January 11, 2018

The fundamental differences between a ‘head hunter’ and a REAL Executive Search Consultant

Written by: Leonie Pentz, VP Middle East Africa, Managing Partner AIMS International South Africa

As our network expands into emerging markets, I am always keen to hear new partners’ experiences in these markets and the expectations their clients have of the service they offer.   It is a highly competitive market and during most growing economies we constantly see the ‘garage’ or ‘back yard’ recruiters pop up.  Often only to close down as soon as the economy starts lagging…  The barriers to entry can be rather low in certain markets and a seasoned Talent Manager can usually spot these opportunists a mile away.  OR can they?

During my 20+ years recruiting in emerging markets, I find the most annoying aspects about these opportunists are that they often promise the same service as an executive search consultant, at a much lower price and often at no retained costs.

Here is why this is simply not possible:

  1. A real executive search consultant does research, mostly in up to 40 competitor businesses which takes a lot of dedicated time and resources.
  2. A real executive search consultant finds ‘passive’ candidates who are not trolling job portals and have meaningful career conversations with them.
  3. A real executive search consultant starts each and every assignment from scratch.  We do not rely on our network or databases to find candidates.
  4. A real executive search consultant has three to four conversations with a prospective candidate before even telling her about our client and the role on offer.
  5. A real executive search consultant dedicates her time to a handful of clients and projects at a time and work according to timelines agreed with clients. This is not a numbers game for us. In short, we deliver on our promises.

I am sure you will agree that no-one would be able to stay in business in the long term while offering this kind of service on a success basis and this is why your ‘no retainer head hunter’, is simply, well…not real.

Leonie Pentz

VP Middle East Africa, Managing Partner AIMS International South Africa, Global Head – Energy practice team

Related posts:

How can HR stay relevant?

It’s all about people, not systems and compliance

Recruitment models and the total value of hire

Locate the most suitable consultant for you