group of businesspeople raising their hands to ask questions during a conference

Executive search firms find elite candidates for highly specialized positions.

Before you sign on with an executive search firm as a client or company, you want to make sure you’ve found the right firm.

How do you know who to go with?

Eric Kean of Lee Group Search shared some thoughts on what to consider when shopping for a recruiting company, whether you’re a client, seeking a position that is the best professional fit, or an employer, looking for the ideal candidate to fill an important seat.


Work with someone who invests in you. That means making the time to talk with you before you agree to work with them. If you ask a firm to explain its process and can’t get a straight answer, that’s a red flag, Kean said. When inquiries come into Lee Group Search, “We like to give people more than they bargained for,” he said. “We’ll often be talking to someone who says, ‘Nobody has ever asked me those questions before.’ Even in the exploratory phase, is the firm willing to help?”


Many firms only talk with clients or companies after they have agreed to be customers. Look for a company this is a good steward. “Look for someone with a level of integrity,” Kean advised.

Ideally a recruiting firm will ask, “What do you want to know about us?”

You want a firm that will give you time. A firm that values your time. A firm that takes the time to listen to your questions and answer them fully without making you feel as if it’s a bother to answer them.

“Nobody should be trying to speed you through the process,” Kean said.


You want to work with a firm that’s transparent and able to be specific about its process. What are the names of companies they’ve worked with in the past? Does the firm work directly with hiring managers? If a firm cites working with “global leaders in the industry” over specific companies, be wary.

Do you trust the firm? Trust is essential on both ends.

“Go with your gut,” Kean stresses.

Straight shooters

A respected executive search firm will partner with you for your hiring needs. It will tell you what you need to hear, which doesn’t always equate to what you want to hear. That part comes easy at Lee Group Search, which lives its core values to be straight shooters unafraid of the truth in an effort to fulfill its mission to align talent and businesses to grow businesses and change lives.


The best search firms have access to the best talent for positions, and that includes passive candidates as well as those actively seeking to make a change.

“The value comes in being able to contact that person that meets the criteria a company is looking for,” Kean said, “and have a conversation that gets them interested in your organization that they’ve never heard of before.”

Contact Lee Group Search for your executive recruiting needs.

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