placing qualified candidates for this targeted position with your or other benchmark firms (your competitors?).
  • Search firm-placed employees must have higher performance on the job (performance appraisal scores, promotions, bonuses, output etc.) than employees from other hiring sources or firms.
  • They must be cost-effective (lower cost vs. benefits) than other firms and other methods of recruiting.
  • Candidates that accept have a longer average tenure in the job (lower turnover) than other firms and other methods of recruiting.
  • The use of this executive search firm must result in a __% higher overall recruitment success rate than other firms and your own internal recruiting function. It must be able to demonstrate a positive ROI on the use of its services over those of regular internal recruiters, and its rates should not exceed industry standards.
  • The firm must have a verifiable track record of successfully placing diversity candidates for your hard-to-fill jobs at our firm or other benchmark firms (our competitors?).
  • Recruited candidates request lower starting salaries than equally qualified candidates from other sources and firms (some firms “shop candidates and as a result they demand higher salaries).
  • Candidates referred by them must yield a higher offer-acceptance rate than other firms and our own general applicant pool. This is to minimize manager frustration, and it also shows that they have strong “closing skills.”
  • Completes a higher percentage of searches on time, under budget and within specifications. In low unemployment times, the rate of unfulfilled searches for retained firms can be quite high.
  • The overall time to hire must be faster than using your own recruiters, and better than other firms. In a competitive world the cost of a vacant position can be in the millions, and a delay can mean losing the best — who are often gone in a week.
  • In a “side by side” simultaneous search (with your internal recruiters continue searching at the same time), they provide better candidates in the same time period.
  • When asked to prove their capability in a “test” they can give you a list of your own firm’s top talent within a week. (It is hard to know if the talent they find in other firms is the best.) But since you know your own talent, if they can find it in a “dry search” odds are that they can find talent in other firms also.

Checklist source: https://www.ere.net/checklist-for-selecting-the-very-best-executive-search-firm/

One essential question to examine is their average time to complete the search or fill in the position. Take note of their timeline, starting from the first interview, assessment of the candidate, to completing the hiring process. Knowing where the firm gets their leads is also important. Ask about their active talent community and database. And which job portals do they use and how widely do they depend on it.

A good firm will actively stay in touch with you, continually checking and following up on placed candidates. What happens when the new hire quits shortly after being absorbed into the company? Executive search firms in Manila usually offer a replacement guarantee within a specific period of time. Post-hire integration of new hires into your company should be consistently overseen by the firm.

Know The People

It is important to know the people who will be executing the search for you. Request to check their track record and check the recruiters’ professional credentials. Know if they team that will be handling your account is knowledgeable of the industry and evaluate what are the necessary skill set and experience to have for the executive position available.

Another key is evaluating how the firm handles their customer service and how good their responsiveness is. Go for the firms that offers timely synopsis and feedbacks about the shortlisted candidates. They should provide a constant evaluation of the candidate’s skills, needs, expectations, and criteria on why they should accept the job offer.

Be sure to test their responsiveness. Are they prompt to response to calls and messages? When choosing for a firm for your executive search, always think ahead. Would this firm assist you through out the process, even after the hire? Would the candidates feel comfortable communicating with the team?

When choosing for an executive search firm in the Philippines, the best way to go is the one that (1) is knowledgeable about your industry, (2) has a good track record, and (3) appeals best to your company’s preferences.