What is executive search? Why do employers work with executive recruiters? How do executive recruiters and search firms locate candidates? Read on as BlueSteps offers an overview of the retained search process.

As senior executives progress in their careers, most will encounter a retained executive search firm. Understanding what executive search firms do and how they do it is essential to your own executive job search and career development.

A Hiring Organization (the company that is looking to hire a new executive) will only retain an executive search firm under a consulting contract for the most critical senior-level appointments. The stakes of an executive search are high: the salary offered is often in excess of US$250,000 (or equivalent) and the process of selecting an executive who is the right fit for the position has to be rigorous.

The process of a typical executive search involves thorough research, confidential market networking, detailed screening and selection and careful negotiation in order to achieve a successful outcome.

Since the senior management positions handled by retained executive search firms are not usually advertised on job boards, executives should ensure they are on the radar screen of search firms in order to be considered for career-advancing opportunities, should a suitable executive position arise. Members of BlueSteps.com can create a Career Profile and upload their executive resume, which helps with this process by making executives accessible to research teams who are developing an initial list of candidates.

Senior executives looking to develop relationships with search consultants who specialize in their particular industry or function can also use the Executive Search Firm Directory, the AESC’s interactive directory of member firms. This valuable tool allows you to find those consultants in your own industry, function or region, helping to target and make contact with those relevant to your own job search.

For more information, the BlueSteps book Executive Search and Your Career: The BlueSteps Guide to Career Management gives a clear step-by-step plan on how to best approach the executive search process and how you can proactively integrate it into your career management strategy.

Gain Worldwide Exposure to AESC Search Consultants

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more.


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