What is an Executive Recruiter?

Three professionals discussing work at a table with a laptop.

Finding the right candidate for an open position is anything but easy. This difficulty can only increase as you move up the ladder of roles. Recruiters offer a resource to ensure qualified candidates are identified and highlighted for specific positions.  They ensure all qualifications are met and understand the human element, how an individual needs to fit into the workplace culture, and if their values align with the business. With all that said, you might be wondering what an executive recruiter is.

Executive recruiting is a niche tier of recruitment that focuses on filling positions in executive leadership roles or C-Suite opportunities. An executive recruiter may work within the company or be a part of an external HR team. Understanding the details of this position can help you gauge if this HR resource would be useful to your company.

What Does an Executive Recruiter Do?

An executive recruiter’s responsibilities extends beyond the basics of reading applications and doing interviews. It’s not uncommon for someone in this role to work at an executive search firm. It involves crafting an environment for potential talent while researching, creating and marketing postings, and generating thoughtful interview questions. The final stages can also involve negotiation once the chosen candidate has been sent their offer.

Managing Current Job Openings

Job descriptions and postings for executive roles should be nothing if not thorough. An executive recruiter needs to craft their words carefully, highlighting the need for the correct people to apply. Credentials may be set in stone, but these openings should be available to those who can deliver results and have the skillset beyond which to do so. Executive recruiting may also involve keeping an eye out and an ear to the ground for potential talent that could be game-changing for the companies they work for.

Vetting, Interviewing and Selecting Candidates

You can imagine the amount of time it takes to review portfolios and CVs throughout the day. While executive recruiters have a keen eye and a “yes” and “no” pile, they may also have to expand their knowledge of other open executive positions that may be better suited to applicants.  

An initial interview for a C-Suite exec will often take place with an executive recruiter. This saves higher-ups valuable time and effort but also ensures a more human side to the interview, looking beyond answers to attitude and body language. After the interview, potential options will be presented to the client for further interviews.

Relaying Offers and Rejections

The final stage of executive recruiting is often the most rewarding and most difficult aspect of the job. As the first line of communication, executive recruiters must inform candidates if the company has opted to go in a different direction or if they are the successful choice. This can be met with overwhelming excitement and usually leads to negotiations of contract specifics that the recruiter has been informed of. Someone in this position may also be tasked with post-offer reference checks to ensure everything about the new hire adds up. 

What Skills Does an Executive Recruiter Need?

Many companies prefer their in-house executive recruiters to have extensive schooling to demonstrate their abilities. This could include a bachelor’s degree in human resources or an MBA. Additionally, certifications can help ensure a recruiter stands out.

As with any HR profession, an executive recruiter’s skill set, personality, and abilities can make all the difference. Qualities like acute attention to detail can allow a recruiter to look beyond an application and examine a potential candidate more in-depth. A comprehensive understanding of company values and practices can also be a tremendous asset. Effective communication skills are vital, especially when considering negotiations and relaying information to higher-level positions.

What’s The Difference Between a Recruiter and an Executive Recruiter?

A recruiter is a professional who helps organizations find and hire employees, while an executive recruiter focuses specifically on top executive and senior-level positions. Executive recruiters typically have a higher level of industry knowledge and experience in sourcing, attracting and placing executives in C-suite, VP, and Director-level roles.

Additionally, executive recruiters may also provide more comprehensive services such as leadership assessment, coaching, and support for successful onboarding.

In Summary

The executive recruiting process can be lengthy and difficult without the right person for the job. Setting a company up for success includes recognizing its needs. One knowledgeable individual can deliver your posting to the right people, network with exciting potential candidates, and deliver results where you need to see them. At True North HR Consulting, we provide personalized solutions for your unique business. Our executive recruiting capabilities can provide you with solutions and opportunities. Contact us to learn more.