Why work with an Executive Search company 

Executive search companies can be an invaluable resource for employers looking to fill high-level positions. They specialize in identifying, evaluating, and placing top talent for executive and management roles, leveraging their expertise to provide employers with a roster of qualified candidates. This article will explore the advantages of working with an executive search firm, how to find the right one for your needs, and how to make sure you will have a successful collaboration.

Introduction to Executive Search 

Executive recruiters, often called head-hunters, are professionals who specialize in recruiting for senior-level positions, including C-suite positions, for their clients. They are experts in their field and have access to a wide network of contacts and resources, having the capacity to act strategically when searching for talent. They are well-versed in the nuances of the job market and have the skills to identify and evaluate potential candidates, knowing how to assess a candidate to determine if they are a good fit for the position. While an executive search firm cannot 100% guarantee a hire, you can expect from the process to pinpoint candidates that match your specific requirements, as the dedicated consultants will take the time and energy to conduct a thorough market research.

Is Executive Search same as recruitment? 

No, they are very different processes, the main difference being the level of proactivity involved in the search process. Mass recruitment providers generally fill entry to mid-level roles and put emphasis on posting and advertising job openings in order to identify suitable candidates through job seekers / applicants. Executive Search companies have a different approach, going much more in depth. Firstly, they spend more time understanding the client’s organizational culture, structure, business objectives and market context, as they work on considerably less projects concomitantly. They address the search processes proactively and strategically, looking at the client’s industry, competition and companies with similar business models, targeting passive candidates, who are not looking to change jobs. They focus on senior-level positions and evaluate candidates in a 360 manner, taking into consideration the abilities, experience, mindset, and personality, as well as their values and aspirations.

Advantages of working with an Executive Search company

Conducting a successful search for high-level executives requires many abilities, such as business understanding, market knowledge, proactivity, and a strong network, to name a few. Leaving such projects in the hands of executive recruiters is much more efficient for organizations, who benefit from significant advantages:

  • Access to top talent, including passive candidates: Executive recruiters have the means and resources to tap into a pool of top candidates who are not looking to change jobs, that employers may not be able to reach through traditional recruitment methods.
  • Expertise and resources: Consultants in executive search companies are knowledgeable individuals, who possess very good business understanding and market know-how, as well as access to a wide network of contacts and resources. Combined with the skills to identify and evaluate potential candidates and the capacity to engage senior professionals, they are likely to yield results efficiently.
  • Industry know-how: A good executive search company will understand your sector and what makes a good fit for your company culture and goals. They’ll also know which skills are required for success in your industry so that they can find candidates who possess these traits.
  • 360 assessment of the candidates: Experienced executive search consultants look at the candidates from multiple angles: they analyse their experience and competences, but go deeper into values, motivation, work ethic, attitude and other factors that could make them a good fit for your position or company culture, in order to ensure the right match for both parties.
  • Time and cost savings: Working with an executive recruiter can save employers both time and money. A recruiter can handle all aspects of the recruitment process, from sourcing and screening candidates to negotiating job offers and the company representatives don’t have to waste time seeing unsuitable candidates. This can free up employers to focus on other tasks and initiatives.
  • Increased success rate: Employers increase their chances of successfully hiring the right candidate for the job when working with external partners who conduct a thorough search in the market and present only fitting candidates. Executive search recruiters have the experience and tools to assess candidate quality and also benefit from the objectivity of a neutral third party, providing a qualified perspective.
  • Market insights: Throughout the search process, the client receives valuable information, such as how they are perceived and/or salary benchmarks, so they can also adapt should they consider so.
  • Confidentiality: Organizations may not want to broadcast that they are looking for a new executive, while, at the same time, high level candidates might not be open to discuss directly with potential employers. Executive search companies work very discreetly and ensure the confidentiality on both sides.

How to find the right Executive Search firm

When looking for an executive recruiting firm, it’s important to do your research. You should consider factors such as the reputation and expertise of both the company and the consultant who will be in charge of your search, and of course the cost and collaboration conditions. You should ask about the services they provide, their experience and processes, and make sure they understand your business and specific requirements.

It’s also important to consider the size and scope of the firm. A larger firm may have more resources and a wider network of contacts, but a smaller firm may offer more personalized service. Ultimately, you should choose a firm that meets your specific needs and that you feel comfortable working with.

What to consider when working with an Executive Search company

Once you have chosen the most suitable partner, it’s important to take your time to get them on the same page. You should collaborate on creating a comprehensive brief and job description that outlines the qualifications, experience, and detailed profile you are looking for in a candidate. You should be open to explain your company’s culture and values to the recruiter, making sure they get a deep understanding of who you are, what your context and plans are, and the type of candidate you are looking for.

