Your Goal is Our Goal: The Benefits of a Boutique Executive Search Firm - Michael Eckert

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readMar 31, 2021

Executive search is an interesting and dynamic profession. Some people compare it to being a diplomate, but I prefer to make the comparison with the medical profession. Probably because I’m a trained Medical Doctor who switched careers. I made my transition to executive search over two decades ago, still leveraging my expertise from previous careers, to the benefit of our clients and candidates.

Executive search all starts with grasping the real need of the client. And that’s like in the medical world, where we need to define and understand the diagnosis before we can decide on a therapy. It’s not uncommon that the client doesn’t realize their actual need.

I came across a list of seven benefits that boutique executive search firms have over the big ones, also referred to as Shrek. To me, three of those really stand out and are among the main reasons why our clients decide to work with us.

Individual and trust-based business
When engaging with a boutique firm, you are more likely to deal directly with the person or team leading your project. By contrast, when engaging with a large firm, you may only engage with a partner occasionally. Often, larger firms delegate key work to less tenured associates who you have never met and who have only second-hand knowledge of your organization and its needs. This can result in candidates whose resumes match your specification on paper but may not fit your culture or your goals, which leads to mis-hires.

Greater candidate pool
Executive search firms have an ethical and contractual obligation not to recruit from clients. Because large firms conduct business with so many organizations, they have significant hands-off limitations which impact their recruiting strategies. Candidates that are active on a search within a firm are also off-limits for other searches. With large firms, this can equate to thousands of candidates who are unavailable to your search, severely limiting the talent pool. Remember that while the large firms’ lengthy lists of clients may be impressive, these lists also show the companies you cannot recruit from.

Deep knowledge of your organization
You want a search team who understands your culture, major players and unique needs. The boutique business model gives search teams more time to learn these aspects of your organization and use them to inform their search. Additionally, since the lead partner usually handles the engagement directly, they are better positioned to present your opportunity, vet candidates and provide value-added insight on your industry, the market, the function and the role.

Read the original article here.