What is an Executive Recruiter ?

Executive recruiters have a remarkable knack for finding top talent. They work closely with their clients to help identify, attract, and place senior-level executives. These specialized recruiters fill mid-to-high level positions by undertaking a thorough search for experienced candidates. The aim of the executive recruiter is to take end-to-end responsibility for identifying a suitable candidate in a suitable time frame.

Executive recruiters must possess certain skills to succeed. They must be able to communicate well with clients and prospective candidates. The ability to expertly balance client requirements and candidate expectations can help to close on the best candidates. A good executive recruiter will be able to confidently pitch the role to attract the highest quality candidates.

When just starting out, the executive recruiter builds a greater understanding of the nuances of sourcing, interviewing, and presenting. They also focus on building relationships and learning the best ways to work with clients. A client with a significantly large portfolio can be a great start for a recruiter, as they have established processes of learning, measuring, and recognizing individuals.

With experience, a mid-senior level recruiter brings efficiency to the process and engages the client’s top management team in a way that cements the relationship. The executive recruiter acts as a partner or advisor to help clients fill key roles that have a direct impact on their success. They also have opportunities to train and mentor junior recruiters and handle a larger part of the client’s work. As recruiters grow in experience and skill, they develop and sustain productive relationships with clients and high-profile candidates in a way that makes them indispensable.

An experienced executive recruiter will scour their professional networks to find potential candidates. They’ll also take the lead to present the role, conduct initial interviews, schedule client interviews, verify the candidate’s background, and mediate negotiations between the candidate and the client. Passionate executive recruiters also actively participate in market research, help on board candidates, or provide client consultations.

With effective networking skills, the executive recruiter can shortlist candidates to match the client’s requirements perfectly. After finding a match, they must negotiate and communicate with empathy so as to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement between the client and the candidate. Since the recruitment process takes time, patience becomes a crucial trait as it helps the recruiter fill the position in the face of likely rejections both from the client and the candidate.

In many industries (e.g., pharmaceutical, aviation, information technology, hospitality, financial services), executive recruiters play an important role as companies look for niche or functional talent. A study by the American Center of Progress revealed that the average cost to replace a highly educated executive position can be close to 200% of his or her salary. An executive  recruiter is therefore expected to hire the right candidate for each position. With a skilled executive recruiter, it’s possible to find and hire the perfect candidate for long-term success.


Author: Liam Copsey