How executive search and staffing services differ from each other

executive search consultants

The service of a recruitment consultancy is essentially about pure recruitment. Many consultancies concentrate on the search and selection of top-class executives and specialists. However, there are also established and renowned executive search consultants who expand their services to include strategic and conceptual issues such as staff development, assessment topics or the design of compensation systems, change management or company succession.

What’s in it: Executive Search

Executive Search refers to specialized recruitment consultancies that accompany companies individually through all phases of the recruiting process and along the entire value chain. As a rule, the executive search method is chosen when executive positions and key company-critical functions are to be filled, often starting from a gross annual salary of 120,000 dollars. The client is looked after exclusively and is the focus of our advice and support.

Where sound knowledge of the industry and the position to be filled is required, high professionalism in the identification of candidates and a confidential approach, Executive Search can play to its strengths. Together with the client, the executive search consultant develops the requirement profile that is used to guide the search for suitable candidates. The accounting is usually done as a fixed consulting fee, which is often agreed according to the one-third rule. A third is due when the first candidates are listed, a further third when the final candidates have been presented and the last third when the employment contract is concluded. A cornerstone of Executive Search’s success is long-term, trusting and often exclusive relationships.

The whole range: Staffing service providers

In the narrower sense, staffing service providers offer a wide range of services relating to the recruitment, deployment and release of employees. They offer “working time” in a certain qualification, which can take forms such as temporary employment, staff placement, temporary work, key account or project management, outsourcing or interim management.

Recruiters come into play particularly when there is a large market for a position: there are many candidates with the required qualifications, and these are easy to identify. As brokers, the intermediaries lead employers and job seekers together with the aim of concluding an employment contract. Depending on the position, they search for candidates at the appropriate hierarchy and qualification levels, restricting themselves to database and ad searches. They act on a success basis and receive a commission from their client when they have filled the position.

Temporary work or temporary employment is a tripartite employment relationship: the employee is permanently employed by the hirer and is sent to the hirer by the hirer. This model is suitable when functions in the commercial sector or at lower levels need to be filled quickly and easily.

So-called “CV brokers” research as many candidate profiles as possible from databases. The further service consists of checking the availability of the candidate and handing over the CVs to the client. Job advertisements published by companies in advance often serve as a signal for CV brokers to send candidate profiles to these companies without being asked.

On the other hand, the model of job brokers, addressed by job-seekers, works. The so-called recruitment marketing agencies offer companies the opportunity to disseminate their job advertisements via Internet job exchanges or their own websites. They also often work on a success basis or offer reasonable advertising prices by buying and packaging large quantities of advertisements at low prices.

The recruitment path chosen by a company therefore depends, among other things, on the company’s strategy: depending on the level, location, qualification and availability of specialists and managers, positions can be advertised at the lowest possible cost. However, if you have top positions to fill and would like to reach candidates who do not apply for an advertisement, you can contact the executive search consultant. Factors such as discretion, confidentiality and the right contact to the proven executive search consultant also play an important role here.

At a glance: The typical features of executive search consultancies and staffing service providers

Executive Search Consultants, Headhunters and Recruiters

  • predominantly fill top and middle management positions
  • work exclusively for the respective position
  • search by direct approach / direct search, specifically select suitable candidates
  • guide you through the entire process – individually and confidentially
  • get a fixed fee
  • take over free reoccupation.

Staffing service providers, including recruitment agencies, CV brokers and temporary employment agencies

  • act as intermediaries for workers at all levels of qualification and hierarchy
  • usually do not work exclusively for certain items
  • search broadly in databases and online exchanges
  • can therefore quickly come up with a large number of candidates
  • are often paid after success.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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