This article by Marlin Hawk is spot on but I am not sure how many companies (clients) realise it yet!
I totally agree that the days of transactional Executive Search should be gone and that we should be adding far more value than introducing candidates and making appointments.
We have considered ourselves as a Professional Services Consultancy, providing a range of solutions to Boards, for nearly 4 years and our value proposition still comes as a surprise to the majority of new companies we meet. We are focused on building partnerships for the long term, working with Boards to identify the pain they are suffering or getting in the way of them delivering their business strategy.
Unfortunately Executive Search and recruitment doesn't have the best of reputations and we are not yet fully considered beyond the transactional appointments that we have become synonymous with but I do feel the tide is turning!
It is a far more exciting client partnership when we are Trusted Advisors who understand our cliients' strategies and can add real value to help them achieve it. So far removed from "placing people"!!
In-house recruiting is increasingly perceived to be the biggest threat to the executive search industry, aided and abetted by the unstoppable rise in social media and networking platforms. At best, this trend is set to erode margins, at worst it could put some firms out of business altogether. So what does the future hold for executive search? HR has often been accused of lacking strategic input at board level and has sought assistance from leadership advisory partners to counteract that view. Ironically, many Group HR Directors are now bringing the search for talent in house, to the detriment of their confidantes. The executive search industry needs to adapt to these market forces, not fight them. Business is business and, when long standing relationships grind to a halt, we must not take it personally.