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What are the Steps of the Executive Search Process?


Posted by Iris Data Driven Agency

10 months ago

Every business needs an effective recruitment process. But recruitment always takes time, cost and staff to make it done well. For that reason, in modern life, many organizations choose to outsource an executive search and recruitment to help improve their business talent pool while reducing the costs of recruitment. So what is executive search and selection and how to know if it can help your business or not? Let’s find them out by taking a look at the Navigos Search today topic.

Overview of the executive search industry

Executive search (informally called headhunting) is a specialized recruitment process that organizations conduct to find out and recruit highly qualified applicants for senior-level and executive jobs in both internal and external networks. The method usually involves hiring a headhunting company, especially an executive search firm, to seek the availability of suitable candidates working for related businesses or organizations or competitors.

executive search

Businesses need employing a new or replacement their senior manager or upper executive that cannot use in-house recruiters. In this case, an executive search consultant will help them to connect with the potential candidates based on the client’s requests, implement the search process, and negotiate with candidates that could tick all the boxes.

About an executive search firm: Definition and Recruitment Process

What is an executive search firm?

An executive search firm is a type of professional service firm that specializes in recruiting senior executives for their client enterprises in various fields. Executive search professionals usually have a wide range of personal networks in their industry or field of specialty; specific, detailed knowledge of each area.

executive search and recruitment

The executive search and selection service at Navigos Search help the business to find the most suitable candidates in high-level positions that can meet the business’s needs and requirements. In Navigos Search, we have a professional consultant team with a large and diverse source of candidate data to meet all the requirements of customers in many fields such as manufacturing, telecommunication, Information Technology, etc… So we are proud that our executive consultant team can meet the recruitment needs in all business sectors at senior and C level positions.

How an executive search and recruitment can help your business in hiring?

Each executive search firm has special tools, approaches, and methods to screen candidates, analyze the market’s needs and manage client relations. However, they have to follow a standard process to guarantee each hiring request to have a list of strong applicants. The executive search process contains five main steps as below.

  • Define the requirements for open positions

Executive search consultants need to determine the search priorities and timelines as well as analyze challenges in finding fit candidates. Some of the requirements include abilities, knowledge, skills, and experience of potential applicants. After understanding the search requirements and the enterprises’ culture, the executive search consultant should develop a position specification to identify candidates that could tick all the boxes.

  • Develop a search strategy

At this stage, the executive search process will analyze the market thoroughly and identifies a list of enterprises to include in the search for executive talent. The search strategy applies useful research tools to conduct the process, including both internal and external databases of senior executives, market analysis, and other alternative online sources. Executive search consultants also use their network and contacts to complete the executive search process.

  • Identify potential candidates

Executive search consultants will use the requirements of the job description to narrow the list down to find out potential applicants. The objective of this phase is to evaluate the executive professionals who can expedite the hiring process by introducing candidates who can help the organization in the long run. There will be open communication between the client and the recruiter throughout the process. The recruiter will provide profiles of potential candidates, regular search status updates and market intelligence.

  • Create a shortlist of qualified candidates

After identifying potential candidates, the next step of the process is to shorten the list to ten or fewer candidates. The shortlist is made after detailed interviews and looking into the applicants’ competencies and background. It is also important to determine whether the candidate is interested in the open position and willing to change the current job.

executive search and selection

  • Finalize the search

The final phase of this process is to finalize the selection. The recruitment consultant works with the client and negotiates with the chosen executives. The executive recruiter communicates with the client to conduct the placement process.

Benefits of using an executive search and selection service

The best advantages when using executive search and selection are including:

  • Firstly, it will save time and money for enterprises. The process of posting, recruiting, and hiring a senior executive is not something that can be done quickly. Reaching and recruiting out to top candidates is a time-consuming and strategic effort that is performed by many people. The in-house HR team should spend energy and time working on other projects.
  • Secondly, companies only need to interview the best of the best. Creating a post for a senior position on social media means that companies will be bombarded with hundreds of job seekers, mostly from candidates who are not fit for the job.

An executive search firm will help enterprises to narrow the candidate pool down to a number that only includes the best applicants.


In short, companies need to weigh up some factors such as cost, time, candidates’ availability when deciding whether to use the executive search or not. There is no answer fit for all cases – but, generally, speaking, the more senior and impactful the role, the more likely that a business will turn to a retained executive search firm.

In Navigos Search, we offer businesses specialized recruitment services that can help you find top-level candidates for senior, executive, or other highly specialized positions to improve your own talent pool. In case you need help in finding candidates immediately or any recruitment services consulting, please contact the Navigos Search consultant team by filling the form below. We are always here to support your business growth.