Why Headhunters Are The People To Know

The world of EXECUTIVE SEARCH is little understood, KATY CAROLAN of MERC PARTNERS on why headhunters are the people to know …


Advancing to a leading role in business may mean you encounter search specialists for the first time. We are often asked what executive search is all about? To give an insight in to what we do, consider the following: Do you have the right skills, capabilities and motivation in order to effectively manage people and lead your organisation? Have you assessed your teams to identify hidden strengths and opportunities for growth? Have you identified a pipeline of talent within your organisation and put an effective succession planning strategy in place? Do you have what it takes? These are the types of questions posed by an executive search consultant.


Despite technological advances, the tenets of executive search remain the same: determining a match between a client and a candidate by aligning competencies, experience and capabilities to the current and future goals and culture of an organisation. While email exchanges, data sourcing tools, and an online profile may give valuable insight into a candidate’s background and potential, they will never be a substitute for the personal interaction and the robust assessment that comes from the process and meeting face-to-face. The little black book still matters but executive search professionals now need to have a broader international focus – identifying talent not only locally but globally too.


Making the wrong decision at leadership level can have far-reaching consequences for an organisation. Taking time to evaluate candidates, through experienced, objective, reputable and independent search professionals, is well worth the effort and investment. Good head-hunters become trusted advisers to organisations and prospective candidates alike. It’s about building longterm relationships based on market knowledge, honesty and discretion.


The vast majority of successful leaders demonstrate an appetite for change and the ability to adapt. The pace of change in today’s world is unprecedented. As a result, organisations need leaders who can navigate new paths and embrace uncertainty and ambiguity. The leaders of today and tomorrow are chameleons who can easily adapt to new situations and challenges. 

Katy Carolan is a Consultant at MERC Partners. For further information, visit www.merc.ie or call 01 206 6700.

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