The world loves Executive Search because it is easy, with either no or low commitment. In the world of contingency, you may not know my name or company logo but if I have the rare talent you need — you don’t seem to really care who I am all of that much.
Hiring managers (aka an expert in something other than hiring), are happy to offload and delegate what they don’t like or know enough about — and that includes finding talent. This is strategic right? Outsource non-core tasks. Or is it lazy?
When people and culture are important to a company, leaders better be up to snuff in best in class hiring techniques. This is the quandary. Leaders and hiring managers know what’s expected of them, but can’t be good at everything. They understand that they are supposed to make talent important, but often don’t have the hiring infrastructure and support in place to be good at it. So, what do they do?
They excitedly or begrudgingly work with Search Firms.
We are your worst nightmare. The world hates Search Firms like mine because the service offers an expensive cost per hire. We are your last resort. Everyone in the business wants to avoid working with the dreaded executive search industry. You brag when you cut our costs. Sometimes it is the goal, lower hiring costs. But at what true expense and impact if you can’t find the talent you need to execute your business?
Nonetheless, you choose this, because you frankly have no other choice. Build expensive, scaled hiring infrastructure or pay someone for one hire who has that hiring process down pat and in place.
Don’t hate me for the honesty. Search firms exist on the fringes of your strategy at best. And I know some great search firms, including my own. But we know our place. When we win, Human Resources sometimes feels like they lose, that we did their job or something. That should not be the case — the Search process works best when the firm partners with Human Resources and the Hiring Managers. When we are a part of the overall solution-building process. When we are a part of the organizational chart and strategy.