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Project example :

"Executive Search with a focus on Financial Services"

Executive Search with a Focus on Financial Services

From 2006 to 2008, I worked for a management consultancy, an Executive Search boutique specializing in law firms, tax advisory firms, as well as Private Equity and financial investors and their portfolio companies. As a Project Manager in Executive Search during that time, I led numerous searches. Subsequently, I worked as an independent consultant for various Executive Search firms for several years.

What does Executive Search mean?

Executive Search refers to the recruitment of executives through direct phone outreach. Informally, this is also known as Headhunting. A crucial skill for an Executive Search consultant is conducting professional market analyses and identifying executives in competitor companies. Executive Search consultants don't selectively approach candidates in the market; instead, they conduct structured research.

» In Executive Search, there are no job applications. Executive Search consultants choose the candidates themselves. I identify the top performers in the competitive landscape and then approach them directly «

Lars Schott, HR Manager
Interim Recruiter Executive Search

It is customary for target companies to be defined in collaboration with the client in Executive Search. Subsequently, executives are identified within these companies and approached in a structured manner. Particularly important in this process is adherence to the consulting principles of the professional associations BDU and AESC. A resume is only forwarded to the client by the Executive Search consultant when the candidate agrees to direct contact. Candidates have the opportunity to ask open questions about future responsibilities or the salary package and do not have to jeopardize their reputation in the market by disclosing their name.

How does Executive Search work?

Successful executives are in demand in the market and do not need to apply to job advertisements. Management positions are almost exclusively filled through Executive Search consultations. But how does a Search project actually unfold?

Client Consultation

During the client consultation, all details about the position are discussed: the job profile is aligned, and the salary conditions are clarified. Often, clients inform the Executive Search consultant about companies in the competitive environment that are of interest.

Creation of a Target Company List

Within three days, the consultant compiles a "Target List" of 30 to 50 companies using this information. It is crucial that the consultant understands the hiring company and its business model well. The "Target List" is coordinated with the client and confirmed by them.

Identification of Candidates

Various service providers specialize in conducting market analyses. These service providers analyze open media, work with recommendations from professional associations or market participants, and also analyze company databases. Candidates in the market are identified using this information. It is essential to comply with all data protection regulations. The research is typically completed after about 14 days.

Candidate Outreach

Through direct telephone outreach, candidates are approached at their workplace regarding the position with the client. Poaching attempts at the workplace may not always be well-received. However, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) explicitly considers direct outreach at the workplace to be permissible. This is because Executive Search promotes competition and uncovers new potentials for the economy. It creates competition for the best talents in management.

Presentation of Candidates

Approximately 30 days into the project, the initial candidates are presented to the client. It's important to note that not just one candidate is approached for a position; ideally, three to five candidates are presented. The client should have a selection and be able to choose the best candidate from different personalities. The first candidate is particularly crucial for the Executive Search consultant because it allows them to see which personality fits well into the company. Additional candidates are often approached based on this initial presentation. This ensures that the client receives a good selection of candidates. In the ideal scenario, a search is completed in about 2-3 months, and the candidate signs their new employment contract.

Experience with Executive Search Consultations

I have worked as an employed consultant and as a freelance project partner for various Executive Search consultancies. This has given me a deep insight into different search firms. I have seen how different consulting companies operate and what is common in respective industries. Executive Search functions differently for lawyers than it does for IT specialists, for example. I can leverage these experiences from Executive Search effectively as an HR Interim Manager. I have broad networks with different consulting companies.

Saving Costs and Time

Many of my clients engage Executive Search consultations for selected positions. These services can be costly, so they need to be well-managed. Often, I can negotiate favorable conditions during the negotiation. When I engage an Executive Search consultancy as an Interim Recruiter, I quickly notice if research is not conducted thoroughly. I also have a good sense of whether Executive Search consultations are performing effectively. Job markets are becoming increasingly competitive, and searches can take longer. On the other hand, as a consultant, I also need to be sensitive if Executive Search consultations allocate limited resources to the search. In such cases, only a few candidates are approached, and the selection of candidates is accordingly limited.

As an Executive Search consultant, I find it interesting to immerse myself in different companies. I need to understand not only the client's business model and its job requirements but primarily bring people together.

Further information:

» My Services: Recruiting

» Project Example: Interim Recruiter at a Mechanical Engineering Corporation

» Project Example: Talent Acquisition Manager at an IT Company

» Project Example: Head of HR with a Focus on Recruiting

» Project Example: Interim Recruiter for a Start-Up

» Project Example: Interim Recruitment in the Real Estate Industry

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