Headhunting has always been about discretely securing Talent that is out of reach, or out of bounds, to customers, partly for reasons of knowledge but more often of propriety. The best boutique executive search firms, working tight well-defined niche markets like new home sales, gather a staggering amount of commercially sensitive information and are very well placed to offer significant added value to customers by aligning this market intelligence windfall with the more traditional headhunting skills of discrete market penetration at senior level, thereby providing a powerful combination of competitor information and strategic intelligence.
The nature of this kind of intelligence is in great demand, now more than ever, and its exact nature will vary depending on the customer’s specific requirements, but it often goes well beyond mere compensation levels and may include supplying turnkey market sensitive information such as a competitor’s strategic direction, succession planning, openness to merger talks and much more. This intelligence provides executive search customers with a significant, often radical, market advantage, particularly in fiercely tight and incestuous markets such as housing, housebuilding and commercial construction.
As if finding and securing the highly improbable wasn’t enough, executive search firms are now providing the impossible – detailed intelligence on competitor’s structure, and strategic direction. When your client tells you that not even MI6 could have got them more information, you know you’ve met their brief. What better reason could there be for choosing the right executive search firm and then keeping them very close?