The first-class solutions they provide - to pinpoint the hires that the biggest firms need to optimize their business leadership – can be hidden from view.
Therefore, when Executive Grapevine spoke with David Burton, Partner, Wilton & Bain, we were eager to understand what the demands from the biggest brands can be like and how Search works to meet them.
Burton explains that, nowadays especially, Search firms can be expected to offer a holistic package when the biggest brands come knocking to find a new Executive hire.
He said: “In general, big brands have a fairly sophisticated approach and are quite rightly demanding in terms of the level of service they expect from their search suppliers. They will always look for value-adds as part of the search process, which might include things like market insights or competitor analysis.
“It’s therefore critical that the search supplier has a strong execution infrastructure aligned to first class project management skills – especially if an assignment spans multiple geographies with a dispersed set of key client stakeholders.”
Although the demands might be more varied, Burton admits that the biggest names have a lure that make the task of attracting a candidate a lot less arduous.
Burton continued: “It goes without saying that from a candidate perspective it’s easier to attract and engage good people if the client is a well-known, respected brand. That said, at the level we typically operate, the challenge is more often persuading people to move from one successful brand to another successful brand. In situations like this, whilst brand is important, the key driver for a move is more typically career and, or, personal development.
“Candidates will weigh up the brand in tandem with what a move can offer them at a personal and professional level. Culture is also critical – especially so in the professional services sector. So overall, these tend to be multi-faceted decisions and the brand itself is not the ‘be all and end all’.
With career development and culture now at the forefront of employee considerations, when they’re considering a professional opportunity, it is of no surprise that Executive level employs are now demanding they, too, have a career blueprint within their offering.
For Executive Search firms, it means balancing employee and client demands on the precipitous apex that is the top of the business world.