5 questions to ask your executive search partner

Partnering with an executive search firm for the first time? Or currently working with one, but unsure how to best make use of your relationship? Often, companies don’t realize that embracing an executive search firm can help you do more than just finding the perfect candidate for your role. It also opens up a whole other array of opportunities – that is, if you know how best to exploit your consultant partner’s expertise.

Below are our 5 top tips for questions to ask your executive search consultant in order to get the most out of your partnership.

1. How common is my desired candidate profile in today’s market?

Market standards change all the time. Recruitment consultants – good ones – are constantly in contact with the best professionals in the market. As a result, they can help you gain insight into exactly how common or rare the profile you are looking for will be to find, and help you tweak your requirements where necessary.

For example, our recent experience has taught us that hiring managers often demand for candidates to have experience with the sector. However, we have found that related sectors also lend themselves very well to transferable knowledge and skills. Candidates with background in related sectors or channels can fill your roll just as well. Your executive search consultant can help you estimate how much sector specific knowledge is necessary to help you fill the role. This will help you work look more broadly and efficiently without needlessly narrowing the search.

2. What type of profile is most desirable for the role I’m trying to fill?

Sometimes, clients ask for a candidate whose current job is essentially the same role as the one they’re currently recruiting for – just at a different company. While a logical idea, this is not necessarily always the best profile for the role. We have found that these types of candidates have lower offer acceptance rates, as switching roles lacks a significant upswing for their career trajectory.

To prevent a low offer acceptance rate, your consulting partner can help you think outside the box to tweak and redefine your ideal candidate profile.

3. What about my company/role is most attractive to potential candidates?

It is important to realize that executive search is a two-way street: you are not only interviewing the candidate, the candidate is also interviewing you. In today’s competitive market especially, it is crucial to be aware of your unique strengths as a company. Be sure to bring these strengths to the forefront during the interviewing process.

Your executive search partner can help you take the helicopter view of your own company and how you stand out from the competition in order to craft an effective pitch for the role you’re looking to fill.


Candidates with background in related sectors or channels can help you fill the role due to their experience with similar business dynamics.

4. What questions are absolutely necessary to ask candidates during interviews?

Sometimes, a hiring process can go wrong at the very last stage because the hiring manager has failed to ask an important question. These crucial questions are not always obvious to the hiring team. For example, one of our clients’ offer fell through at the last minute because they hadn’t checked with the candidate if they were prepared to work at the office three days out of five. In the industry the candidate came from, full time work from home had been normalized.

Executive search consultants speak with candidates from all sorts of industries on a daily basis – so check in with them which questions you absolutely must check with the candidate. You might just save yourself a lot of time.

5. How will filling this role help me achieve my commercial goals?

Hiring managers don’t always look at the bigger picture when making a new hire. As 360 degree consultants, however, your executive search partner can help you get a firmer grasp on how the role you are looking to fill fits into your company’s broader commercial goals.

One of our recent clients successfully expanded their sales department because of the advice of one of our consultants. So don’t be afraid to ask your executive search consultant for advice beyond the immediate hiring process, as you might just gain valuable business insights.

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Interested in speaking with one of our consultants about your hiring challenge? Give us a call!