5 Reasons to Hire a Search Firm to Find Your Next HR Leader

November 1, 2023 – In the realm of HR leadership, finding the perfect candidate often feels like searching for a unicorn. The unique blend of skills, experience, and cultural fit required for these roles can be elusive. Many organizations underestimate the challenges of such recruitment endeavors and the potential consequences of getting it wrong, according to a recent report from The Christopher Group‘s Jeff Bettinger. The report explores why your recruitment team may need assistance and how the cost of having the wrong talent or a vacancy can far outweigh the investment in specialized executive recruitment, supported by critical statistics.

1. The Cost of a Bad Hire.

Making the wrong hiring decision is costly. According to a report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the cost of a bad hire can range from 50 percent to several times the employee’s annual salary. “When seeking HR leadership, where strategic decision-making is paramount, the financial impact of a suboptimal hire can be staggering,” The Christopher Group report said.

2. Vacancy Costs.

The report also points out that a vacant HR leadership position can disrupt the entire organization. A study by Work Institute found that the average cost of turnover per employee is 33 percent of their annual salary. For leadership roles, this figure can be even higher. The report explains that the longer the vacancy persists, the more it erodes productivity, employee morale, and business performance.

3. Specialist Expertise Matters.

“The hiring landscape is evolving, and specialized executive recruiters offer a unique advantage,” The Christopher Group report said. A study by LinkedIn revealed that 72 percent of companies believe specialized recruiting firms provide better talent. In the HR leadership space, where niche skills and industry-specific knowledge are essential, working with specialized recruiters can be a game-changer, according to the report.

4. Reduced Time-to-Fill.

Time is of the essence when seeking top HR leadership talent. The longer a position remains vacant, the greater the impact on business operations. Research by Glassdoor Economic Research found that the average interview process in the United States takes 23.7 days. Search firms can reduce time-to-fill by tapping into their network of pre-vetted candidates.

5. Improved Long-Term Outcomes.

A bad HR leadership hire can have long-lasting repercussions and a study by Leadership IQ found that 46 percent of newly hired executives fail within the first 18 months. The report says that specialized executive recruitment firms excel in assessing not only skills but also cultural fit and long-term potential, leading to more successful, enduring hires.

10 Compelling Reasons to Hire an Executive Search Firm
It’s far from easy to find talent with the right skills, experience and values to fill vital senior executive positions. Some roles are simply so important that you have to invest time, money and resources in identifying and recruiting the absolute best individual. That means bringing in an executive search firm. Using a new report by Odgers Berndtson as a base, let’s pinpoint the 10 most important factors to consider when hiring a top search firm.

“Seeking the perfect HR leadership candidate is a challenge that many organizations underestimate,” The Christopher Group report said. “However, the cost of a bad hire or a prolonged vacancy can far outweigh the investment in specialized executive recruitment. The statistics underscore the importance of getting this crucial decision right. Specialized recruiters not only bring expertise but also reduce the time-to-fill, ultimately leading to improved long-term outcomes.”

Founded in 1998 by Tom and Paula Christopher (former HR executives with GE, Pepsi, Progressive Insurance, and Citigroup), The Christopher Group is a leading boutique HR executive search and staffing solutions firms. TCG is staffed by former HR professionals and trained search practitioners who use proprietary, scientific and industry-leading systems, tools, and processes. The firm has offices in Willoughby, OH; Sarasota, FL; and Kansas City, MO. The Christopher Group was acquired by a group of managing partners led by Nat Schiffer on March 31, 2023. The acquisition allows the firm to continue its growth trajectory while ensuring a smooth ownership transition. “The acquisition of The Christopher Group by its managing partners is a testament to the strength, depth, and resilience of our company,” said Mr. Christopher. “We are excited to have all of the partners take the reins and continue our legacy of excellence in the HR industry we support.”

Related: Choosing Your Executive Search Firm

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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