Taking a deconstructed approach to executive search

Published 12/01/2021 - 3 min Read

By Tim Butt

Talent Partner

Quick Summary Removing the mystique of traditional executive search, guaranteeing all the quality of the offering and process but with bespoke flexibility which works around your internal capabilities and talent acquisition goals.

3 min Read

The executive search offering plays a crucial role in talent acquisition, providing companies with high quality means to source scarce talent at director-level and above. It can lift the pressures of a difficult leadership appointment from already stretched internal teams and deliver proven candidates ready to fill key roles. However, the average executive search can cost organisations 30%+ of the value of a candidate’s package, making it a costly endeavour. 

Executive search still retains plenty of value for businesses. However, the potential of a six-figure bill (for many senior appointments) makes business leaders wary about embarking upon a project with traditional executive search firms, especially if they’re not yet ready to hire. 

At Armstrong Craven, we want to remove the mystique of traditional executive search and make sure you only pay for the steps that you want and need. Our deconstructed approach to executive search guarantees all the quality of the offering and process but with bespoke flexibility which works around your internal capabilities and talent acquisition goals.

What is a deconstructed approach to executive search?

We want to make executive search more accessible for all our clients around the world. So, we’ve split it into different segments. It means you don't have to commit to a full end to end search, you can commission the different elements at different stages of the decision making process. 

Talent Mapping & Identification

The first stage begins with the gathering of talent intelligence, discovering who’s out there, where they are, and what they’re doing – this can be developed with support from our Insight & Talent Analytics team. We then cross-reference with your brief to find out who might be right for your business. 

Whether you’re looking to fill a vacancy immediately or planning ahead, your internal talent acquisition team gets fully equipped with a map of identified targets.


Next, we actively engage with the talent pool. We ask identified targets questions around their perceptions of your company, the location, career aspirations, and if they’re happy for you to contact them directly. 

The results add a layer of qualitative insight which narrows down the talent map. This step also serves to fulfil GDPR requirements, thereby allowing us to hand ownership of all the data to you.

Interview & Screening

This part of the process allows us to take the talent map of warm leads and develop their interest in joining your company. From career experience and achievements through to personal commitments and salary expectations, we conduct thorough interviews to create a final shortlist for your internal team to engage. 

The main benefit of this deconstructed approach is that while we still offer the full executive search, we can create a bespoke version of it, removing the parts which you can handle internally. It allows us to act as an extension of your internal team, partnering in whatever way delivers the best fit and value.

“We want to make sure we can shape a project around what you need. This means delivering exactly what you want and need without any over-complication or over-pricing.”

What are the benefits of this approach to executive search?

The first, and sometimes significant benefit, is the cost reduction. By only choosing the elements that you need, the cost of a full executive search can be significantly reduced, removing the looming big bills associated with the service.

Secondly, in unique contrast to many of the executive search giants referred to as ‘SHREK’ (an acronym made from the search firms names), a partnership with Armstrong Craven can include data ownership. This means that you can use the research of a single project over and over, which has the effect of reducing your ultimate cost per hire.

Alongside this, it gives you time to make the right decisions. You choose the project’s goals based around your current and future business plans with data, a pipeline of profiles or even a group of candidates to fit your needs. This means that no matter if you’re looking for a placement today or succession planning for 12 months time, you’re prepared. 

“The deconstructed approach allows us to take on individual elements of the executive search, such as creating a pipeline of profiles or candidates. Engagement with this pipeline can happen over an extended period, allowing you to line people up proactively. When you do need to make this senior appointment, you already have everything you need to bring someone on board.”

We’ve already introduced our deconstructed approach to organisations of all sizes around the world, and they’ve been delighted by the flexibility that it offers. So, if you’re looking to partner with us on your next project or you want more information, get in touch with our team today.

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