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How To Find A Great Executive Recruiter

When it comes time to look for an Executive Recruiter to find you your next key hire, naturally you're not going to choose the first one that comes your way and call it a day. In an instance such as this one, where an important decision needs to be made, it stands to reason that you're going to place some thought on who's best suited to fulfill those responsibilities. What most folks don't realize is that making a well-educated decision doesn't necessitate hours of searching online or days of asking people who they know.

The criteria for what makes a good Executive Recruiter may not be at the forefront of your mind nor the method through which you find said recruiter. However, before you go scouring Google for the best Executive Recruiter, ask yourself this one question: is there a better way?

As a matter of fact, there is, but first let's take a look at how one usually finds an Executive Recruiter today. 

Traditional Ways to Find an Executive Recruiter

Search Engines

The great thing about looking through a search engine, like Google, is that you're bound to get a wide range of results. Consequently, it's also for this reason that an online search may prove to be an inconvenience for most.

Although you may get a broader reach online based on the specific search you type in, you still have to weed through results and parse through websites before you find what you're looking for.

Also, the quality of the results can widely vary. There is no vetting that they do the type of search work you need and have done it successfully. A key hire for your company is not something you want to leave to chance.

Word of Mouth

Let's say you ask a colleague at another company if they know of a good Executive Recruiter. Keep in mind that your company, just like every other company, is a unique entity equipped with its own values and skillsets. This uniqueness means your search project is going to be just as unique and therefore will require the help of a specialized recruiter to help find your key hire.

So, while your colleague might be able to give you the name of a great Executive Recruiter they've worked with in the past, this result does not make them the right recruiter for your company or for what you're looking to accomplish.

Industry Organizations

Think of a recruiter who is part of an executive recruiting industry organization as a brand of Ibuprofen, Advil to be exact. Now think of a search firm who is NOT part of a search firm association as the store brand of Ibuprofen, Target's Up & Up brand for example. Both are the exact same type and dosage, regardless though, one will be perceived differently with regards to their brand.

These associations provide recruiters with a podium and a brand name so clients are more likely to start their search there than anywhere else. Chances are you'll find a decent Executive Recruiter through an association that can take on the task of finding you your next executive hire. However, this chance might also mean you miss out on the opportunity to consider another equally gifted Executive Recruiter simply because you chose one that had a more prominent presence. Only looking at these organizations limits your options.


With thousands upon thousands of recruiters with a presence online, LinkedIn will likely crank out plenty of Executive Recruiters based on your network. It's likely you're going to find a sought after recruiter with a well-known reputation on LinkedIn. Yet, LinkedIn is still not able to filter results by the criteria that matter when searching for an Executive Recruiter such as their specialization or how quickly they're able to place a candidate.

The Cost Of Looking For An Executive Recruiter The Wrong Way

Choosing an Executive Recruiter through the above methods can be risky. Chief among them is the risk of working with the wrong recruiter for your specific needs. 

Whether you're asking around to those you know or devoting hours of your day to endless Internet searches, these methods can only get you so far when looking for an Executive Recruiter that has a proven track record of placing candidates. How many people are you going to talk to before you find the right one? How many Internet searches must you conduct before you come up with a halfway decent list? You might not even know how to interpret these results without putting in a lot of effort.

Ultimately, you waste energy, time, and end up making a poor decision based on misinformation.

A Hassle-Free Way To Find The Right Executive Recruiter

Part of the process of searching for an Executive Recruiter is not only knowing where to look but what you need to keep in mind before you start looking.

Take the Right Approach

Every executive search project is different because every key position you hire for is unique. Depending on the executive you're looking to hire, this profile will determine what kind of recruiter you should look for.

If you're looking for your next VP of Finance, it makes sense to hire an Executive Recruiter that knows more about that department than anyone else. This requirement is why you want to approach your search with an idea already in mind of the role you're looking to fill so you can find an Executive Recruiter that truly understands that role.

Where to Start Looking

The easiest way to find great Executive Recruiters for your next key hire is to contact us at the Clockwork Consulting Group and use our Find-A-Recruiter service. You tell us what you're looking for in an executive hire, and we'll tell you the top Executive Recruiters who can help you fill the role.