As in every industry, there are also some black sheep in executive search. The following characteristics will show you that an executive search company is serious:
A good executive recruiter is like a dentist: He drills. Whether at the job, the department or the company itself. He asks so many questions that he soon knows the job better than you do.
He takes his time, creates a very detailed job profile with you and knows all the advantages your company has to offer.
One of the most important tasks of an executive searcher is to convince candidates who are not willing to change. The entire success of this costly undertaking usually depends on it.
So first ask yourself the question: Can he convince you fully of himself and his work? Or does he sometimes make you suspicious?
If he can’t even convince you (who wants to cooperate with him) – how could he do it with stubborn, reluctant candidates?
A good sign is also if he knows all the weak points of the job and has an unbeatable argument for every possible point of criticism.
It should not happen that the headhunter simply disappears after the first interview and does not report with the final candidate list until weeks later.
Instead, you should be in constant contact and he should keep you up to date on his progress. This will allow you to react early if the search threatens to go nowhere (e.g. because the salary offer is too low or because the requirements profile sets the bar too high).
Good handling of candidates
A good executive search consultant knows how and when to best approach candidates. (His Sunday family outing, for example, is the completely wrong time for this.)
In addition, he is always respectful, unobtrusive and keeps interested candidates at bay.
Successful mediation between the parties
There will almost always be a situation where you and a candidate have different views. Either in terms of pay or the demands of the job.
Your executive search consultant should, however, mediate well between the parties in such a case and rule out major discrepancies in advance. He should only present you with candidates who at least as far as the most important things are concerned are on the same wavelength as you.