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Executive search as a profession

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The Executive search profession: a short introduction

The profession of the recruiter is a hard and challenging one, but still as any other profession it has its numerous subcategories. One of the most desirable turns out to be one in the executive search sector – unknown among low-level workers and widely known among senior-level managers. What’s especially particular about executive search consultants is that they aim at mostly managers, who are not actively looking for a job, and are even satisfied with the job they have.

Still, the consultants look exactly for people with experience in order to give them a better offer and manage to take them out of the companies they work for and assist the competitors’ company in the process of recruiting highly-qualified professionals. And as quite often experience does not always transfer directly from one situation to any other, retained search consultants help the companies easily find people who have not only worked under similar circumstances but who will be able to fully answer the needs of the company. Another important aspect is that executive search is team  work.

It is to be pointed out that search firms and executive search consultants get paid by companies looking for a candidate, not by the candidate themselves. That slight difference gives an insight into the process itself – it is constructed in such a way that it is the client-companies that benefit mostly from the service, not the candidates. It may happen that a particular candidate may not be offered any lucrative position over a long period of time, for example up to two or three years. That is why a candidate cannot rely on personal advice from the executive search consultant, because such a thing would actually even be a violation of the executive search business’s ethics.

How executive search firms differentiate

The executive search firms vary from large to small, depending on the sector they work for. It is common that smaller firms try to compete with the bigger ones through networking with the purpose of better reaching. But to highlight the difference between the types of executive search firms, one should have in mind the two main types of firms, namely global and boutique executive search firms.

As every other business the business of the executive search consultants has the privilege to have a representative professional organization, named AESC (Association of Executive Search Consultants). Like most similar associations AESC requires from its members that they comply with the Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines of the organization. An interesting fact is that AESC’s representatives are not only global companies with worldwide services, but also the already mentioned small boutique executive search firms.

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