Executive Chat

How to Recruit a Recruiter

by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search

A good executive recruiter is invaluable for helping companies hire a dream team. But how do you know what traits are important to look for in recruiting the best recruiter? Here are six key traits to look for:

1.        They specialize in your industry niche. Almost all recruiters have an industry niche. A niche focus offers many benefits: it means that a recruiter will have abundant contacts in the industry who can give them a jump start on reaching the right people. The recruiter will have a track record of successful placements and have earned a trusted reputation within the industry that can help open doors. They will have intelligence on the competitive landscape and be in tuned into changes in corporate leadership and direction, mergers and acquisitions, layoffs, etc. For high-level hiring, finding a recruiter with the right industry niche is more important than a geographical focus. A good recruiter will be adept at finding candidates in their specialty even for a far-flung location.

2.        They have a process. When you give an executive recruiter a search assignment, do you know what steps they will take to deliver? A good recruiter will want you to feel totally informed and comfortable with their process, and they will be upfront with you about what to expect. Like any business, executive recruiting is a matter of refining systems and methodologies. A good recruiter anticipates and has a plan for the many details involved in successful recruiting, everything from gathering the position specifications to contacting passive candidates from relevant competitors to counseling the hired candidate on how to smoothly resign from his or her current position.