Executive search agencies are firms that engages is in looking and gathering candidates that will fit a position that a third party company is looking for (Executive Search, n.d.). The nature of their business involves in recruiting prospective candidates that employers are searching for. How it works is that a prospective employers will approach the executive search agency with the objective of hiring a highly-skilled manager. Usually the executive agency has the exclusive right with regard to the placement if the possible employee. With that, the agency will then get the details of the criteria that the employer wants from the potential manager. After that, the agency will gather a possible candidate then they will forward the person to the employer for the final process of employment then the agency gets paid (Agency Central, n.d.).

The basic purpose of an executive search agency is to aid in searching for skilled individuals that will serve as a potential manager or employee in a given company. The biggest difference between a recruiter and an executive recruiter is that, the executive recruiter is looking or the exact skills that the employer wants while the recruiter is looking for the people that is suitable for the criteria of the employer (Agency Central, n.d.). The relationship of company and executive search agency stems from having a contingent to a long term relationship or a retained relationship. Companies uses contingent executive search agencies is to have a wider reach of pool of candidates that will fit their company while having a retained or longer relationship with an executive search agency is to establish a healthy understanding with one another with the goal of having the agency look for suitable senior level roles for that company (Power, 2014).

In today’s business environment, it is not uncommon for companies to enlist executive search agencies to hire for them even having an existing HR department. One reason why executive agencies are relevant is for the convenience. Since having to rely on online classified ads or online resumes to check potential candidates for executive roles, they would much prefer an executive agency to employ their manager rather than having to sift through hundreds of resumes and conduct dozens of meetings to find the perfect individual for the job (Global Executive Solutions Group, 2017).


An advantage that may be linked with engaging with executive search agencies is its cost-effectiveness. Since the company would spare the gruesome process of attracting, recruiting, filtering, and interviewing the right individual for the job and having to incur costs that the company would be regretting, executive search agencies would ease those process and would have a perfect candidate for the company in a short amount of time. Furthermore, the times today these agencies have already existing prime pools of people perfect for senior level roles as well as top management roles. Lastly, having a relationship with an executive search agency would give the company a wider connection to globally competent workers (Accession, 2018).

The cost-effectivity of having an executive search agency do the bidding in looking for suitable people for the job is that the company does not have to use resources in house. Or another reason will be that the company does not have the great enough in-house resources do conduct their own executive search for their company. Also, executive search agencies can guarantee a low turnover since they basically tailored maid the candidates that will enter the employer’s place of business. Which in return would entail a longer return of investment for the company  (Half, 2017).

It is not just important to find a good candidate that will help grow the business but a candidate that will grow with the business. Executive search agencies has the advantage of assessing the candidate’s compatibility with the work environment of the company that would really benefit the company’s overall performance. In addition, when a company goes to an executive search agency, they are most of the time looking for solutions. Rather, someone with the solution or someone that will help coming up with that solution. A good executive search agency would always ask the goal of the company on why they are asking for an executive search agency’s help (Hager Executive Search, 2016).


In the previous sections, there were a lot of advantages mentioned in using executive search agencies in hiring people however, with every advantage there is always a disadvantage. One disadvantage is the upfront retainer. The payment of the retainer is the payment of exclusivity. It may be different from other executive search agency but a retainer is for the exclusivity of agency to the company and the assurance that they will not poach any employee from them. Another disadvantage is the accountability of the agency. They might have given the company a great candidate but was only productive in the first few months. Accountability of the agency would be limited since they are still dealing with a human being and human being change behaviours all the time, so the investment that they paid to the agency to look for that employee would be all for nothing since they would eventually have to fire the employee or retrain him which would entail a higher cost (Greenberg, 2013).

An obvious disadvantage for employer by going to executive search agencies is that they did not have the opportunity to screen the person by their own HR department. Which in return would be a big shock for both the person and the company since they will have to speed up the process of familiarity with one another.


For every SME, to ensure its success, the company must envision a strong and stable objective that will align with its mission, vision, and goals with a company. Without proper and good leadership, it may cause to stray away from its original purpose. Good leadership ensures that there is a clear line of decision making, strategies, and practices. This ensures that these practices will not only ensure the success of the company, but also boost the morale. Without having an effective leadership, businesses have a high chance to grow much more slowly and often lose direction between the company’s workforce (Bolden, 2007). As a result, fall behind competitors. Falling behind the competitors may cause the business to keep up with other competitors, making it an unsuccessful venture in the first place.

Since SMEs do not have the number of connections in the industry, having this will gain more access to a high-quality network of executive  professionals. These network of contacts across various industries will have the connections that will aid you in succeeding the objectives you have listed down. With this, the number of talent within your reach will increase tremendously. This means that the pool of talent will increase its quality. In addition, SMEs would be still needing a dynamic leader since they would want to be a step ahead of their competition that’s why having executive search agencies aid them will provide them with competent and dynamic business leaders (Half, 2017).


Accession. (2018, March). Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an Executive Search Firm. Retrieved from https://www.accessionhire.com/resources/news/position-territory-sales-manager-2

Agency Central. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.agencycentral.co.uk/articles/2018-05/what-is-executive-search-recruitment.htm

Bolden, R. (2007). Leadership Development in SMEs: Designing a customised solution. GITAM Journal of Management, 5(3), 40-53. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7216/f8e1b8b0615348ab6a4fe80955c5cab8645c.pdf.

Executive Search Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://jobadder.com/glossary-term/executive-search-definition

Global Executive Solutions Group. (2017, March 20). A Closer Look at How Executive Search Firms in the Philippines Work. Retrieved from http://www.gesg.ph/a-closer-look-at-how-executive-search-firms-in-the-philippines-work/

Greenberg, A. (2013, September 16). 5 Disadvantages of Retained Search. Retrieved from https://www.contractrecruiter.com/5-disadvantages-of-retained-search/

Hager Executive Search. (2016, February 02). 9 Advantages to Using an Executive Search Firm. Retrieved from https://hagerexecutivesearch.com/consulting-solutions/9-advantages-to-using-an-executive-search-firm/

Half, R. (2017, November 08). 8 reasons to reach out to an executive search firm. Retrieved from https://www.roberthalf.com.au/blog/employers/8-reasons-reach-out-executive-search-firm?fbclid=IwAR0nOFiNu8QkMmx8pIDhe0abn17MjX2yq_IYy1bp_85aaAtdWw0X7E5EG7w

Power, R. (2014, November 12). How Executive Search Firms Work. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/rhett-power/how-executive-search-firms-work.html