American workers are enjoying a “Golden Age” of career opportunities as the US economy continues to grow under historically low unemployment rates. A saturated labor market has resulted in fierce competition for human capital for candidates who find themselves with a bevy of options for career advancement with a new employer.

For companies looking to hire and expand, this confluence of events: a growing economy, a population at or very near saturated employment levels and a demand for advanced skill sets – engaging in an exceptional Executive Search firm has never been more critical.

A headhunter should add value not just through the hire but before, during and after the search process. is a resume source; your recruiter should serve as your Talent Advisor.

Aside from the obvious objective of identifying a terrific candidate for your job opening, it’s important to make sure that your headhunter is capable of and eager to enrich your firm’s search and hiring process by doing the following:

Assists you in understanding what you’re looking to accomplish by making the hire

No job opening is “one size fits all,” even when replacing an employee that has departed. Your Recruiter should be capable of discussing the role’s impact on your organization, its routine tasks and long term accomplishments. By working with a hiring manager to identify these responsibilities, a qualified headhunter can execute a search based on accomplishments rather than a laundry list of candidate “requirements.”

Educates you on the talent market – where good people are, what they’re interested in, what their compensation targets are

Embarking on a journey without knowing the finishing point can lead one to wander for years. By assessing and defining the talent pool for a hiring manager your recruiter can bring form and definition to the end point by articulating what is and isn’t possible. Conducting a search for a candidate that doesn’t exist or can’t be competitively attracted is an exercise in futility. To flounder at the final steps because of compensation expectations is far worse.

Helps you define your “talent brand” – what makes your firm and opportunity unique, factors that attract exceptional candidates to you

Ping-pong tables, gourmet coffee and board games in an office are, today, too commonplace to serve as an effective differentiator for your firm. A headhunter should look deeper than the superficial to help their client define and articulate the reasons talented candidates would want to spend a portion of their careers working towards your success. “Culture” isn’t defined by perks, that question should be answered by a collaborative style, chances to become exposed to new product or technical areas, ways to contribute cross-functionally and more. Since your recruiter has been exposed to your competition, there is no one better suited to help identify these traits and position your firm to attract the best.

Jim Collins, a frequent author on sustainable corporate growth, has said, “great vision without great people is irrelevant.” In today’s hiring environment, partnering with talented recruiters can ensure that firm’s achieve their vision by attracting only the best.



Author: Jordan Shapiro | Sr Managing Director – Financial Services

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