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To Recruit Good Executives, Hire a Good Recruiter

Just as the wrong tie and shoes can mess up the look of a great suit, selecting the wrong recruiting firm can destroy a company’s chances of hiring top-notch executives.

But even more important than the quality of the overall firm, says an industry expert, is the skills possessed by the recruiter who will be working one-on-one with your company. Tim McIntyre, chief executive officer of the Executive Search Group, an executive-recruitment firm, says there are so many such firms that selecting the right one can be difficult.

“You want to make sure you’re working with a firm that will ensure success in your company’s search for a new executive, but apart from doing a simple search to find all of the executive-recruiting firms in your area, how can you possibly narrow it down?” he asks.

“The answer lies in paying close attention to the recruiter you’ll be working with on an individual basis.”

An excellent recruiter should have four key qualities, McIntyre says.

A strong understanding of the company's industry: “You can’t afford to have them spend months immersing themselves in the business and gaining specific knowledge of its inner workings,” explains McIntyre. A strong recruiter must have “experience in the industry that they specialize in.

Exemplary listening skills: The main reason, McIntyre says, is that the recruiter needs to understand the type of high-level executives the company is searching for and how those executives can help the company be successful. That requires a careful screener of candidates to find the best individuals for the company's consideration.

Strenght: A conmpany that is hiring needs a strong advocate, so wallflowers and the timid need not apply. Hiring companies need a professional who is extroverted, who will work with a sense of urgency.

“Of course, you don’t want a recruiter who is overbearing or dominating, but a strong personality is a definite plus,”  McIntyre says. “Remember, executive-recruiting firms make it their business to help you find the best candidates for your company’s higher-level positions — and your recruiter needs to be able to find and approach people on your behalf without a moment’s hesitation.”

Flexibility: For example, instead of having companies pay an upfront cost, some firms work under a contingency-based agreement. Such an agreement can be beneficial, McIntyre says, because it allows companies to save time and immediately begin the search for a high-level executive.

To learn more about finding the right recruiter or firm, visit the company’s website at


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