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Senior-level employees and managers can have a huge impact on the success of any business. Taking months to fill empty roles or employing senior-level people with the wrong skills sets and poor management skills can create a demotivated and frustrated workforce, which can be extremely costly in many cases. Ensuring your business has talented senior-level employees is vital for maintaining a positive company culture, inspiring less experienced employees and achieving your company goals.
But how do you find those ideal candidates when senior-level positions often require in-depth sector knowledge and hard-to-meet criteria? For many companies an industry-specialist headhunter can be the quickest, most effective route to filling those roles.
An industry-specialist headhunter focuses on the talent needs of a specific industry or a subset of industries. Although they are focused on specific sectors, they tend to operate across a variety of job functions within that industry. This enables them to build up a deep understanding of the market and talent landscape and understand the latest advancements and trends within their sector. Here are five benefits you can expect when using a niche industry-specialist headhunter:
Consultants focused on one industry have built their talent pool over time by being visible in their market. Attending events, being active online and building relationships within their industry means they have connections with many talented senior-level candidates. Many of those people will not be actively applying for jobs and identifying them as a suitable fit for the company relies on having that relationship. Industry-focused consultants are also more likely to successfully attract good-quality passive candidates through headhunting as people are more likely to respond to and trust someone specialised in their niche who they are familiar with.
By knowing the right questions to ask, understanding industry terminology and qualifications and being aware of the standard of talent available in a market, industry-specialist consultants can quickly and easily identify the perfect candidates for your business. This means they can spend their time contacting the right people for you and managing the sifting process on your behalf. Only the most qualified and relevant candidates will ever make it through to your business for interviews.
Working with someone without sector knowledge can mean spending time educating them about the company, the importance of the role, the right cultural fit and explaining what the job description even means! An industry-specialist headhunter will already have the knowledge and can quickly turn your job description into an attractive proposition and get to work approaching the right people for the role straight away. They will also have an existing network of contacts they can quickly propose, and they can sift quickly through applications without having to ask you if they are relevant to the role. All of this means the vacancy is filled quicker, reducing the impact on your business of being without a critical senior-level position.
Instead of having a single function – searching for your ideal candidate – industry-specialist consultants act as a strategic partner with their clients. By utilising their understanding of the market and talent landscape they can advise on skills shortages or surpluses and help benchmark the salary package you are offering against the demands of the talent you are looking to attract. They can also challenge the skill set you think you need against what they have hired previously – for example they may demonstrate that it is a different skillset that you need to look for as there is an imminent change within the market. In addition to our executive search service, our clients can also benefit from our Talent Strategy Services: a bespoke range of talent solutions to help inform, define and develop a business’ talent strategy.
Having industry knowledge allows a headhunter to be able to ‘sell’ your company properly and act as an ambassador of your business. This helps build up a positive perception of your business and what it has to offer prospective employees. Even if someone declines the opportunity to be put forward for a particular role, the industry-specialist headhunter will be able to position your company as one to work for in the sector, and they may then be more receptive to future roles.
For lower-level positions, you do not necessarily need an industry-expert. For many more junior positions, career skills are transferable across industries. Even for those requiring specific qualifications or experience, a generalist recruiter can usually understand most requirements and determine whether a candidate is suitable.
CSG specialises in seven different industries offering specialist executive search to clients across the world. If you need help filling senior-level vacancies across any of our specialist sectors or would like advice on your talent strategy contact us to speak to an industry expert.