Some points to be considered:

  • Be clear about your expectations: It’s important to be transparent and communicate clearly to the recruiter what you want and need. Make sure to provide them with all the relevant information and a realistic context.
  • Set clear deadlines: Make sure to clarify from the start which are the steps of the recruitment process and desired timeframe. This will ensure that the recruiter is able to complete the process in a timely manner and you are aware at all times what you can expect.
  • Provide feedback: Have re-calibration discussions throughout the process and give comprehensive feedback regarding the candidates who are proposed to you. This will help the recruiter refine the search.
  • Be flexible: Be open to considering different types of candidates. An executive recruiter is frequently able to find candidates that you may not have taken into account.

By partnering with an executive search firm, you can be sure that all the talent available to you is being tapped into. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you need our support in identifying candidates that match your specific requirements.


Six Leadership Trends for 2023

Communication. Critical thinking. Creativity & Innovation. These are a few of the essential skills a leader must possess in order to drive the organization forward, in any period. But which are the some of the most important leadership skills in the year to come, specifically? Read below our view on the topic:

Developing & practicing empathy in leadership

It’s time to move away from the traditional forms of leadership based on authority and power and embrace a more reflective, authentic style of leadership that encourages greater engagement.

In the face of greater complexity, remote or hybrid forms of working, and ever-changing social and cultural perspectives, we need to be more mindful of how leadership is practiced and perceived.

Focusing on the retention and satisfaction of your top talent 

In the current business landscape, it’s essential to keep your employees motivated and inspired. The battle for talent is fierce, so companies need to prioritise retention strategies to ensure they have the right people on board and that they are content and engaged.

This means the management teams should spend time in identifying what makes employees remain in the organisation (through “stay interviews”) and create programs and policies that address those points. This could range from offering different work arrangements to better benefits and compensation.

Making diversity & inclusion a priority

D&I is not just about being politically correct in the hiring process. Organisations reap numerous benefits from cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace. Studies show that diverse teams are more innovative and creative and can better spot potential risks and opportunities. Plus, having a diverse workforce helps an organisation better reflect its customer base, leading to higher client satisfaction.

Developing leadership abilities in others

The success or failure of your organisation is largely dependent on the quality of its leadership. Unfortunately, though, many organisations fail to prioritise investing in the leadership capacity development, erroneously focusing on individual leader development alone.

To truly unlock success, organisations should aim to improve leadership skills across the organisation, through team coaching and facilitation. These abilities are necessary in many different roles, and it is crucial for the prospective growth of the company to have in place a pool of future leaders.

Being self-aware, calm, and adaptable

The past few years have shown the need for increased flexibility in the workplace. Successful leaders must be equipped to help guide their teams and the business through unpredictable conditions, and this implies that they need to have high emotional intelligence and composure, and that they should resist change.

At the same time, leaders should demonstrate learning agility; they need to continuously learn, unlearn, and relearn in order to stay on top of ever-evolving challenges.

Approaching learning and development with an open mind

The leaders of the company are in their roles because of their results, experience, efforts, know-how, ability to drive the organisation forward. But the worst thing they can do is become self-sufficient, believing that they know it all. Especially in the uncertain times we are facing, an open-minded leader should have the wisdom to say “I don’t know” and understand that the learning journey should never end.

Successful leaders take in information through continuous formal education (such as EMBAs), reading, observing, experiencing different situations, and from the people they surround themselves with. They gather different perspectives and inputs, including from colleagues of different ages and backgrounds, in order to get a 360 view on things.


How to ace recruiting by creating a good company reputation

Your recruiting process is contributing to your success and public image, as well as the other way around.

The list of desirable employers is based on reputation, “word of mouth,” and the public relations that each company has worked hard to build. Many factors are considered when referring to a good employer, but the following data shows us, statistically, what are the first thoughts that society has when evaluating the reputation and recruitment process of managers.

What do we mean by company reputation*
● 71.03% of candidates consider the good company reviews from current and former employees;
● 58.27% believe that a good employer brand is based on the salary and benefits package they offer;
● 35.68% believe that reputation begins with a recognizable name and logo.

This means that the company’s reputation is made up of a mix of its brand and its online and offline presence. At the same time, the reputation is being influenced by a community of former and current employees who genuinely recommend (or do not) that organization.

What does the reputation of an employer/ company mean?

The complexities and subtleties of the reputation idea show how complicated people are, how easy it is for bad information to stick around and spread, and how much work a company has to do to keep a good reputation for a long time. So, for a company with a good culture, happy communities, and successful business goals, employee motivation is not just a short- and medium-term effect, but also a long-term collective contribution.

