News & Insights

POSTED Wednesday 25-10-23

General Staffing vs Executive Search

Following on from my recent blog about joining Aspen I wanted to highlight some key differences that I have found when moving from a General Staffing Provider to an Executive Search Organisation.

There’s a significant difference in the scale and complexity between the full 360 recruitment roles that cover a wide range of positions and executive search roles. Here are my Top 10 key differences:

  1. Depth of Specialisation: In executive search roles, the focus is often on high-level, specialised positions within organisations, such as C-suite executives or senior management roles. These positions require a deep understanding of industry dynamics, specific skill sets, and strategic leadership qualities.
  2. Level of Expertise: Executive search roles demand a higher level of industry knowledge and expertise. We must thoroughly understand the intricacies of our clients’ industries and the unique qualifications required for executive-level positions.
  3. Candidate Evaluation: Evaluating candidates for executive roles involves assessing not only their skills and experience but also their leadership capabilities, strategic thinking, and cultural fit with the organisation.
  4. Candidate Pool: The executive search candidate pool represents a group of high-calibre professionals who are carefully selected and approached to fill critical leadership roles within an organisation. These candidates are often not readily available through traditional job postings and require a tailored and proactive approach to recruitment.
  5. Client Relationships: Executive search is highly consultative. Building strong relationships with clients and understanding their long-term strategic goals is crucial for identifying and placing the right candidates who align with the organisation’s vision.
  6. Search Process: The search process for executive roles is often more intensive and targeted. We always conduct in-depth research, approach passive candidates, and use a more discreet approach due to the sensitivity of high-level appointments.
  7. Market Insights: Providing valuable market insights and trends to clients is a significant part of executive search. Clients rely on our expertise to navigate competitive landscapes and identify emerging talent.
  8. Network Building: Executive search involves building relationships with senior professionals and industry leaders. Your network becomes a key asset for identifying and connecting with potential candidates.
  9. Decision Impact: The candidates we place in Executive roles can have a significant impact on an organisation’s success. As a result, the stakes are higher in terms of finding the right match.
  10. Complexity: While full 360 recruitment involves managing a high volume of roles across various industries and positions, executive search focuses on fewer roles but with greater complexity and influence.

From my experience both types of recruitment roles have their unique challenges and rewards. My experience in full 360 general staffing recruitment has given me the ability to manage diverse positions and candidates efficiently, which can be valuable as I navigate the intricacies of executive search. My transition to the head of the Interim Practice at Aspen People provides a chance to bring my skills and insights from both worlds to create a successful and well-rounded practice.

If you’d like to get in touch with me please contact or call 0141 212 7573.