The Value of Research In Executive Recruiting

January 20, 2016

By Adam Ulmen, Researcher, DRI

The executive recruiting industry is faced with the ever-growing challenge of identifying and securing top talent across industries. The ability to allocate sufficient time toward appropriate tasks has plagued talent search professionals for years. A common set of questions facing recruiters looks something like: “How much time to spend looking for qualified candidates, how best to search for said candidates, how many candidates should be identified to make placements, how many hours should I spend on the phones each day to be successful…” and so on. There never seems to be enough time in the day to finish everything that needs to be done, however this problem can be alleviated with the development of a sort of support structure; a proper research team.

The value of investing in research cannot be overstated. Implementing a dedicated team of research specialists into an organization is an exceptional way to take your firm to new heights. Many recruiters in the industry find themselves juggling candidate sourcing, research, business intelligence, and new business development on a daily basis, just to name a few. A major value that dedicated researchers bring to a team is that the researcher can take a massive burden off of the recruiter’s shoulders. Research teams can take on all of the candidate sourcing, database building, and other related activities for a team of recruiters, thus freeing up substantial time for the recruiter to focus on the primary activities that result in providing a superior recruitment experience for all parties involved.

The amount of time saved on the recruiter’s end is significant when a research support structure is in place. Conservative estimates might place overall time saved between 1-2 hours per day, per recruiter, as the researcher is dedicated to taking on those time-intensive activities that the recruiter used to have to do on their own. Researchers may also conduct a lot of the legwork involved in the day to day operations of a recruiting team from something as simple as keeping updated records all the way to helping with new business development and new technology management and implementation. Taken together, these research activities time-savings translate into the recruiters being able to invest more time in building relationships with clients, providing employment and business solutions, and generating direct revenue activities which, in turn, results in a more successful practice.

What Are Some Skills it Takes to be a Successful Researcher?

Excellent Communication: In order to be a successful researcher, excellent communication skills are paramount. You need to know what is going on with your team and be able to react accordingly to ever-changing priorities. If you don’t know what is going on, how can you be an effective part of the team?

Creative Thinking: Many of the tasks a researcher undertakes require a great deal of consideration and thought. Oftentimes, you will have to get creative when trying to accomplish goals, such as when a search is especially difficult. There is always an avenue to your goal, you just have to be able to think outside of the box sometimes to find it.

Perseverance: Sometimes things get exceptionally difficult and there seems to be no clear end in sight. It is these times where being able to rise up against adversity will set your levels above your competition in this industry.

Ability to Dig Deep: In recruiting research, the bulk of the job is to find the best candidates to fill job searches. It is also your job not to simply plug in some keywords and throw resumes on the recruiter’s desks. It is a far more difficult task than that. A researcher needs to dig deep and go through the process of utilizing all of the resources in order to uncover the cream of the crop. This gives your team the best chance of completing the search.

Understanding of Research Methodology/Technology: A good recruiting firm will have extensive resources available to their team. These resources include technologies to help find candidates as well as training to develop the research skill set. Being able to understand how to best approach research and utilize technologies/established methods is invaluable to your success as a researcher.

Independence: While researchers are assigned searches to work on, there can be a large degree of independence required of you to carry out those searches. Micro-management aside, you will need to be able to establish a work regimen that is organized and goal-oriented in order to be the best researcher you can. You need to be able to work alone with little guidance, as well as with your team.

Expert Knowledge: Perhaps the most important thing a researcher can do to ensure success is to develop exceptional knowledge of their field. Knowledge truly is power, and being more than conversant in your field will set you leagues above the competition when it comes fulfilling your responsibilities.

If you find the career of researcher interesting, let us know.             We always look for top talent to join our companies of DRI & DCA.