When it is time to fill either high-level management or executive positions, you need a professional. Sure, you could handle the task on your own, but that would be like pulling your teeth instead of making a dental appointment. All things are best left to a professional if at all possible.
An excellent executive recruiter is someone who has mastered the subtle art and science of recruiting. They are not just headhunters. They are talent scouts who can take a holistic inventory of a prospective candidate, understanding that academic qualifications and one’s employment history do not necessarily tell the whole story.
That is the reason why executive positions often take months to fill. The advantage of handing the task over to a recruiter is that they will concentrate on the work of finding rock star candidates while the employer focuses on other pressing matters of their day to day operations.
In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area we are fortunate to have three of the best executive search firms a human resource manager could hope to find. In no particular order they are:
Both JDG Associates and The McCormick Group have their headquarters in the capital. Likewise, they are noted for filling executive positions in government agencies and quasi-governmental institutions. They have both been in business since the early seventies, and have comparable track records of success as can be attested to by their hundreds of repeat clients over the years.
Lucas Group is a nationwide agency based in Atlanta, Georgia with offices in 15 US cities. Their Washington based staff specializes in the nuances of executive placement in the D.C. area. They can also refer candidates to their network, which can be an advantage.
Search firms work on retainers. The hiring firm consummates a contract giving ownership of the right to fill a given executive position to the recruiter. Once the recruiter presents a viable candidate, and that person advances through the interviewing process and gets hired, the recruiter collects a fee. As with so many things; it is easier said than done.