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Manufacturing Headhunters and Executive Recruiters


The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) has over 1,500 member manufacturing headhunters recruiting for executive positions across more than 300 member firms and 74 countries.

Retained executive search consulting, while often referred to as "executive recruiting" or "headhunting", is actually a specialized form of management consulting. A hiring organization/potential employer in the manufacturing industry typically retains a manufacturing headhunter to help them find a new senior level employee - for example, a CEO, CFO, VP etc. The typical salary for a position handled by a retained executive search firm is at least $100,000 (or regional equivalent), but more typically $230,000 and above.

The retainer implies a partnership between the hiring organization and the manufacturing headhunter. The manufacturing headhunter brings their industry specific expertise and unique insight to the organization's leadership needs. They will assess the organization and the role, review the organization's internal bench strength (including possible internal candidates for the role) and survey the broader market in pursuit of the best candidate for the job.

The most critical thing to remember is that the manufacturing headhunter does not represent you, the individual executive - at least not until you are a serious contender for the position - but instead works for the hiring organization to locate the best possible individual for a particular role.

Keith Syberg, Partner, Smith & Syberg:

BlueSteps: How can a candidate best present him/herself to get noticed in a marketplace that is becoming saturated with talented people?

Keith: There was a lot of negativity during the recession, and it’s easy to get caught up in it if you’re not careful. For candidates who are actively looking, let a growth skill set show. This could be fundamental crisis management, or the ability to do things differently and be more partnership oriented. Candidates should try to project a positive, can-do, problem solving attitude. You will attract people to you and encourage them just by the force of that approach.


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