The Search Firm’s Role by Frank Jay

Although our clients all come from the Aviation/Aerospace industry, they are all over the map regarding corporate size as well as their form of ownership.

Frank Jay & Associates works with large companies that are publicly owned, medium-sized companies that are privately owned by one individual, professional firms built as partnerships…literally all the different forms and types of operations that exist in an industry of any kind.

And, our role as a retained executive search firm…while consistent in the main objective of assisting with the hire of an important executive or team member…differs dramatically based on the size and ownership of each organization.

The Large Operation

For example, in a larger corporation, a human resources department exists that includes a team of professionals capable of achieving results in all of the normal human resources functions including recruiting.  Each of those functions has experienced team members dedicated to achieving results…and that certainly includes the recruiting function. 

Often times, team members of the recruiting function are persons who have previously worked for search firms and they know and understand how to seek out, contact, interview and present candidates to their “in house” clients.  With this type of expertise on hand, you might expect that the need to utilize a retained search firm would NOT exist.

But, you would be wrong.

The large firm can be “hamstrung” when it comes to “sourcing” candidates…even if they have the in-house search experience to do the work.  There are always companies that are “off limits” to corporate in-house recruiters due to industry relationships…and those companies’ employees cannot be contacted. 

But more importantly, in-house search professionals are limited by being employees of the company undertaking the search.  When they call or email a potential candidate or a potential source, there is no confidentiality or secrecy that can be achieved because they ARE company employees. 

The external search consultant starts a call or email to a potential candidate or source by saying “I have a client…” while the in-house recruiter has to say “I am a recruiter for so and so company…”.  Having been an in-house corporate recruiter, this issue (along with the “off limits” issue) throws confidentiality to the wind and greatly hampers the sourcing process in many ways…and therefore causes large corporations to utilize search firms.

The Smaller Company

The smaller company, on the other hand, has a more obvious need to utilize a search firm.  Their need is for professional search capabilities that they are unlikely to have “in-house” as a smaller operation. 

They don’t have the time to undertake a search and they need all of the abilities that a retained search consultant brings to the table including researching and sourcing of potential candidates, initial candidate interviewing and screening, formal presentation of candidates, scheduling of candidate interviews with the corporation, referencing of candidates of interest to the company, making and negotiating a formal offer of employment, and confirming the hire of the successful candidate.

These same abilities that are so beneficial to the smaller company also benefit the larger company.  But the larger company has a more specific need when it comes to the hiring of a retained search firm and that need is to contract with an outside firm not hampered by the relationships and structure of the employer.

The Point

The point is that operations of all sizes and structures do need and utilize the services of a retained search firm.  While their reasoning differs, they all expect successful results.  And in that way, they are no different.