Are off limits ruining your shortlist?

Identifying the ideal candidates to lead your business can be difficult enough without additional constraints being placed on who your appointed Search Partner can and can’t approach. Often, one executive search firm may seem the same as another, or better connected to reach your ideal candidate or candidates. In fact, the ideal candidate may be well-known to the hiring organisation already. However, your shortlists can quickly be ruined by some, many, or even all of the candidates falling into the ‘off limits’ category.

This means the perfect recruit might be ready, willing but unable to join your company due to pre-existing agreements your Executive Search Partner has in place with your competitor organisations.

What Constitutes an ‘Off Limits’ Candidate

Significantly, large search firms who do business with multiple clients in the same sector, face challenges as they will usually be required to provide assurance to their clients, which prevent them from approaching their people for fixed periods of time post an engagement or as a condition of being a preferred supplier. The existing client will have paid the provider for their services, and in return expects a continued good faith relationship without worrying that the provider will be stealing away the client’s own workforce.

It may seem obvious that using Executive Search firms will enable you to reach candidates that you as an organisation are potentially unable to access, even though you know them, as you have agreements with your suppliers or strategic partners. However, the little known fact is that Executive Search firms need to provide non-poaching agreements to their clients, and it is this very factor that truly prohibits and constitutes the ‘off limits’ rule, essentially forbidding them from being able to present the very best talent for their clients.

So what began as a seemingly simple request to source the best talent in the market, can become frustratingly difficult for the client to achieve.

Boutique Executive Search Consultancies Solve the Off Limits Problem

The good news for businesses seeking to acquire the very best talent from the widest market place, is that boutique search firms by nature of their smaller set up and more agile operating models are unlikely to have the need to work with all competitor organisations in a single market sector.  As a result, they can offer the same professional candidate interface and experience but reach many more candidates who would otherwise be off limits to the larger firms.

Utilising a boutique search firm widens the search for the ideal person for a position, the problem of off limit candidates shortening already short shortlists no longer needs to be an issue.

If you require expert help to identify the most talented people available for a position or project, please do get in touch