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Human Resources
May 15, 2015

Smaller Executive Search Firms Are Lauded For Expertise, Better Results

Sponsored Content provided by Bo Burch - Chief Executive Officer, Human Capital Solutions, Inc.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better, particularly when recruiting executives for your company, according to findings from Hunt Scanlon Media’s 2014 Executive Search: State of the Industry Study (US/Americas). More than 1,000 human resource professionals and executive search consultants took part in the report by completing structured survey questionnaires, participating in telephone interviews, and sending emails. The study looks at "how the talent management sector operates from both the buy and sell side."

"Independent recruiters, those boutique specialists concentrating on just a small number of business sectors, are truly redefining a field once dominated by a handful of large, generalist search firms," the report states. "Social media technology has worked in their favor, giving these new contemporary 'preferred providers' the upper hand to take on their larger rivals. They promise more attention to the client’s needs. They tout themselves as more nimble, flexible and high-touch. And they are often staffed by recruiters who learned the trade at the big firms or from a successful career in corporate America. Heads of talent acquisition are becoming more accepting and reliant of these specialists running their mission critical search assignments. Our report indicates, in fact, they are driving the trend."

Big firms certainly have their benefits, including brand name recognition. But one of their biggest drawbacks is their recruiting restrictions. For instance, let’s say a retained executive search firm called Corberry signs a contract to be the retained executive search firm for an international beverage company called Pepco. Corberry finds the perfect fit for the company seeking an executive and the new executive starts in the position on June 1. Corberry is not allowed to recruit any of Pepco’s other employees until the following June 1, a year away. So if another beverage company wants to hire a senior level executive, and they engage Corberry for this search, each qualified executive who is currently working at Pepco along with all of Corberry’s beverage clients are off limits.  

This may not seem like a big deal, as Corberry recruiters will simply find another beverage company from which to recruit executives, right? But if Corberry has offices nationwide or worldwide and perhaps works in a specified industry, such as the beverage industry, Corberry is restricted from recruiting from some of the largest and best run organizations in that sector. Its selection of qualified executives to recruit is severely reduced.

At Human Capital Solutions, Inc., we also focus on knowing the sectors in which we recruit – health care, the industrials, life science and technology – with our team of industry veterans. Our subject matter experts come from the industries we represent. Our firm currently is representing approximately 50 employers across the four global sectors for which we recruit. This allows our firm to be unencumbered or restricted from recruiting from our clients’ key competitors. Bullhorn, our cloud-based software database, has more than 49,000 candidates with whom we network regularly. Also, many of our clients and candidates subscribe to our monthly e-tip newsletter we launched in 2008. You can sign up to receive it at http://www.humancs.com/mediapress/.

People get hired based on their competencies and fired for their behavior or lack of cultural fit. At HCS, we know the cultures of many corporate organizations and the desired results of the CEOs and other executives we support. We use a proprietary business platform that weathered the great recession and is proven to discover the "bull’s eye" of the companies’ target.

Christopher Hunt, cofounder of Hunt Scanlon, recently contacted me to discuss how Human Capital Solutions may be featured in its publications as we are one of those boutique firms which is growing share at an accelerated rate. Hunt Scanlon is the leader in retained executive search media and communications with corporate offices in Greenwich, Conn. Below is a recent quote from a publication.

"Specialization is a big part of the appeal of the boutique search provider. As big firms have expanded, with several now publicly traded, feeding the bottom line has naturally become a paramount business concern. The boutiques, meanwhile, have more leeway to concentrate on getting to know the ins and outs of any given sector, giving them perhaps a leg up on better understanding the culture of their client companies. Fit, these recruiters say, has become the new mantra, with cultural sensitivity triumphing a candidate’s skill set. These search specialists say they are uniquely qualified to be more responsive to these new requirements."

Bo Burch is the founder and CEO of Human Capital Solutions, Inc. with corporate offices in Wilmington, N.C. Human Capital Solutions is striving to be the preferred global leader in retained executive search and professional recruiting services with industry veterans and subject matter experts in: life sciences, health care, the industrials and technology. HCS represents companies, recruits and assesses and places key talent in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Western Europe.

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