Executive Recruitment Business Essay


is a consulting process in which individuals are tested and gathered to fill executive positions in organizations. this headquarter search can be either performed by the company's board of directors in need of, or by an executive search organization. the executive recruitment business has reached an around of fifty years of development, in some recruitment companies a little longer than that; from a byproduct of management consulting just after WWII, up until today, has grown, and become a global consulting business with over 10 billion of annual revenue (AESC) .

When after World War prosperity began in United States, and later then in Europe, the customer demand shifted to a technological progress, high competition embracing more modern management methods to overcome financial performance. Major trends in the business world have been paralleled with executive recruitment, also organizations of every kind, and has influenced greatly in our socio economic development (AESC).

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Even before World War II and through the 1940s, a handful of firms were in the business of recruiting executives. Executive Manpower, run by William Hertan, and eponymous firms established by McKinsey & Company veterans Jack Handy and Ward Howell, and by Booz, Allen & Hamilton alumnus Sid Boyden, all recruited executives for client companies. In fact, Thorndike Deland arguably formulated the concept of executive search back in 1926, when he founded the first retained executive recruiting firm. The firm focused on retail executives and charged clients a retainer plus a commission of 5 percent of the hire's first-year compensation (AESC).

When back in the 50's most organizations had been based upon assumed loyalties, lifelong employment and paternalism. the 1960s and 1970s when international trade increased and domestic markets became increasingly competitive, companies' needs for experienced executives outpaced their ability to fill those positions internally, and a more open market for management talent developed. Loyalties, lifelong employment and paternalism broke down on both sides as executives realized that they might achieve more rapid career growth outside their alma mater, then cyclical cutbacks and restructurings occurred (AESC).

When growth in client organizations grew in markets around the globe, executive search helped to meet their needs. from 1970 through the 1990s, executive search spread steadily, first within Europe then into Latin America and Asia. Companies figured search firms might help them attain a competitive edge, new thinking, and innovation, then by the late 1980s, even nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, and government agencies had started commissioning searches to fill key positions. By 2000 and to this day, few major organizations needing to fill a key position in their management ranks do so without considering the engagement of a retained executive search firm to assist in the process. Indeed, back in 1914 Edwin G. Booz said, "Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person." (AESC)

Today's five largest global firms all date to those decades, for example: Boyden, which predated all of them in 1946, Battalia Winston Heidrick & Struggles which was founded in 1953 by Gardner Heidrick and John Struggles whose first three clients were West Virginia Coal & Coke Corporation, Northern Trust, and Continental Can, Korn/Ferry International whose introduced more of a "marketing" approach to the business. As marketing went, in the late 1950s, and early 1990s journalists began to follow the industry more closely and executive search consultants on both sides of the Atlantic came to widespread public attention. companies like IBM, Coca Cola, and The Walt Disney Company, received strong media coverage. People not only became aware of search consultants but came to feel that if these big company relied on them, they should believe in the executive recruiting service(Korn).

Executive search has been an international business from its inception. the way this originated happened around the 1950s and 1960s years when the world saw the rapid development of the US multinational corporation, and as those giants expanded they needed managers for their operations overseas. Search consultants often set about finding local executives for overseas openings, which was the approach taken by Spencer Stuart (pioneer of the consultant business since 1961 when Spencer-Roberts & Associates, Inc., was established in California) who flew to Caracas for his very first assignment.

Once the talent pool shrunk, search consultants have needed to research a broader range of sources international basis. In the past ten years globalization has transformed the world economy, management practices, and the availability and distribution of executive talent. 'War for Talent' predicted by predicted by McKinsey & Company helps explain the nearly 120% increase in global demand for executive search services from 2004 to 2008.

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To respond to this dramatic rise in demand from the emerging markets, many search firms and networks have opened new offices in China, India, Russia, and smaller markets, including Poland, Turkey, Romania, the Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. As a result, today there is far greater representation of retained executive search in countries around the world than ever before(AESC) .

Executive search always has been, and remains, an extremely merit-based business, with low barriers to entry and highly-entrepreneurial values. Perhaps the most significant change in the industry has been its global growth in terms of firms' operations and the scope of many searches. Today's clients typically want search firms with global reach when it's called for, and the industry has responded accordingly(AESC).

The Nature and Origin of Executive Recruiting. Let us go back a little and understand what a executive is. Also known as senior management, executive management, top management, upper management, higher management conformed by a team of individuals at a high level of organizational, they hold specific executive powers conferred onto them with and by authority of the board of directors and/or the shareholders. The positions in charge of managing those day to day operations can be Chief executive officers (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO); whose responsibilities are the administration of entire operations, marketing, sales, personnel, and production; and finally the financial performance ("Wikipedia").

