The dilemma to change for the better: Why companies hesitate to hire new executive search firms

The dilemma to change for the better: Why companies hesitate to hire new executive search firms

by Stephan B. Breitfeld

In the world of executive recruitment, finding the right talent to lead your organization is crucial. Companies often turn to executive search consultants to identify and attract top-level talent, but there’s a prevalent hesitation to hire new consultants. Instead, many businesses prefer to stick with the consultants they know. This article explores the reasons behind this reluctance and discusses the importance of embracing new ways, innovation, and taking calculated risks in the executive search process.

Familiarity & Comfort vs. The Fear of the Unknown

One primary reason why companies hesitate to hire new executive search consultants is the comfort of familiarity. Established relationships with trusted consultants can provide a sense of security. After all, if a consultant has successfully placed top executives in the past, why rock the boat by engaging someone new? While there’s value in maintaining trusted partnerships, companies risk becoming complacent and missing out on fresh perspectives and innovative approaches that new consultants may bring to the table.

The fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator for sticking with familiar consultants. Companies may be hesitant to bring in new consultants because they are uncertain about how these newcomers will perform. They fear potential misalignment, miscommunication, or different working styles, which could disrupt the executive search process. However, embracing the unknown can lead to growth and innovation. New consultants may bring unique strategies and connections, offering a fresh take on the search for top talent.

Minimizing Risk vs. Innovation and Fresh Perspectives

Sticking with known consultants is often seen as a way to minimize risk. Companies believe that established relationships are less risky than trying out new, unproven consultants. They assume that experienced consultants will provide a safe, predictable, and successful path to executive recruitment. Nonetheless, mitigating risk shouldn’t mean avoiding innovation altogether. Companies can strike a balance by carefully selecting and vetting new consultants and encouraging them to collaborate with existing teams.

New executive search consultants can bring innovative ideas and fresh perspectives to the table. In a rapidly changing business landscape, it’s crucial for companies to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. A consultant with a history of success may stick to conventional methods, while a new consultant may introduce cutting-edge technologies, diversity and inclusion initiatives, or creative sourcing strategies. Hiring a new consultant can lead to disruptive yet beneficial changes, allowing your organization to remain competitive in the evolving marketplace.

Not to forget: Competition among executive search consultants can be advantageous for companies. When multiple consultants, both established and new, are vying for your business, they are motivated to bring their A-game. This competition can lead to more innovative solutions, better terms, and a stronger focus on delivering value to your organization.


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