Executive Search

What is Executive Search?

Executive search (sometimes referred to as headhunting) is a specialised recruitment service focused on sourcing candidates for usually senior level/executive positions, confidential or hard to fill vacancies can also be included.

Work is normally conducted on a retained basis and usually involves an upfront fee (often 25-30% of the final fee). Consultants work proactively with a special focus on passive candidates (professionals not actively seeking a new role).

When working on executive search assignments we will not rely on traditional methods of sourcing such as job advertising, although a targeted campaign may be deliberately used in some instances.

Potential steps required in an Executive Search Assignment:

Client Research

Before meeting with the client carry out research to achieve an understanding of their place within their market and how their organisation is viewed externally.

Client Mandate

The second part of the executive search process is the client meeting. Here a meeting with the HR team and/or the relevant hiring manager is required to better understand.

Profile Creation

Create an ideal candidate profile based on the research conducted during stages one and two of the executive search process. This will form the basis of the search and selection stages.

Market Mapping

Taking the ideal candidate profile and your unique requirements as a starting point a map of the market across geographies, industries, competitors and any suitable internal candidates can be created.

Candidate Search

Make use of a range of innovative attraction techniques, targeting both active and passive candidates.

Candidate Longlist

From the research carried out during the market mapping stage, present your client with a long list of up to 10 candidates, including internal candidates if appropriate.


Candidate testing plays a part in many executive search process, providing an objective assessment of the individual’s key competencies and preferred working style.

Candidate Shortlist

Present the client with a shortlist of around 2-4 candidates. Accompany this with a detailed outline of the candidate.

Interview Stage

Design a robust and consistent interview framework based on your client’s specific requirements.

Offer & Acceptance

The offer stage can be beset with pitfalls and troubles, where a role is Equity Partner there will likely be a buy in etc.

Candidate Vetting

High standards of communication between the background check provider, your client and the candidate are crucial in speeding up completion times, mitigating the risk of applicant dropout.


Ideally digital contract management service is utilised for a fast and efficient process.


Thorough research surrounding the hiring organisation, its market and the ideal candidate needs to form the basis of any comprehensive search and selection framework.

The ideal executive search process should be tailored to meet the demands of recruiting across different time zones and multiple geographies.

It should place the client at the centre, providing regular reporting and complete transparency.

High levels of engagement should be in place to ensure candidates receive the very best experience, helping protect and promote the client’s employer brand.

Brimstone Executive Search

A compelling alternative to traditional contingency models.

It provides financial and professional services firms with the best candidates from across the globe, within an agreed budget, and supported by regular reporting.

Acting exclusively on your behalf, we provide your candidates with a positive, consistent and engaging experience, while relieving you of the administrative burden of managing a lengthy and complex recruitment process.