Why should a company pay an executive recruiter when they have a perfectly good human resource
department that can do hiring?
Executive search is useful to client companies for two reasons:
One is that it allows the company to concentrate on its own business activities (the ones that help it make money), by transferring the work to people who are specialists in this field. Thus, line managers are spared the time and attention from the recruiting and interviewing tasks until late in the process. One could reasonably ask why the company's own human resource department is not able to handle this task. The fact is that the human resource department may not have the ability to execute high level searches, especially if the talent being sought is from a different industry. In addition, human resource departments are also responsible for other HR issues including compensation analysis, training as well as administrative functions. Thus they are generalists in the various HR skills, but do not have the sensitivity to recruiting issues that a recruiting professional would have.
The other reason is that as an external third party, the executive recruiter is in a position to offer his/her unbiased, professional views based on what is best for the client, including those views that an employed staff member may find politically difficult to bring up.
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