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How executive search firms shortlist executives

An executive search firm is an external force that is hired by organizations to carry out the task of recruiting employees to fill executive positions. These firms have the experience and the expertise to look for and reach out to the most highly qualified and talented individuals that might be suitable for the job. The entire process then includes the shortlisting of these applicants in order to ensure that the specific needs of the employer are met to utmost perfection.

Usually, executive search firms undertake specialized screening of the candidates on behalf of the organization that has partnered with them to inquire further into the skills and qualifications of the individual. There are multiple factors that are taken into consideration by these firms during the screening process and these include but are not limited to:


This incorporates the educational background of the individual; the degrees they have completed and the profession they are into and whether or not all of that compliments the business. In case of a search for the head of the finance department, an individual with a degree and profession in finance will be needed. In most cases, emphasis is also placed on the institute from which the individual has graduated. The rankings of the respective institute play an important role in the career of the candidate as a whole.

Past Experience

Perhaps one of the most important factors in assessing the capabilities of a candidate is their work experience. Experience is what shapes a person and in the case of an executive job in a big company, it can be the make or break factor. An executive job has responsibilities to be taken care of, important decisions to be made and if the individual simply lacks the experience, he/she might not be able to work in the best interests of the company. For an executive job, candidates need to possess a minimum of 5 years of experience. Search firms ask candidates subjective questions regarding their previous jobs and then use their answers to gauge their work ethic and crucial personality traits.


An executive job is the neediest of a confidant individual. These sorts of jobs require effective communication on a daily basis with a wide number and different types of people and if the individual lacks the confidence to do that, he/she can cause problems for the firm. Additionally, confidence is also required in crucial situations when an important but risky decision has to be made; if the individual is not confident in their own ability or the organization’s ability, they might not be able to move forward with it potentially leading to losses that could otherwise have been avoided.

Personality traits

An executive has to deal with a great number of clients and subordinates on a daily basis and if it is someone who generally has a disliking for people and is not very welcoming to talk to, it could put divide the whole department. The leader needs to be a source of warmth and should always be able to make the subordinate and/or the clients feel comfortable.  A people’s person is something that most companies require and through the screening process, their requirements are best met.