First: Don't pay a search firm to do a LinkedIn keyword search! You can do that yourself. The best specialized search consultants do not rely on LinkedIn to source high quality passive candidates. They already know people to call. When you need to reach beyond what you can do yourself, hire a firm with a well established contact network. Ask how extensive the recruiter's contact network is and how long she / he has been networking in your industry.
Second: Is the firm you are considering Job Family Specific or Industry Specific?
Are they dedicated to you? Ask who will work on your project and how many other projects will they be working on at the same time.
Do they have a vast contact Network in Ag? Ask how many decades your consultant has focused exclusively on Agricultural search.
Do they have recruitment expertise? Ask how many successful Agricultural searches they have completed.
Is there a conflict of interest with an existing client. Ask if they are searching for the same type of candidate for someone else already.
Ag Network search consultants usually work on no more than two or three search projects at one time. Steve and Barb and will never take on more than four searchs at the same time. This ensures we can dedicate the time required to do a thorough search. We do not "Farm Out" the work and we do not spread ourselves too thin.
Fifth: Is there a conflict of interest? Some firms will take on a search even though they are already looking for the same kind of candidate for a different client. This means that if they identify a candidate, they decide which client gets to see the resume, or worse, they may put the candidate forward to both clients at the same time to create a sense of urgency.
Ag Network will not start a search that will cause this kind of "one candidate for two clients" conflict of interest.
In Summary: If you want a quick fill for a lower level, non-critical, easy to fill position, hiring contingency firms may be the way to go. However, if you require a high quality candidate that may be hard to find, consider a retainer based Executive Search Consultant who will make a commitment and look out for your best interests.
Fourth: Does the firm have the time and resources to dedicate to your search? Be sure to ask who will be working on your search, and how many other searches that consultant is working on right now.
High quality candidates are usually working; and therefore they are not reading job postings or applying to Ag job ads. Post-and-pray doesn't work! Top quality candidates must be contacted one-on-one and told about the Ag career opportunity. It can take weeks to directly contact targeted people in a huge contact referral network.
A retainer based firm takes on a search knowing in advance that it may take hundreds of consultant hours to source your ideal candidate; therefore, they charge a portion of the fee, (a retainer), when the search begins. Retained Executive Search Consultants will stick with it, even when it's a difficult search, because they know they are getting paid for their time, their expertise, their extensive contact network, and ultimately a quality candidate. We partner with our clients and make a commitment to the search. For a Retained Executive Search Consultant it's about quality, and leveraging the contact network to source above average candidates.
A contingency firm charges a fee only if they fill a position. Therefore, they are not obligated to work on your search if the "going gets tough" or if they get another easier search to spend their time on. They do not promise to keep searching until the position is filled. Typically they do not require an exclusive search agreement. They post-and-pray, and entry level recruitment clerks to do keyword searches in LinkedIn. Then they forward resumes with hopes that someone is "good enough".
If you require a candidate that understands Agriculture; then retain an Executive Search Firm that specializes exclusively in the Agriculture industry, and offers an in-depth knowledge of Canadian Agriculture across all job families. Be wary of firms that claim to be well connected across a wide variety of industries. It's better to find a firm that is extremely well networked in your specific industry.
Third: Is the Firm a Contingent firm or a Retainer Based firm?
Job Family Specific:
Some job experience transfers easily between industries. If you require a candidate that is an expert in his/her job, but does not require specific agriculture industry knowledge; then hire a search firm that focuses on one job family and works across all industries. (e.g. Accounting)
There are five things to consider when picking a search firm.
If you have any questions call Agricultural Executive Search Consultant & Talent Scout
403 270 9755
When you retain Ag Network you will work with Steve Peddie, Barb Gabruch or an associate who has at least a decade of Agricultural Recruitment experience to draw on. Ag Network will not "farm-out" search work to entry level consultants. All of the associates that work with Ag Network have an extensive agricultural contact network and many years of Ag Recruitment expertise.