Executive Search Insights

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Andy Raymond.



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Executive search is a discreet and confidential recruitment process concentrating on leadership and upper management levels. Often referred to as headhunting or executive recruitment, it is a specialised service provided to organisations in identifying, and attracting talent to positions such as CEOs, CTOs, Managing Directors, etc.

Clients value being advised by experts who can be trusted based on their industry and functional expertise, and their ability to engage with and entice the best candidates from both local and international sources.

At Redline Executive, we have seen a myriad of changes in the executive search sector over the last decade. In the mid-2000s, a ‘war for talent’ saw clients offering a selection of enhanced benefits to attract capable D and C-suite candidates. The economic downturn shifted dynamics, leading to an excess of executive talent. Employers gained control, but as the economy rebounded, challenges in sourcing the right talent surfaced again. 

The market for technology and engineering-biased executive talent has changed significantly, and an organisation's approach to hiring executive capability should concentrate on the following understandings:

The balanced proposition

Organisations must align their offering with executive expectations. The opportunity should present a measurable career advancement for the candidate and represent a significant step-change for the client’s organisation. Misalignment, such as offering a director-level title, salary, and compensation package for a VP-level role, can deter top talent and necessitate future searches.

Can your ‘opportunity representative’, present the opportunity?

Executive search requires robust, systematic, in-depth, and a knowledge-led recruitment undertaking. It is far more than a basic dialogue between a recruitment provider and a candidate. To identify, and secure the best and brightest executives, is far more than a list of names. A search partner or director needs to reach beyond traditional recruiting practices for true delivery. We all know that there is a secret source of prospective candidate information that exists outside of resumes and social networks. This is only captured by the human interaction, experience, and intelligence of the best executive search organisation when seeking top-level executive talent, like the next CEO, Managing Director, or Sales Director.

Better to get hurt by the truth, than to be soothed by a lie

Transparency is vital in executive search. Executive-level candidates need comprehensive information about the role, its remit, the company, its culture, its values, and the client criteria. A search firm cannot be naïve. Employers must communicate clearly to ensure both parties align on career goals and organisational success. Ambiguity hinders achievable goals

Ambiguous goals are unachievable, and today’s top talent requires both sides of the hiring equation to meet personal career goals whilst successfully managing an organisation. The employer and talent both need to feel that they are partnering for increased organisational success.

Andrew Raymond, Director of Redline Executive comments: ‘Executive search is a relationship business. The biggest opportunity for the coming year is building and maintaining trusted relationships with our clients. We have spent four decades growing relationships and we know from our clients that we are chosen as a search firm/partner for technology and engineering recruitment sectors based on our industry/functional expertise, professionalism, objectivity, and confidentiality.

‘The biggest challenge is the market changes and market development around procuring and finding hard-to-find talent, it has meteorically transformed. This has been impacted by the demand for technical requirements. In my experience, the strongest candidates in the market possess a broad technical background as a necessity and complement the requirements for an organisation's future and innovations regardless of whether it is a Technical Director job or a Managing Director job.

At Redline Executive, we enable high-technology companies to build world-class teams, providing exceptional professional talent to generate value for shareholders and drive organisational success. For more information on our wealth of knowledge please contact me Andy Raymond on +44 (0)1582 878907 or email ARaymond@redlinegroup.com.

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