What is and is not executive search?

6 min.

To clarify terms often used in recruitment and HR, we asked Ing. Pavel Plachý, the founder of the successful headhunting company Flow-r Executive Search, to explain them.

1. **What is executive search and what is its main goal?**
   Executive search is a specialized recruitment process focused on identifying and attracting highly qualified candidates for top-level positions in companies, such as CEO, CFO, COO, and other senior management roles. The main goal is to find the best possible leaders who can significantly influence the direction and success of the organization.

2. **What is the difference between executive search and regular employee recruitment?**
   While regular employee recruitment focuses on filling a wide range of positions at various levels, executive search specifically targets filling the highest managerial and strategic positions. Executive search often requires a more thorough process of searching for and evaluating candidates.

3. **Can you explain what strategic recruitment means?**
   Strategic recruitment focuses on filling key positions in a company that are not at the top managerial level but are crucial for the company's operations. Typically, this might include roles like Head of R&D, Head of IT Security, or unique specialists. The work on such a project is similar to that of filling an executive position.

4. **What is transactional recruitment and when is it typically used?**
   Transactional recruitment is a recruitment process focused on quickly filling specific job positions, often with an emphasis on speed. This approach is used when an organization needs to quickly fill a large number of positions, such as during expansion or for seasonal needs.

5. **What is the main difference between transactional recruitment and executive search?**
   The main difference lies in the depth and focus of the process. Transactional recruitment focuses on quickly filling positions with less emphasis on detailed candidate evaluation. These positions are often easily filled from readily available sources, such as job ads or LinkedIn, by reviewing resumes. Executive search emphasizes reaching out to hard-to-find candidates for challenging projects, as well as conducting a deep analysis and evaluation of candidates. Executive search is thus about finding the best individuals for top-level positions.

6. **Who typically uses executive search services and why?**
   Executive search services are primarily used by large corporations, medium-sized companies, and organizations that need to fill key leadership positions. These clients are looking for leaders with unique skills and experience who can bring strategic benefits and improve the organization's performance.

7. **What are the main advantages and disadvantages of executive search compared to other types of recruitment?**
   The advantage of a well-executed executive search is primarily the active approach to the entire candidate market, including those who may be content in their current roles. A thorough evaluation process is an integral part. Executive search is focused mainly on top-level and strategic projects. Disadvantages may include higher short-term costs for such a service and greater involvement of the client in the selection and evaluation of candidates.

8. **What type of candidates are sought through executive search and how do they differ from those sought in transactional or strategic recruitment?**
   Candidates sought through executive search are usually highly experienced professionals with significant achievements in leadership roles. Unlike transactional recruitment, which looks for candidates for quick placement in various positions, or strategic recruitment, which focuses on key or strategic positions within the company.

Pavel Plachý is the founder of Flow-r Executive Search. He began his career in business intelligence, working for both Czech and multinational companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. He has also held international top management roles, leading teams in three countries with a total of more than 700 employees.

In 2008, he founded his own company focused on finding strategic candidates and, since then, he and his colleagues have been dedicated to executive search. They find top managers and strategic experts for their clients.

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