Some of skills and behaviors can be learned or achieved by experience, others are inherent. The very best in Executive Search find success by developing certain qualities and we have distilled these qualities into the list below.
Search consultants who achieve long term substantial billings, repeat business, and a strong reputation in their respective industry are those that show the most resilience. This is not an industry for “snowflakes”. The very best work harder than everyone else but also react to adversity by working even harder. They also maintain a consistency of effort when business is good and when business is more challenging.
The very best search consultants are team players, collaborating with their colleagues if is best for the mandate, even at the risk of less personal income. Greed is short sighted and stealing business from colleagues rarely leads to long term success. Understanding that the team should come together to identify the best candidates, engage to ensure they are the right fit and lead the client to make the correct decisions, should be undertaken in the spirit of teamwork, not autocracy.
Gaining the trust and confidence of clients and candidates is crucial. The very best search consultants are able to establish this early in a relationship and then throughout. They will become known for their thought leadership, from the advice they provide, articles they produce or even by speaking at conferences. They are on top of industry and market trends and continually refresh this knowledge by cultivating a network of influencers and decision makers.
In summary – a great executive search consultant is many things understanding the difference between a relationship and a transaction, acting long term and earning a reputation for their expertise. With the traits listed above, they will show value to their clients and showcase the capability of their employer and the industry as a whole.