By definition, executive search assignments are difficult-to-fill positions, but keep in mind that the executive search firms specialise in this field and have the capability of finding qualified and hard-to-secure talented candidates.
They will put people in front of you that match the profile you have given. You should be aware though, it’s going to be up to you to attract them to your organisation. You must convince them that their careers will be better served with your organisation than where they are. You need to close the deal (in this case your preferred candidate).
The late Peter Drucker estimated that a third of recruitment decisions were failures. A staggering 25 years ago he wrote in Harvard Business Review:
“Executives spend more time on managing people and making people decisions than on anything else. And they should. No other decisions are so long lasting in their consequences or so difficult to unmake.”
Candidates are a perishable commodity. Talented candidates will assess a potential employer on a variety of points. Timeliness or responsiveness is often where the candidate is lost. To be more specific, I should perhaps say the lack of timeliness and responsiveness. Resumes may look like a pile of paperwork on your desk but they really are not.
Headhunters actively encourage their clients to react quickly to shortlists to give the candidate the impression you are taking their interest in your organisation seriously and with importance. Each resume is a real person that your headhunter has cultivated, screened, and convinced to meet with your company. The people presented to you are waiting to hear when you wish to move to the interviewing process with them.
Time kills all deals and you must in your own interest respond quickly to resumes presented to you. It is vital that shortlisted candidates do not have to wait too long for some feedback.