What CEOs Should Know When Hiring Through Headhunters

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The US economy has undergone a great deal of change in the tumultuous years since the advent of the financial crisis. Business leaders have had to adapt and refocus priorities in order to steer their companies through these headwinds. While many companies have folded or severely downsized, others have seized the opportunities presented by a highly volatile market. The modern business leader must not only be master and commander of the company they run, but also a highly adept strategist cognizant of changes at local, national and global levels.

In the business world, the highest aspiration of executives is to eventually reach the C-suite, with only a handful of the most successful individuals occupying these roles. One would suspect this to be the pinnacle of somebody’s career, but this is by no means the case. In fact, the experience of managing a company’s operations is often a stepping stone to bigger opportunities. Given we now inhabit a much more unpredictable world, business leaders are wise to keep their ears to the ground and seize opportunities when they present themselves.

This is the role an executive search consultant often facilitates. Behind the closed doors of boardrooms and corner offices, executive search consultants work in partnership with business leaders in helping them identify the potential leaders of tomorrow. Well networked and with an erudite understanding of what constitutes success, these individuals are often responsible for facilitating the growth of senior personnel within start-ups as well as larger established companies. Working on a retainer basis, consultants are the representative of their clients in the market place and work on the basis of solving a need within these companies or institutions.

Executive search consultants work with a high degree of discretion. Despite the requirement of targeting their clients’ major competitors and the need to engage in a dialog with all potential candidates, their responsibility first and foremost is to place the most suitable individual into the role they have been retained to fill. For this reason, networking is a critical component to the success of a business leader in today’s world. An executive search consultant who reaches out to you may not be working on the exact type of role you imagine today, but almost certainly will in the future. For this reason successful business leaders tend to keep an open door to relationships with consultants.

Whether the next steps in your career is into the C-Suite, a similar role at a more successful company or an elevation into a board level role, executive search consultants are an indispensable component in the modern business world. Establishing a trusted and long standing relationship with a consultant can also provide business leaders with information to strengthen their own companies. This includes market and competitor intelligence, compensation studies and information on potential individuals for your own business. Building on these partnerships, consultants remain an important resource to business leaders and the building blocks of companies in the modern economy.

Aneil Luhan is a vice president with DHR International and is responsible for hiring in the Financial Services sector. He has in-depth experience across core and non-core capital markets having worked on assignments within asset management, private wealth, hedge funds, proprietary trading, private equity, real estate, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, prime brokerage and risk management. Mr. Luhan graduated with highest honors from the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.

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