Executive Search is a powerful tool to help organizations reach their objectives. All important work deserves the “best fit” talent that can be delivered within time and budget constraints and who can become valued employees. “Best fit” talent is talent that can accomplish the tasks, will do the tasks, and has a personal and professional interest in doing the tasks.

Search is a tool that helps to identify and attract “best fit” talent. Search goes far beyond posting ads and reviewing resumes though that might be a part of it. Search is a dynamic approach which explores options including Direct Recruiting to identify and attract talent even if they haven’t responded to a posting. Search can deliver a pool of talent that could not be assembled any other way and allows the hiring manager(s) the most complete option for making good hiring decisions. Good matches yield productive and engaged employees. If you hire the “best fit” talent for a position you enhance the potential to reach the position’s objectives.

Building Networks and Pipelines

While each Search can be conducted as a one off effort there is much value added by building networks and pipelines of talent that have similar domain experience. This long-range tactic can shorten the time to hire, further the organization’s brand and also provides a strong referral source.

The building of networks and pipelines takes a little more effort and requires more attention to detail but results in a capability that goes beyond just the person who builds or works them. During the process of a Search the recruiter may touch 100+ candidates from which only one may be hired. The other 99+ candidates are valued additions to a network if the recruiter captures appropriate information and is able to quickly reach out to them in a meaningful way when needed in the future.

Overview of World Class Search Capability


The best recruiters have these valuable traits and more. Good recruiting is both an art and a science. Processes automation and templates can be put in place to help guide and speed the recruiters in their effort to do the best job possible.

They have the ability to understand a position’s need at a deep level and be able to test and evaluate by questioning all parties to insure a good fit.

They recognize that all parties have a vested interest in making a good match and become the trusted advisor to each party.

They should map the whole Search process before they start but allow for iterations in the process based on new information they gather along the way.

They need to be able to relate to people quickly, read people well (and test assumptions) and evaluate fit for the position AND the organization accurately.



  1.  Start with a deep understanding of the needs and expectations for performance of the position.
  2. Determine and communicate key areas for performance and how it will be measured to get everyone involved with the Search on the same page
  3. Post the job in the right places and through networks and pipelines to further the brand and attract appropriate talent
  4. Map out and initiate direct search efforts
  5. Commit to timely feedback and processes to all candidates that have shown interest. Manage expectations to assure continued interest.
  6. Profile appropriate candidates and present talent with as full a picture as possible within constraints
  7. Set short initial interviews with hiring manager to validate interest. Provide feedback and manage expectations.
  8. Set more in depth interviews with hiring manager to evaluate ability and interest to do the job. Provide feedback and manage expectations.
  9. Administer tests if any
  10. Invite to meet. Make sure meetings are an exceptional experience to insure positive interest. Provide feedback and manage expectations.
  11. Reference checks around the candidates ability to do the job and character etc.
  12. Trial close on offer
  13. Negotiate offer
  14. Help with acceptance and resignation
  15. Onboard and follow up

Author: Rick Zabor

Engineer / Scientist / Researcher turned Recruiter in 1987. Interested in the best way to do things and mixing with people who have passions for life. Writes on topics important to building winning teams and personal growth and accomplishment. Connect with me on Linkedin. Lives in Atlanta, GA.