Elements of a good reputation

The following factors can be used to determine whether a company’s reputation is good or bad:
● the first words people use to describe it;
● survey confidence scores;
● the ratio of positive to negative reviews on the official pages of the company, or the social media sites where customers can leave comments on each specific business;
● employee retention after being assimilated into the community of the company;
● the degree to which a business manages the relationship with employees who resign or are let go;
● the fluidity of the recruitment process (illegal tactics or lacking ethics, too many steps to complete, or unprofessional approaches becomes more easily known);
● the organization’s opportunities for advancement and professional growth, as well as its willingness to offer horizontal or lateral moves.

The feedback from current and former employees

Every employee who talks about the company makes the company look a certain way. Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, the opinions expressed set standards for listeners, who may accept as true what they hear without further research into the business. This is due to the fact that the amount of information coming in is already too much, not necessarily because those people are shallow. Because of this, many people choose to limit their research to what they hear from trusted friends and acquaintances. This gives them more time to think about other things.

Negative reviews

Negative reviews will be easier to remember because they are part of the brain’s defence system against possible threats. Listeners will recognise that there is a negative factor and be cautious and protect themselves in the future, even if they do not recall where exactly the information came from.

Positive reviews

People are more likely to remember positive opinions if they include specific, relatable, and interesting details that can be expanded on, rather than just being neutral and general. The pathos with which an employee chooses to discuss that company also has a significant impact on the impression that is made.

The best way for a business to get good reviews is to offer real benefits that employees value and can use in their everyday lives. So, the HR and marketing departments will make good decisions that reflect good values if they focus on results and not just on how they look. Furthermore, it’s essential for the company to understand that any PR decision must go through a strictly internal process before it can be seen by the public.

The salary packages

People who are close to you will definitely ask about your salary, even though salary information is confidential. How are raises implemented? How much transparency was there during the recruitment process? These are reasonable questions to ask since the market is never fully informed and most interviews are stressful for the people taking part in them.

Future employees value a competitive salary package not only because it means a better quality of life and more stability, but also because they see it as a sign of how the company treats its employees and how well their needs and wants are taken into consideration in a capitalist society. Companies that offer attractive salary packages essentially say that they want their employees to be happy with their lives so that they are comfortable, safe, and in a setting that supports their development.

The manager’s attitude

“Who will I be working with?” is a question that candidates might also ask friends or recruiters. They are aware that 90% of their work in the company is influenced by their relationship with the manager and that her/ his attitude directs how things are done throughout the team, establishes a culture among co-workers, and a way of relating to results based on either fear or achievement. Most employees would rather know about all of these things ahead of time. How a manager handles accountability, mistakes, or internal conflicts shows a lot about the company culture.

For instance, when someone makes a mistake and is criticized for it, especially in a public setting, the message is not one of constructive criticism but rather one that encourages the individual to keep their mistakes to themselves rather than admitting them the next time. It’s critical for a manager to have a positive, growth-oriented mindset, just like when raising kids. Reprimands won’t address the source; instead, they will simply help you avoid this symptom or impact in the future.

Opportunities for promotion

Both vertical and horizontal career paths are possible within a company. The next natural step for an employee’s advancement may not always be into their manager’s position, but rather into a job that supports their development and learning curve. If an employee has been in the same job for too long, they might be stuck into working patterns that block both their performance, as well as growth. Because of this, some professions, like medicine, are filled with people who win contests, make discoveries, write articles, go to congresses and seminars, etc., to get their degrees and advance.

Even if this cannot be applied to all sectors, there are some techniques that can be used to promote each person’s healthy development in the organization. People who want to work for a company want to know that they can grow there and that there are no systemic barriers.

Extra-salary benefits

Employees may freely, openly, and cheerfully discuss a variety of topics, including fringe benefits. Once a manager consults the teams, she/ he can be surprised by how innovative and original their ideas might be. Therefore, the fringe benefits shouldn’t be just a default set of advantages, but also well-tailored to the specific needs of the respective team.

A company that promotes a healthy lifestyle focuses on people’s well-being and can offer a variety of benefits, such as gym memberships, health plans, childcare, extra vacation time, or massages at the workplace. Giving holiday or cultural vouchers shows that a company cares about its employees’ work-life balance and encourages them to use both. Businesses that offer customized team building, subscriptions, or courses for each person show that they value each person’s uniqueness and support their interests and hobbies.

General atmosphere at work

Depending on how their manager treats them, teams can either have a lot of internal resentment or a lot of collegiality, fair play, and respect. To keep a good reputation, a company should encourage its employees to talk to each other in a healthy way. As a result, the environment created will be one in which people thrive, can perform, and enjoy talking about.

