• Jack Sharp

5 tips to increase your executive search methodology

Executive search is a challenging industry to tackle. In the UK alone, the industry is experiencing a growth rate of nine percent year-on-year, employing more than 100,000 people to get the job done.

How, then, in such a rapidly evolving market, can you cut through the noise? Below are five tips to improve your executive search methodology, tips that should have you closing more deals.

Get your brief right

From the get go, you need to make sure that you’re not wasting your time with unsuitable candidates. That means that you need to understand your brief before you go on the hunt. If you’re unsure ask the client. It might seem like the wrong thing to do, but in the long run, isn’t it better to place a quality candidate than fail at the job because you didn’t understand the brief?

Recruiting the wrong employee can cost a company 2.5 times their salary, leaving you with a bad reputation and possibly a broken relationship. By understanding your brief, you’re able to better target and select candidates for the job, ensuring that your reputation stays untainted.

Quality, not quantity

Executive search has nothing to do with how many candidates you present to a client, it’s about presenting the perfect candidates. If that means that, when it comes to handing over your search to the client, you only hand over ONE perfectly selected candidate, so be it. The important thing is that they’re the best fit for the role available.

Like everything you do in life, it’s about making sure that what you do is of top quality, regardless of volume. Make sure that your executive search is selective enough to bring out only the best candidates, not the most candidates.

Target, target, target

Getting quality candidates through the door means targeting. This is one of (if not the) most important aspect of executive search, as it ensures that you’re selecting the right candidates for the job.

Tools like LinkedIn recruiter better your executive search by letting your effectively target the type of candidate you and your client are after, helping you narrow down your selection and increase the likelihood of making a placement.

Improve your online presence and SEO

The most important factor that will improve your executive search, however, is to improve your business brand.

By ranking as number one on search engines, investing in advertising and developing an expert, trusted brand, your chances of bringing clients through the door (and consequently, more roles) comes down to how well you position your business.

With so many executive search companies, it’s important to stand out from the crowd with enhancers like a responsive website, good SEO and a well-curated blog that will make candidates want to work with you, rather than you work with them.


Testimonials, reviews and case studies. They’re all important for understanding how well you’re performing. Not only from your clients, but from your candidates too. Yes, even those you don’t place.

Successful or not, candidates are on the receiving end of your executive search and so have the best user experience of your methodology. For improvements, turn to those who have been through the grind to understand your weak spots.

Satisfying two sides of the coin

Your executive search is experienced by two sides of the coin: candidates and clients. Both of these customers have a direct impact on the other. If you can improve your candidate selection and place higher quality people at roles, you’ll impress your clients and likely receive more roles. And, if you’re receiving more roles, you’ll be able to better road test your executive search and put candidates through a more educated selection process.

Take the time to review your executive search and understand where you’re falling short. After all, it’s all about iterative changes that impact the long game, it’s not about short term rewards.