What is an executive search firm?

Recruiting & placing executives

An executive search firm is a professional service provider that specialises in recruiting and placing senior-level executives, often for leadership positions in companies. These firms are hired by organisations to identify, evaluate, and recruit candidates for high-level executive and management roles.

The primary goal of an executive search firm is to assist their clients in finding the most qualified and suitable candidates for key positions within their organisation. This process typically involves a thorough search, screening, and evaluation of potential candidates, and it may include individuals who are not actively seeking new employment. Executive search firms often have extensive networks and industry knowledge, allowing them to identify and approach candidates who may be a good fit for a specific role.

The process typically includes the following steps.

Needs assessment

The search firm works closely with the client to understand the specific requirements of the executive position and the organisation's culture.

Candidate identification

The firm uses its network, industry knowledge, and research capabilities to identify potential candidates, including those who may not be actively looking for new opportunities.

Screening & evaluation

Candidates are thoroughly screened and evaluated based on their qualifications, experience, leadership skills, and cultural fit with the client organisation.


The firm may conduct interviews with potential candidates to assess their suitability for the role and to gain a deeper understanding of their skills and background.

Presentation of candidates

The search firm presents a shortlist of qualified candidates to the client, providing detailed information about each individual.

Client interviews

The client organisation interviews the shortlisted candidates and makes the final decision on whom to hire.

Offer & negotiation

The search firm may assist in the negotiation process, helping to facilitate discussions on compensation, benefits, and other terms.

Onboarding support

Some executive search firms provide support during the onboarding process to ensure a smooth transition for the newly hired executive.

Executive search firms play a crucial role in helping organisations attract top-tier talent for key leadership positions, and their expertise can be particularly valuable when recruiting for roles that require specialised skills or experience.

What is an executive search firm?

Want to recruit top executive talent?

Want to recruit top executive talent?

Now that you better understand what an executive search firm is, you may be interested in learning more about 11 Recruitment's executive search services.

At 11, our executive search process is designed to attract, recruit, and retain high achievers based on the assumption that high achievers are both passive candidates and are scarce. 

We offer our specialised search and headhunting services to clients seeking top executives for a range of positions, including:

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Operations Manager / Director
  • Finance Manager / Director
  • Sales Manager / Director
  • HR Manager / Director
  • Marketing Manager / Director
  • IT Manager / Director
  • Service Manager
  • General Manager
  • State Manager
  • National Manager
  • Commercial Manager

Click the button below to learn more about how 11 Recruitment sources top executive-level talent for businesses throughout Australia.

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