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What are the most critical considerations in selecting an executive search firm to represent your company in the marketplace?  Or otherwise, what kind of questions should heads of talent and CEO’s ask their prospective executive search partners before selecting one to work with?

Digital technologies have significantly lowered the barriers to entry to launch a new business, and the executive search industry is no exception here.  As a result, HR and business leaders have a seemingly endless array of search partner options and choices to consider to meet their executive hiring needs.  When it comes to selecting an executive search firm to partner with, talent leaders need to make sense of their options, ask the right questions of their own talent needs, and determine if a particular executive search firm is the right fit for their organization, culture, and metrics for hiring success.

Before you undertake a new partnership with an executive search firm to address your talent needs, make sure you get the answers you need to these key questions:

  1. How does the search firm leverage the strength of its networks and its expertise with modern digital technology platforms to perform outreach and execute a search?
  2. What’s the internal team model for how an executive search will be led and supported?
  3. How wide a net can the search firm really cast, relative to “off limit” target companies resulting from previous search engagements?

This is an opportunity for talent and business leaders to assess the current models available for executive search partnership, and the pros and cons of executive search firm reputation, size, and what kind of partnership to expect from a retained executive search firm in today’s global talent market.  You want to make sure your executive search partner has the network, technology expertise and the ability to reach top talent before you confirm a commitment to work with any given firm.

Delivering an exceptional search experience doesn’t happen unless its built into the DNA and the operating ethos of a firm.  This requires a firm to focus on how to deliver a stellar search experience for both clients AND candidates, and this value has to permeate the entire outreach process.  Ask your search firm exactly what they do to ensure flawless execution, and how often their existing clients come back to do repeat searches with the firm.  This level of pre-selection engagement and discovery will give talent and business leaders the insights they need most to make an informed decision on the best executive search partner for their business.

If you’d like to learn more about Ridgeway Partners Executive Search, drop me a line at