Life Science Executive Search

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Executive Search Firms Remain a Valuable Resource

With the rumored threat of an economic recession not likely to take hold in the very near future, the talent shortage continues to greatly impact companies attempting to increase their workforce. The longer it takes to fill an open position, the more costs increase. Not to mention the cost of a bad hire — which is particularly expensive, especially for senior and executive level roles.

In the recent article 10 Recruitment Trends for 2020: Latest Predictions You Should Be Thinking About,  the biggest recruitment challenges companies are currently facing are identified as the following, in order of greatest concern:

  1. Finding qualified experienced talent
  2. Identifying talent with the correct skills
  3. Finding qualified entry-level talent
  4. Articulating accurate talent brand
  5. Onboarding employees in a timely fashion
  6. Ineffective recruiting technology
  7. Constructing appealing job offers

The good news is that with the right external recruiting partner, many of these pains can be greatly reduced. Companies find that this investment far outweighs the cost of using internal time and resources.

An Executive Search firm is not a Staffing firm (which generally focuses on filling lower level/junior positions, and has different techniques and methodologies for doing so). A company seeking to fill a senior level role has a lot at stake in terms of hiring the right candidate to produce the greatest success for the organization.

Executive hiring is difficult: Executive search can improve the odds of a successful hire.

As Jason Starr, CEO of Dillistone Group so eloquently stated, “At senior levels, the real cost of a bad hire is damage done. Strategic damage. Reputational damage. Cultural damage. CEOs and senior executives are paid to make big decisions. Just six months of poor leadership can have an impact on an organization that can be hard to quantify. However, a bad hire given more time can cause real damage.” 

For those reasons alone — time, savings and importance of sourcing the right senior level candidates —  companies recognize the inherent value in partnering with a top-notch Executive recruiter. That’s not to say the benefits end there. Executive recruiters are embedded in the employment market and recruiting industry day in and day out. They use proven, strategic search tactics and approaches to source top level job seekers and uncover desirable “off the market” talent (i.e., passive candidates).

Search firms can effectuate candidates that a company might not be able to reach on its own. They know what candidates are looking for in a new role. They have a finger on the pulse of current market value across their respective industry roles they search, and they are able to provide valuable market intelligence to their client companies. 

And do not underestimate the relationship value between a company and an external recruiter, who is in fact an extension of the hiring company. He or she joins forces with the hiring company by partnering closely throughout the entire process — from genuinely taking the time to learn the company’s pain points, needs and culture, to thoroughly understanding the full scope of the open position, including both hard and soft skills requirements needed to effectively recruit the right candidates. 

A professional Executive recruiter prides themselves on only presenting the best of the best to their clients. They remain a partner throughout not only the initial sourcing and candidate submission process, but they often play the role of “middleman” in assisting everything from setting up interviews (which can be a tricky task in and of itself) to extending offers, handling negotiations and introducing new hires to the onboarding process. 

If that’s not enough reason, here are a few MORE reasons to engage an Executive Search firm:

  • You are seeking a candidate with a rare mix of skills, the proverbial needle in the haystack. A dedicated, experienced recruiter has the ability to find the unicorn.
  • You have to replace an underperforming executive while they are still in the role. Discretion is key and search firms are able to abide by this much-needed request as they work in a world of confidentiality.
  • You see a looming future need; as in an important role could soon be vacant as there is a sense the current employee may leave/retire etc. Your recruiting partner can fill the pipeline to avoid potential catastrophe. 
  • You tried internal resources first, but for any multitude of reasons it did not produce the results you were seeking.

The article How Do Top Executive Search Firms Find Candidates? found that less than 10% of Executives are found via job ads. As a matter of fact, 26% are found by using Executive Search Firms versus only 6% being found by in-house recruiting resources. That is not to say that internal recruiters are bad, not by any means, but using external search firms for tough fills and higher-level positions makes sense to many organizations.

In a time when unemployment remains at an historical low, and the number of open roles far outweighs the number of on-market job seekers, companies will continue to struggle to effectively grow their workforce or make the changes in leadership needed to improve overall organizational success. Fortunately, Executive recruiting partners provide the services needed to substantially improve the likelihood of sourcing the qualified talent to ease this challenge.