Recruiting companies on the other end are businesses based on enthusiasm, patience in the constant battle against time, they must be money motivated, recruiter s are not social workers, recruiters need creativity on the quest for the out of the box hire, research background, resourcefulness, familiarity with the business, an understanding of the pressures of hiring, a high tolerance for rejection, and the ability to negotiate. All these previous recruiting successfulness tips added up with the concept of a headhunter recruiters leads us to a high costs service to fill senior management and executive level roles ("Wikipedia"). Headhunters are also used to recruit very specialized individuals; for example, in some fields, such as emerging scientific research areas, there may only be a handful of top-level professionals who are active in the field. Headhunters will attract both candidates; in house, and international plus actively seek them out as well. To do so, they may network, cultivate relationships with various companies, maintain large databases, purchase company directories or candidate lists and use a cold call mechanism (Korn).

When days of sending resumes turn into weeks and months without a phone call or interview, it might be time to turn to a professional. Executive recruiters, or headhunters, have one mission: matching very specific, top-level talent with very specific, top-level job openings. They are the match-makers of the business world and they're masters of their trade (Megan 4).

"Companies aren't in the business of creating jobs for people," says executive recruiter Skip Freeman, "companies are in the business of making money." With that in mind, Freeman, the author of Headhunter Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed… Forever! stresses that understanding a company's motivation for hiring employees is paramount to landing a job in this tight market. "Companies hire people for two reasons: to make money or to save money." The take-away for job hunters is to position themselves to do one or both (Megan 3).

there are always more supported conservative thoughts fighting against the efficacy of executive recruiting, urging HR professionals to steer away from external executive recruiters and foster more: talent management, internal promotions, performance management, succession planning. Supporting those fundaments in executive recruitment since it has contributed in a major way to escalation of executive pay in which companies pay 20 or 40 percent more to bring in anyone from outside, making standards higher and higher pay standards for another companies, that start losing executives, and cannot afford to hire a recruiter (Davis 1).

The way executive recruiting is evolving. there are recruiters with a 55-year-old business model, that really need to do something that is more transformational in order to keep in business and mostly use technology as an enabler. Nowadays recruiters make deals with visual computer programming companies which work with network giants such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and have follow up with a broader data base of potential executives, they just want to find more ways, and have such a large amount of names to probably find that "outside the box hire" (Kelly 3).

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Another side of the study in how executive recruitment works is lead by the following case example: "You want to make a decent salary, but I'm not motivated by money and never have been," says Tom King, a banking veteran who took a sizable pay cut to join a much smaller company. In April, King became the new president of Reliant Professionals, a staffing agency in San Diego. What does he believe it takes to hire top execs? "It all depends on your hot buttons," says King. "I got typecast as a turnaround specialist, and I was tired of doing turnarounds. I toyed with retiring. Now I'm excited about having a new challenge." Just like the example treated before, the lead to recruit is to Forget everything heard about how tough it is to recruit top executives when Attracting senior talent trick is in the way you approach the offer, and touch whatever both party clients really needs (Greco 2).

Challenges and opportunities on this business could be: The market for executive recruiting is very limited nowadays, competitors are always in each others foots trying to rename talent already founds as their own. The ways executive recruitment companies support their output is by emphasizing their publicity by showing their accomplishments, awards and recognition given for example by; L. Harris/Impulse Research Public Relations Client Survey, Silver Anvil Awards, Award in the U.S. and European SABRE competitions, etc. but, in a few words strategic thinking, management involving, and creative talent are the inside key factors.

Agency environment is highly competitive, recruiting companies are constantly facing competitors. "Thinking outside the box" is one of the main calls to stay competitive in this business. The executives found must be industry leaders, recruiter must find this ideals and forward this thinking to their clients, develop a unique perspective, and "cutting edge" from competitors.

Executives quest is challenged with a "global" versus "local" perspective, in which at a executive level recruiters need to think how decisions will affect the global brands. At the same time they must do whatever it takes to gain local recognition. Finally executives must have a global experience.


Megan, Casserly. "Trade secrets and what you can learn from top-level recruiters.." Top Secrets Of Executive Headhunters. Forbes. 07.31.10: 4. Print.

Davis, Nancy. "Take Charge of Executive Recruiting." Human Resource Managment 7/3/2008 : 1. Web. 22 Feb 2011.

Kelly, Kevin. "Bloomberg Businessweek." Executive Recruiter's New Strategy 1/15/2009: 3. Web. 22 Feb 2011.

Korn, Ferry. "Korn Ferry International." N.p., 2011. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://www.kornferry.com/ExecutiveRecruitment>.

"Executive Search." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2/18/2011. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_search#Retained_executive_search_firms>.

Greco, Susan. "Hire the Best." INC. 010101999: 2. Web. 22 Feb 2011.

AESC, . "Association of Executive Search Consultants." members.aesc.org. Association of Executive Search Consultants, 2009. Web. 22 Feb 2011. <http://citationmachine.net/index2.php?reqstyleid=1&mode=form&reqsrcid=MLAWebDocument&more=yes&nameCnt=1>.