Qualifying Search Firms – Search Firm Credibility

In this series, we’ll share everything you need to know to select a high-quality search firm. Today, we’ll cover questions around identifying a search firm’s credibility.

Today, we’ll be focused on retained search, which includes the recruitment of passive candidates. Please feel free to review our content on YouTube to learn the differences between retained and contingency firms and how they affect your companies search process.

So. How exactly do you know if a search firm is good at what they do or not? How do you tell whether a search firm is a good fit for your company?

Do Your Research

Before selecting a search firm, you should get to know the firm, its level of professionalism, and its reputation in the business community. These attributes will directly impact a search firm’s ability to gain access to high-level professional and executive talent, as well as encourage positive (or negative) branding for your company.

Furthermore, the search firm you hire will be a direct reflection of your organization and brand, so you need to understand how the firm will position your organization.

Look At Feedback From Previous Clients

Credible search firms should be able to provide multiple references. Over the years, our firm has developed catalogues of both written and video testimonials from clients. This transparency and evidence of previous achievements is something you should look out for when searching for a firm that suits your company’s needs.

Ensure They Can Sell Your Job Opening

Your onboarding process with the selected search firm should include the joint development of a compelling narrative. Many search companies will list a grouping of duties, technical background, and skills required from candidates in their job description, but far fewer will develop a compelling narrative that answers the most basic question a strong prospective candidate will ask. What’s in it for me?

Even with the development of a compelling narrative, clients should recognize that busy people have little time to read ‘help wanted’ ads, so the contact and follow up methods your selected firm uses should be discussed prior to starting a business relationship.

You need to ask yourself if you feel strongly about a search firms ability to represent you and overcome potential objections they will face in the market.

For example, can the firm communicate both your organization’s unique value proposition as well as that of your niche industry?

And then, can they communicate how this value proposition translates into career growth and opportunity for top-rated talent?

Translational value is important because what a candidate doesn’t have today is not always evident to him/her, and that is precisely why you need experienced search professionals making the pitch if you want to attract the largest possible pool of exceptional candidates and raise the bar on hiring for important positions.

Finding a high-quality search firm is paramount if you want to ensure you hire the best candidate for your open role. In the end, remember that the firm you select will be qualifying and disqualifying potential prospects, but will also be selling your company. One easy way to know if they are good at selling your company is whether they’ve been a top earner in their own profession.

If you’d like some help with this, and to understand how you can overcome some of these issues, contact us.