The Ultimate Guide to Choosing A Senior Management Recruitment Agency

This guide for choosing a senior management recruitment agency will help you find the one that best fits your c-level hiring needs and your budget. We present a 4-step process and offer useful tips for choosing the right senior management recruitment agency for your organisation.

Today, probably more than at any time in the past, those working at the highest level of senior management have individual connections that allow for powerful networking scenarios. The ease of email and instant messaging, combined with the power of LinkedIn and also traditional networking, means top-level talent often change roles without the use of any form of marketing. And this, whilst great for the individuals, leads to distinct difficulties for companies to seek out these premier candidates.

This is the very reason that employers look to engage the services of senior management recruitment agencies. However, not all recruitment agencies are made equal. And therein is where the challenge lies.

In today’s candidate-driven market it takes a specialised recruitment agency to successfully fill senior management positions. Employers of all sizes, from corporate giants to niche start-ups, should select such a senior management recruitment agency with care. Whilst using the services of a quality agency can indeed save time and bring the best of talent to the table, a sub-standard service that fails to micro-sift candidates, to ensure the confidentiality of the role, and only put forward the select few who’re a genuine fit is, sadly, worse than useless. With this in mind, choosing the right senior management recruitment agency for company requirements takes a strategic approach.


The 4-step process to determine the optimal recruitment agency

Step 1: Define your needs: Are you looking for a one-off hire, or are there multiple positions to fill? Would you consider an interim candidate, or possibly one who might convert to a permanent hire? Do you need a niche professional or generalist? Understanding the company requirements is an essential first step in finding the recruitment agency that works best for you.

Step 2: Narrow down your search: Having already determined that an executive agency is needed, carry out a search for those that work in the relevant field for your business. There are agencies that only provide candidates for a particular industry, as well as those who cover a variety. The key here is to ensure that the agencies utilise recruiters who’re experts in the field themselves. Only then can they understand the individual industry challenges, it trends and should themselves be extremely well networked with key professionals.

Step 3: Check out the small print: Familiarise yourself with agency fees (usually a percentage of the salary), their guarantee period and terms, as well as their success in placing similar level candidates in other roles. Having done this you should have now created a short list of three to four possible agencies, leading you onto…

Step 4: Talk to person who’ll be your agency contact: Discuss their expertise, their methods of finding suitable candidates, their sifting process and their successful hires. Talk about the role/s you need to fill, and preferences you have for the type of candidate/s you require. Many larger companies use a selection of such agencies (also known more informally as ‘head-hunters’) and by doing so build up a relationship over time.

Following these stages should ensure that the agency fully understands your business and can tailor the search to meet your unique needs.

senior management recruitment agencies



Check list questions to ask a senior management recruitment agency

  1. Do they have experience placing candidates in a company of your size?
  2. What professional associations are they affiliated to?
  3. How do they tailor the recruitment process to meet your unique needs?
  4. What security do they offer regarding new hire retention?


Selecting the right recruitment agency can be the key to attracting top-end talent to your business. As in any industry there’s a wide gap between the best agencies and those who fail to hit the mark. Trade awards are always an good indicator of those who excel in their field, such as the ‘Best In Executive Recruitment’ InBUSINESS award  bestowed on Lincoln Recruitment Specialists.

Attracting and placing the right talent for an organisations’ needs requires a strategic approach and in-depth industry knowledge. When choosing such an agency it’s a case of caveat emptor. The above steps should go a long way to assisting companies with their selection, thus ensuring that the chosen agency becomes an asset to secure the necessary candidates to invest in and retain to help propel the business towards its future goals.

Shay Dalton avatar
Lincoln Recruitment Owner & Founder