When a business has an important hire to make, choosing the right executive search partner can mean the difference between a successful hire and an expensive missed opportunity. Today, many client companies are getting better results by partnering with specialized boutique firms over the mega-firms. Here are some reasons why:
The shift towards boutique search firms
Unlike boutique firms, larger firms break up the client experience and candidate experience into separate functions. A polished sales person closes the business, but the work is done by a junior team in a bullpen. That junior associate has never met you - the client, never seen your office environment, and has limited experience understanding various cultures. Their short career experiences limit the perspective they can bring to a candidate interview. These are the people telling your story in the marketplace.
The difference? Our retained search professionals at Preston & Partners and PeopleSuite become experts on your culture, your talent needs, and the soft candidate characteristics that define a successful individual in your organization. Our partners that met with you at the onset of the search make every call to every candidate. Storytelling is a critical skill for a great search partner. Who do you want telling yours?
Big search firms have significant off-limits constraints, which limits the pool of candidates from which to choose. Boutique firms can access more candidates because they have fewer off-limits constraints, opening up the pool of available talent resources. These policies (usually a contractual obligation) were put in place for executive search firms so that they would not use confidential information to hire the clients’ employees. This puts boutique firms at an advantage as they aren't heavily restricted in where they can find talent, giving them greater access to the talent marketplace.
It’s all about the people
We pride ourselves on listening – to the HR partner talking about culture and fit, and the hiring manager talking about specific requirements and skills. While we clearly understand best practices, we don’t get caught up in a rigid process that limits creativity in the execution of a search. Every company is different, and jobs with similar titles always have nuances that need to be addressed and specific needs that must be met.
Candidates want transparency and individual attention. Our partners have a vested interested in the candidate experience, as it can often be the difference in a successful placement. We strive to make every candidate feel like we are an extension of the client, delivering a personalized approach and focusing on the small details that matter. We don’t simply check the boxes.
At the end of the day, we’re dealing with people, and they’re making decisions that will impact their future and their families. We treat our candidates like we treat our clients – with honesty and authenticity. It’s the only approach that guarantees both the client and the candidate make the right decision!