The care shown towards the employee’s physical and mental health

Businesses need to be connected to the modern world and open to new ideas, especially as they hire more people. Today, many companies have plans in place to support employees with their mental health, but it’s important that these plans are more than just PR stunts and actually help their people. To show that you care about everyone in your organization, you need to listen to their needs, respect their private time, offer days off, have in place HR Managers who are attentive but not intrusive, and conduct training on how to approach difficult times and maintain a constructive attitude.

The selection process that contributes to the good reputation of an employer

Things an employer may do to promote themselves in a positive light even during the hiring process:
● be open to candidates’ questions about the company, just as she/he raises them during the selection or interview process;
● have a transparent, personalized, and open announcement about the job they’re offering;
● don’t write standard and vague messages about the position they want to fill;
● be honest about the compensation package, non-salary benefits, the culture of the company, the bonuses offered, professional opportunities, and the courses the employees will be able to enrol in;
● to be as objective and fair as possible in the selection process, putting aside one’s own subjective perceptions:
● support diversity & inclusion, be oriented towards equal opportunities, in order to show real political correctness and not just one of form;
● to integrate the organization’s values into the messages sent, to show what type of decisions will be made inside the company.

How reputation influences the recruitment process

Before the interview, most candidates will have done research on the company and formed an opinion about it. So, it’s also up to the employer to clear up any misunderstandings and be transparent about the organization’s goals, the role being offered, and how they want to work with the new hire. There may also be a link between how many people in the relevant market are open to joining your organization and how happy the company’s employees are. Also, people who are interviewed will remember how easy it was to get hired, which will help the company’s reputation.

Transparency, open communication, and a positive attitude at work will help build a great reputation that will attract top talents to the team.

*According to a study conducted by eJobs


Hogan Assessments

PFP Advisory is an authorized reseller of Hart Consulting  and uses the Hogan tool, a personality assessment provider with more than 30 years’ experience in analysing the relation between personality assessment and occupational performance, providing predictive results.

The Hogan Assessments are used to get data-based personality insights to maximize organizational success. They have a predictive power, as the different tests examine the personality from every angle. By measuring an individual’s bright side, dark side, and core values, they are able to achieve the highest level of predictive validity in the industry and provide an unbiased and scientific basis for making informed decisions about people.

Hogan can measure Behaviour and Values:

Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) describes the bright side of personality, or everyday characteristics that describe how we relate to others when we are at our best. Whether your goal is to find the right hire or develop stronger leaders, assessing bright-side personality gives you valuable insight into how people work, how they lead, and how successful they will be.

Hogan Development Survey

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) describes the dark side of personality, or characteristics that emerge in times of increased pressure that can disrupt relationships, damage reputations, and derail a person’s chances of success. By assessing dark-side personality, you can recognize and mitigate performance risks before they become a problem.

Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory

The Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) describes personality from the inside, or the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what we desire and strive to attain. By assessing values, you can understand what motivates candidates to succeed, and in what type of job and work environment they will be the most productive.

For recruitment / candidate evaluation purposes, we can provide multiple types of reports. Here is a selection:

The most common and comprehensive for middle management or individual contributors is the Insight Series, a report which includes information deriving from HPI, HDS, and MVPI testing. Strategic self-awareness is vital for all leaders, but not all leaders need an exhaustive personality analysis. The Insight Series provides emerging and mid-level managers with a concise overview of their strengths, performance risks, and core values. This straight-to-the- point report series offers the self-awareness needed to perform effectively.

Leadership Forecast Series. Those at the top need the most robust and thorough development data possible, and Hogan’s Leadership Forecast Series offers just that. This series of reports gives leaders a complete understanding of their performance capabilities, challenges, and underlying motivators along with a five-step development planning worksheet and career development primer. Paired with a one-on-one feedback session, leaders will be well equipped to build high-performing teams and thriving organizations.

Leader Basis. To properly evaluate a leader’s potential, you must understand the person’s everyday behaviours, personal motivators, and derailers that can hinder success. Leader Basis measures a candidate’s personality from every angle and compares their scores to characteristics of the most effective leaders we’ve found in our 30 years of research.

High Potential. One of the hardest parts of finding high-potential employees is defining potential. We define potential as the ability to build teams that outperform the competition. The Hogan High Potential report is designed to maximize leadership potential by helping emergent leaders become more effective, and effective leaders become more emergent.

For the team assessment, the process is more complex and includes individual testing and a team report which answers questions such as: What mix of skills would help this team be successful? Who will work best together? What motives and values do we have in common? What shared challenges might the team face and how can we best address them?

The team report includes information about team roles, derailers, culture, as well as the individual scores of the team members, and helps leaders manage their business units with increased efficiency. With this tool, we

  • understand team roles based on personality and values
  • pinpoint team derailers and barriers to success
  • highlight team culture and the foundation for goal alignment
  • explore individual scores and how they contribute to team roles.

For further details please write directly to