HR and Recruiting

3 executive recruitment myths that need to be busted

Written by Guest Contributor

Expectations shape our choices, and expectations about recruitment agencies shape both the executive search choices that businesses make and their outcomes. What should businesses expect from a great executive recruitment agency?

When talking to business leaders looking to hire a partner to help them find a new executive, I occasionally run into inaccurate expectations. Partly caused by myths and partly by experience with unreliable recruitment agencies, these expectations should be challenged.

Myth: Executive Recruitment Is Just Googling

What can an executive recruiter do for your company that you can’t do yourself? You can Google to find job boards, write a job description, post it, and wait for the resumes to roll in. You can “research” candidates by checking out their social media. You can conduct interviews.

Why would you need a recruitment agency?

The best executive recruitment professionals have industry contacts that you don’t, information networks that are deeper and broader than even a diligent social media searcher can hope to replicate.

Some generalist executive search agencies are, essentially, querying social media and search engines to dig up candidates to spam. But the best focus on a specific industry, get to know the key players and the up-and-comers and can leverage their industry knowledge to identify the most suitable candidates for a specific role.

Myth: Executive Recruiters Stop Once Candidates are Identified

Here, the expectation is that executive recruiters take a preliminary look at a collection of resumes to filter out unsuitable candidates, and then pass their stack of hopefuls on to their client for assessment and interviewing.

That’s not how the most effective executive recruiters work. When you engage a high-level executive recruitment agency, we’re with you from the initial stages to the contract negotiations and beyond.

We’ll work with you to create a brochure to attract the right candidates, carry out preliminary interviews, be with you through panel interviews, implement comprehensive reference checks, make the job offer, and carry out contract negotiations.

Myth: Recruiters Don’t Need To Know About Your Company

The first stage in any executive recruitment processes should be to develop an understanding of the role and the business. An executive is a leader, and, to lead effectively, they have to fit into the company culture. Their role is to help the company achieve its strategic goals, which means the recruiter has to understand those goals.

Understanding the client and their needs is just as important as understanding the candidates and their capabilities. Often, a simple job description doesn’t cut it. The best executive recruiters work closely with clients to identify their culture and needs, and that information plays a key role in finding suitable candidates.


We’ve looked at three myths, and you might be thinking that they aren’t really myths – and you’d be right. Many recruitment services providers don’t know their clients’ industry, don’t take the time to understand the company and the role, and don’t work with clients throughout the recruitment process. 

But you shouldn’t let low-grade recruiters affect your expectations of what a passionate and committed executive recruitment professional can do for your business.

About the Author:
Dean Madison is the president of TD Madison & Associates. The company is founded on the principle of providing a more predictable approach for evaluating the culture, strategic fit, and qualifications of potential candidates for key senior-level positions within the cable and telecom industries. Follow them on Twitter @TD_Madison.

About the author

Guest Contributor