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Busting The Myths In Sales Executive Search

Oakstone International Executive Search busting the myths in sales executive search

There’s a world of difference between global executive search and the contingency recruitment offered by the average ‘agency’.

Our world is about sourcing high level strategic gamechangers. Not simply filling gaps in the ranks.

We find the brightest sparks to sell your hot new technology. Not bodies to help with day-to-day firefighting.

So now would be a good time to bust a few myths…

You Can Fill Roles Quicker By Using Two Or Three Agencies

There are lots of reasons why going multi-agency is a bad idea. We’ve touched on a few before but here’s another reason.

Or rather an analogy.

Imagine you’re going out for a two-star Michelin meal and you have a choice of four restaurants.

What if you asked each head chef to cook a meal…and the first one to finish would get your business?

Bad idea. Pray the chefs don’t have their Sabatier knives to hand when you suggest this!

Sourcing the sales stars who will determine the future profitability of your company takes time to ensure the perfect match. This takes weeks. Sometimes several months.

You want fine dining. Not a burger and fries.

Contingency Agencies Always Pick The Low Hanging Fruit

We don’t – because it’s yet another flaw in the multi-agency approach.

Going multi-agency triggers a feeding frenzy. Suddenly speed becomes more important to the competing suppliers vying to fill roles.

So they go for the obvious people.

But do this and you risk missing out on the hard-to-reach but exceptional talent.

Searching hard for the sweetest fruit takes time but it’s well worth it. You will judge us on the people we bring you.

So we will bring you only the best. Not easy pickings who could fall far from the tree…and turn into rotten apples.

Headhunters Are Like Estate Agents…They Charge More Than Necessary

We disagree.

Legendary oil industry firefighter Red Adair summed it up best: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Not much to add to that. Other than this…

Sourcing serious talent requires a serious commitment. Deep down you know that.

Retainers Are A Licence To Take The Money And Run

There’s still prejudice in some quarters that retainers are some sort of ticket to a free ride: an annoying contract clause that allows agencies to get paid without delivering the goods.

That is not how a retainer works in our world. It is payment for all the hard work and hundreds of phone calls we make for each role.

It is an assurance that our labours will be remunerated fairly if say, life suddenly changes for the client and they are forced to axe the role in question.

That retainer can be repaid if – in rare circumstances – the right person cannot be found for a highly niche role.

Such a scenario almost never happens. We’ve been doing this 20 years so we’re like the Mounties, we almost always get our man (or woman).

All You Do Is Look In Your Little Black Book

Anyone who ever tells you that they “know everyone” is being optimistic at best.

Yes, we have excellent contacts – more than 120,000 to be precise.

But no, they are not the ‘be all and end all’ of what we do – and certainly no quick fix shortcut to sourcing the best people for your business.

Searching through our immediate contacts may produce only 20 per cent of the initial targets we need to consider first off for any given role.

So the rest have to come from beyond the apocryphal ‘little black book’. That takes a lot of research.

It’s a combination of industry expertise and good old fashioned sleeves-rolled-up hard work.

And it works.