Executive search is a specialised type of recruitment, aimed at attracting leading executive and senior management talent to an organisation. It also includes the recruitment of highly skilled and in-demand candidates for specific technical roles.

Executive search forms a vital process in the growth and development of a business. People are the lifeblood of any business and losing out on senior talent, or experienced industry specialists, especially to key competitors, can create significant disadvantage. Finding and securing talented candidates in a competitive market can be a difficult task, which is why businesses often bring in executive search firms to ensure the best possible hiring outcomes.

The role of executive search firms is often misunderstood. We’ve put this guide together to demonstrate what executive search truly means and our approach to getting clients the results they deserve.

Why is Executive Search Important for your Business?

Due to the pivotal nature of the positions which executive search firms are trying to fill, their recruitment outcomes can have a huge impact on organisations. A good hire can catapult a business forward, creating improved performance against immediate or annual targets and setting more effective strategies for long term sustainability and growth. A bad hire can magnify inefficiencies, cause internal conflict, and limit the potential growth of a business.

If you are in business, you are in the business of people. Your employees will be the defining factor in what you can achieve, so ensuring that you do all you can to find the best talent is something that every board should have at the forefront of its agenda.

So, how does executive search work?

Executive Search Process

The executive search process follows a set of milestones which can be adapted depending on the nature of the requirement. Broadly speaking these milestones fall across three parts of the process: Understanding the requirement. The first step is always to establish the nature and objectives of the position in question before determining the candidate characteristics which would have the biggest impact.

Identifying the Candidate Pool

This involves detailed analysis of competitor (and other) businesses and a range of ‘source discussions’ in order to identify both the most suitable candidates and to generate information to help underpin an approach to them.


Good research and preparation provides confidence in approaching candidates with a proposition which we know they are suitable for and where we feel we may be able to generate interest from them. The aim of the initial call is to establish whether there is sufficient interest and suitability to warrant a meeting. Assuming there is, we will meet with the individual (sometimes more than once) to discuss the role in full detail and to test the background of the candidate thoroughly – To truly find the top talent and people who can drive a company forward, a search firm must understand the strengths of potential candidates (and well as their weaknesses) and ensure that skills and attitude can be aligned with the requirements of the client organisation.

Client Process

Both logistics coordinator and Business Plan advisor, the role of the search business is to ensure smooth exchange of information (the right people in the right place at the right time, well prepared and with all relevant documentation to hand) and to act as the objective third party in managing the expectations of both ‘sides’ and ensuring that the right deal is struck for both the candidate and the client. It’s about understanding what both sides want – linking the right candidate to the right organisation for a long-term relationship. We don’t believe in quick fixes or cutting corners, we’re here, alongside our clients, to help support sustainable business growth.

Our executive search process has always been focused on understanding the in which a client operates. We believe in understanding the challenges and opportunities that are facing our clients and their industries. In doing so we position ourselves to be confident and proactive in that market, and to find the right candidates – sometimes with skills which client businesses didn’t even know they needed. This approach has allowed us to place senior candidate in organisations all around the world, and to see them flourish.

Here at Edward Drummond, our consultancy offering has enabled us to not only provide candidates to suit a client, but to provide meaningful input on the underpinning business strategy which sits beneath that personnel requirement. Instead of simply presenting a list of suitable candidates to an organisation, we can help create winning business strategies that utilise new talent and skills.

Our rigorous research and attention to details means we have built up a wealth of knowledge, experience and networks which your business can use. We are dedicated to finding you the best candidates, talented individuals that tick all the boxes, even if it seems as though there are a lot of boxes to tick. Executive search is our passion here at Edward Drummond and if you’d like us to show you how your business can utilise it, then get in contact today.