Glossary

Glossary

When starting a new profession this can quite often make you feel like an outsider. Our glossary will outline a range of commonplace terms which are used in the executive search & selection profession. While many will vary between firms, much of the industry language is consistent throughout the world:
The Association of Executive Search Consultants lists them as follows:
Executive Search
This is the process of finding suitable candidates for a particular vacancy within a company, firm or organization that has employed an executive search firm.
Researcher
Researchers are employed by executive search firms to research and generate names to suit a particular search. Researchers work and liaise with an associate to develop this material and progress the executive search strategy.
Associate
Associates perform similar functions as search consultants but usually with less experience and seniority. They sometimes conduct research and work with candidates, but are typically on a career path that leads to the position of search consultant.
Consultant
Search consultants manage searches and client relationships and develop new business. Consultants work closely with clients to define the position and its requirements.
Source
Individuals within the professional world with which executive search firms converse to take advantage of their industry knowledge, position or contacts. Search firms look to engage with their sources to provide background information and potential prospects, but equally impart industry knowledge, compensation trends, etc... to their sources as a quid pro quo for this help.
Prospect
Individuals that the executive search firm are considering presenting to their client as suitable prospects to fill the established position.
Client
Often termed the hiring organization, clients are usually companies or organizations looking for suitable candidates to fill a vacant senior position within their internal structure.
Sourcing
The process (as part of an executive search strategy) whereby executive search firms seek suitable sources to further their knowledge base and generate a range of suitable prospects for future contact.
Qualifying

The methods used by executive search firms to assess the suitability of their sources and prospects in contributing to a successful executive search.
Deliverable

Key aspects of the agreement between a client and an executive search firm that must be fulfilled.
Contingency
Contingency search firms are only paid if they successfully present a candidate that is hired by a hiring organization.
Retained
A retained executive search firm receives a fee after being contracted by a hiring organization to provide a range of candidates to fill a stated position. Typically part of the fee is paid up-front and the search firm plays a consultative role and partners with their client through to conclusion of the search strategy.
Hiring organization
A company or organization that employs an executive search firm to source potential candidates to fill a senior position within their internal structure.
 

×