Executive Recruiting: The Five Ws

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A potential insurance client based in Maryland called me this past week and asked me, “You were referred to me by a good friend…but, please tell me, why should I spend good money to hire a recruiter when my HR department already does this…?”

More on this individual later in the blog.

Hence, a five-part series was born called, “Executive Search: The Five Ws”

Over the course of the next five Fridays, I will provide you with each of these “Five Ws” starting with, “The Why’ today!

  • Targeted Recruiting: When an employer has targeted an individual from a competing firm they have a good relationship with, you had better hire a recruiter to do this in secrecy, otherwise, you can bet they will poach from you as well.
  • Diversity: I am not talking about DEI here. I am talking about supplementing your workforce with individuals who bring a diversity of experience, skills, understanding, education, culture, and other traits that provide that added layer of perspective necessary to take your firm to the next level.
  • Replacing a senior executive: When replacing a currently servicing employee, one has to be careful not to create drama. Better hire the replacement before giving the person their walking papers.
  • A Newly Created Position: Many times, a firm will decide to branch out into a new product area requiring new skills. HR simply doesn’t have the subject matter expertise to even come up with the position requirements. This could be a P&C insurance agency expanding into employee benefits or life insurance.
  • Traditional methods simply no longer work. Many HR departments are still using out-of-date job search boards to search for active candidates. Search firms specialize in sourcing passive candidates which is much more time and resource-intensive. HR departments are typically comprised of process-oriented staff, not recruiting specialists.
  • Urgency: A key executive departs leaving a huge talent gap at a key position. We take these searches on all the time. We just completed a search within 30 days that a major insurance carrier had spent one year internally trying to complete. The loss in sales over this past year was catastrophic.
  • The 80/20 Rule: Smart firms will use search firms to stack top talent in key positions because they know that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Search firms find that 20%.

And finally, we like to say, “Everyone is hired for what they’ve done (the resume), but most people are fired for who they are. A search firm specialized in the “who” not the “what.”

Oh…and the potential client mentioned in the opening paragraph? Just signed the fee agreement. We start on his search on Monday!

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