The Unique Advantages of a Boutique Marketing Executive Search Firm
boutique marketing executive search firm

Industry wide, executive search firms have a failure rate of around 9% for their placements. That’s an enormous risk when hiring a marketing executive, where the future growth of your organization is at stake. The key to stacking the odds in your favor?

Finding the right executive search partner.

This is a case where big is not better. Lack of deep expertise in marketing and too little focus on culture fit are causing an unacceptable failure rate among the big names in executive search.

The larger recruiters try to be all things to all executives. But marketing is changing at such a rapid rate it takes an expert (and former marketer) to keep up. A specialized, boutique marketing executive search firm can bring the edge you need to ensure you find the best possible marketing leader.

Success and Failure Rate

hiring a marketing executive

When it comes to executive search, failure can be catastrophic for your business.  When measuring success or failure the executive search industry uses a six month benchmark. If a candidate placed is gone in six months or less–whether they were unqualified for the job, didn’t fit the culture, left for another opportunity, or any other reason–the search failed.

At MarketPro, we believe that timetable is far too short. One of the reasons for our success is our focus during the vetting process on candidates who can make a three year impact on your business. Focusing on creating a win for our client and a win for the candidate using a three year time horizon changes our interviewing and evaluation process for the better.

In an industry where 9% of candidates placed don’t last 6 months, compare that with MarketPro where for the last 10 years 98% of our candidates have stayed past 6 months.

If you turn your mission-critical marketing executive search over to just anyone, there’s almost a one-in-ten chance that the new leader you were counting on to drive growth will be gone in half a year.

The reason for this failure rate is simple. The nature of marketing today is changing at an ever-increasing pace. The only way to reliably find and place top-tier marketing leaders is to understand marketing yourself, because formerly you were one.

You’re not going to be a marketing expert if your team and resources are spread across multiple disciplines. Any firm simultaneously recruiting for Accounting, HR, IT, Sales and Operations is going to be limited in their depth of marketing knowledge.

The other big challenge the big search firms have is their hands-off list. When you cannot recruit from your clients, going with the bigger firms limits your pool of talent.

In terms of stick rate, boutique marketing executive search firms do much better than industry averages thanks to their specialization and a deep network of talent in their area of expertise.

Specialization and Talent Quality

Marketing is constantly changing, and getting more complicated by the day. That makes finding an A-player at the top of their game extraordinarily difficult if you don’t understand what’s happening in the field.

A boutique marketing executive search firm will focus only on top leaders in marketing and related fields like digital marketing, e-commerce, communications or advertising. Their attention won’t be divided among different disciplines.

The Value of a Specialized Recruiter in Hiring a Marketing Executive

That means you’re not only more likely to get a hire that sticks around; your new executive is also far more likely to actually be an A-player with the ability to have a far superior long-term impact on the business.

In recruitment, experience matters. The more you do it, the more you learn. A firm committed to one area of expertise will better understand their clients’ needs and what it takes to be a top marketing leader today.

Speed and Flexibility

hiring a marketing executive

When hiring a marketing executive, you want to take enough time to make sure you’re getting the right person. But you definitely don’t want to be dragging your feet while the competition races ahead.

The average executive search can take six to nine months or more. There are many contributing factors to this delay, but one important influence is the way larger firms process searches.

To properly build momentum in a search takes a different approach in the first two weeks, which will allow the search to be completed in much less time.

Bigger search firms tend to focus more on the profitability of the search rather than how long it takes to complete. A boutique search firm can view the process differently to allow less time to hire.

Craig Lapham, CEO of a firm specialized in recruiting executives for the insurance and financial services industries, puts it nicely:

“A big search firm may use its large team of search professionals as an effective marketing tool, but when it comes time to actually conduct a specific client search engagement, the larger firm becomes encumbered with conflicts both internal and external.”

This delay doesn’t just stall your business success–it can directly impact the quality of candidate you’re able to recruit. Top talent in the marketing field is in extremely high demand. What’s more, they tend to be extraordinarily busy.

The longer your executive search drags on, the more likely you are to lose top candidates. They’ll either lose interest and drop out of consideration, or get snapped up by another company who was able to act faster.

The turnaround time for a boutique marketing executive search firm can be far less than the industry average, thanks to its superior organizational flexibility and understanding of the talent pool and clients’ needs. With a specialist, you’re more likely to have your essential new marketing executive in three months or less.

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