Why Executive Search Has Become a Necessity for Businesses
How executive recruiters optimize resources and reduce uncertainty in a rapidly changing job market
By Stacy Snider, SVP Finance & Accounting Executive Search
I’ve been helping businesses discover and place the best talent for in-demand executives in their firms for 13 years. I’ve seen swings from candidate-driven markets to job-driven markets and everything in between––including the roller-coaster effects of the COVID era and the Great Reshuffle.
I can tell you that executive search is in no greater demand than right now. More organizations are recognizing that executive search firms save resources, bring expertise to sourcing the candidate pool, and provide support from start to finish.
How we arrived here
The great uncertainty during the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020 meant that no one was voluntarily leaving their jobs. That period created a pent-up supply of workers who might normally be open to other roles but elected to stay put. Sourcing talent was extremely hard if you needed to fill a role, if not impossible.
When the economy started opening again and people started changing jobs, it seemed like everyone was ready for something new. Enter The Great Reshuffle of 2021––an almost free-for-all atmosphere. Companies suddenly had several open postings, but also more candidates than ever vying for the open roles. Filling these roles was like drinking from a firehose.
Today, we’re coming back to a baseline. There are still important, high-level positions that organizations are trying to fill, but also far fewer candidates. Last year, for every 5-8 qualified candidates vying for an executive role, this year there could be just 1-2 for the same position.
That brings us full circle to a place where sourcing qualified candidates for high-profile executive roles once again requires deep expertise to refine your recruitment. Fortunately, executive recruiters live and breathe candidate sourcing in high tide and low tide and are prepared for any kind of job market.
Remote work and the future
First and foremost, executive search builds bridges between the businesses that need high-level candidates and the candidates that may be open to the right opportunities. We stay in touch with both sides to connect the needs with the opportunities at the right moment.
Today, finding the right fit between those connections has become more complex because there are more factors to weigh. That’s because suddenly there are a wide variety of work situations, from fully remote, to hybrid to fully in-person. Those options either open or narrow the talent pool, along with considering new salary ranges and benefits.
A business in Texas may be hiring for a Chief Financial Officer role with the option of being fully remote. That opens their options to the full country. It also means they have higher volumes of candidates to screen and benefit packages to consider to be competitive with coastal salaries. In contrast, another firm may offer in-person roles, which makes the screening process easier but the sourcing more difficult with a more limited pool of candidates.
How executive search produces the best outcomes
In the face of these rapidly changing work conditions, executive search can serve as a buffer against uncertainty and the difficulty of filling critical roles.
Where I work in the search for financial executives, we’re always thinking of the next step for an organization or candidate to prepare for the future. Once you start building a relationship, a good recruiter understands and anticipates your hiring needs and opportunities, whether it’s backfilling or adding a specialized role that never existed before in a growing organization. This can mean counseling an organization to structure a role and find a fit before they even know that role is necessary.
These long-standing relationships pay off. After we’ve placed candidates that exceed expectations, organizations come back trusting that we understand their needs. On the candidate side, job seekers trust us to find the right long-term opportunity for them and their situation, rather than simply selling them on any opening. This leads to most of our candidates turning into clients down the road through the irreplaceable trust we built with them over the years. I placed someone into hiring roles three times, and they hired from me each time. After a certain point, working with a recruiter becomes effortless since they understand what you need in a potential hire. This deep understanding brings a qualified and eager candidate that saves all the time, energy, and uncertainty of finding the right fit.
Ultimately, the efficiency and skill of an executive recruiter help minimize the uncertainty and disruption of this important hiring process and allows an organization to do what they do best––running their day-to-day operations.
The hiring process should be seen as the start; it’s not a finish line. Executive search focuses on getting everyone to the start line, prepared, confident, and ready for the best possible outcome.
At Addison Group we pride ourselves on finding hard-to-fill management positions that are essential for growth and competitiveness. Let me help you find your next great hire!
Stacy Snider, SVP Finance & Accounting Executive Search
Stacy Snider has been in the human capital industry for over 12 years. After spending seven years at Robert Half, she joined Addison Group in 2017 to expand and enhance Addison’s footprint in Texas. She has since grown Addison’s Executive Search practices in a number of key U.S. markets, where she focuses on direct hire accounting & finance executive searches.